As the last winter storm system to hammer the nation's midsection moves into the northeast spread massive snow over the area, a brand new system is hitting in the center of the country. Oklahoma and Kansas are the first targets. Unfortunately, they have not had sufficient time to recover from the last wave that pounded them earlier in the week and authorities are running out of places to shelter those without electricity.
OKLAHOMA CITY – Another wintry blast was forecast Friday for the nation's midsection, where hundreds of thousands are still in the dark after a deadly ice storm brought down power lines, snapped trees and coated roads.
The system could complicate restoration efforts to the some 500,000 homes and businesses in Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri still without power after the first storm darkened 1 million customers at its height earlier this week.
Between two and six inches of snow was predicted for parts of Kansas and Oklahoma, said Ken Harding, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Topeka, Kan. The National Weather Service issued winter weather watches for the northwest two-thirds of Oklahoma from Friday afternoon through Saturday morning.
Many emergency shelters already were filled, with some residents on their fourth or fifth day of waiting for power to return. Kim Harrel has been staying at an American Red Cross shelter in downtown Tulsa since Monday.
The first storm system changed from ice to snow as it moved northeast, which at least spared that section of the country the misery of ice and downed power lines. But the impact was still severe with massive traffic snarls and flight delays and cancellations.
Meanwhile, residents in the Northeast were hard at work Friday shoveling driveways and walkways. As the storm moved east, it changed from ice to snow, and dropped anywhere from two inches to a little more than a foot across the region.
While it didn't cause the same problems as it did in the middle of the country, it made travel difficult. Flights were delayed or canceled and the heavy snow snarled traffic with fender-benders from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts. Most schools canceled classes, but in Rhode Island, the storm left many Providence children stuck in buses or at school for hours.
Janet McCaulley, a doctor, tried to drive from Boston to work an overnight shift at Cape Cod Hospital, but couldn't get there. She found a replacement and checked in at a motel for the afternoon.
"In just an hour, the roads went from being bare to being covered in snow," McCaulley said.
Accuweather is warning that this newest storm system is going to be a real doozy.
The Winter Weather Center reports as the storm strengthens today, snow will fall from Colorado across the central Plains, including western Oklahoma. Some areas along the Oklahoma – Kansas state line could receive up to a foot of snow.
The storm tonight will tap into additional moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, expanding the snow into northern Oklahoma and the lower Ohio Valley.
Saturday will be the "calm before the storm" in New England before conditions from the mid-Atlantic to central New England begin to rapidly deteriorate by Saturday night. Heavy snow will push into the region.
The East Regional News story reports heavy snow on Sunday will spread through New York and interior New England. Winds whipping around the storm will create near-blizzard conditions by Sunday night, creating dangerous travel conditions across the Northeast.
Oh well, I guess they are going to have to reschedule all those global warming rallies. It is really cold all across the midsection of the country right now – like January-February type cold.