The forecasts were dire. Travel warnings, schools shut-down, snow by the foot, and 60-mph winds were predicted in the most heavily-affected areas. While some parts of the country were hit just as hard as forecast, other places like New York City were spared. America;s largest city had a blizzard warning going into Tuesday, one that was lifted when snowfall was found to be well short of predictions. Typical meteorological computer models had 12-18 inches falling, but the National Weather Service (NWS) revised their projection to 4-8.
The storm unexpectedly veered northwest, dumping extra snow on upstate New York instead of on the I-95 travel corridor. New York governor Andrew Cuomo said that in some parts of the center of the state, 30 inches were projected and 5,000 snowplows were being deployed. "Mother Nature is an unpredictable lady sometimes," he said to the press.
Still, Cuomo was optimistic, especially after the record-breaking February 2016 storm that shattered snowfall records in New York. "It has been less snowfall than we predicted, less disruption. We have no evidence of any coastal flooding along Long Island. We have no evidence of any power outages of any significance," the governor said.
"The storm is not delivering as much snow as forecasted at all and that is very good for the people of New York City, but the conditions are still very dangerous out there," Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters, urging New Yorkers to remain indoors if possible. The state of emergency would be lifted at midnight when ice on city roads and sidewalks is expected to be melted.
84 freeway in Hartford typically jam packed at this hour. Today, complete whiteout. pic.twitter.com/4erPsbyKHo— Miguel Marquez (@miguelmarquez) March 14, 2017
"What we saw here is a very different than what was projected, even as of late yesterday," said de Blasio. "The National Weather Service does everything they know how to do. Mother Nature still makes its own decisions." New York City public schools are expected to reopen on Wednesday.
The storm has caused the cancellation of over 8,000 flights. German Chancellor Angela Merkel postponed until Friday a planned meeting with President Trump.
An estimated 18 million Americans remain under blizzard warnings. The Associated Press claims 200,000 people are without power in Washington DC and the Chesapeake states of Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and Pennsylvania.