Fast-moving winter snowstorm hits Northeast

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 21, 2012 11:58 AM

By Mary Wisniewski

(Reuters) - Snow lovers in the northeast finally got what they have been waiting for Saturday morning, with a fast-moving storm bringing 3 to 7 inches from central Pennsylvania to Connecticut.

For many areas away from the Great Lakes, this will be the heaviest snowfall since a storm in late October, according to weather.com.

"We haven't missed it, but it's been noticeably absent," said Victoria Lupica, spokeswoman for the Philadelphia International Airport, which had 66 cancelled flights Saturday morning. Though the snow has stopped for now, the airport was still experiencing departure delays of up to two hours.

Totals could reach 3 to 5 inches in New York City, two to four inches in Philadelphia and up to 3 inches in Boston. At La Guardia International Airport in New York, arrival delays were up to 30 minutes and increasing due to snow and ice, according to the airport's website.

This late and moderate storm in the northeast is a big change from the heavy snows of last winter -- which included a post-Christmas blizzard that dumped 20 inches on New York City.

Light snow was falling again in Chicago Saturday morning. A snowfall Friday brought up to 8 inches and prompted the cancellation of more than 700 flights at Chicago's O'Hare and Midway airports. Flight operations were back to normal at Chicago airports Saturday, the city's aviation department said.

In parts of South Carolina, voters in the Republican presidential primary were seeing rain Saturday morning, according to the National Weather Service. Thunderstorms, some with hail, were predicted for the southeastern United States.

In the West, heavy snow was predicted for mountain areas of the western states, according to weather.com. Melt from unusually heavy snowfall this week combined with heavy rain will increase the threat of flooding throughout western Washington.

(Editing by Greg McCune)