Update: Blizzard Conditions Contribute to Potentially Historic Winter Storm; Airports Closed
As I type this, Boston is currently experiencing heavy snowfall of up to five inches per hour, frigid temperatures and windy conditions with gusts of up to 80 miles per hour in what could be one of the worst storms to affect New England — where as much as three feet of snow could accumulate — in recorded history.
A blizzard warning — issued when sustained winds or frequent gusts exceeding 35 miles per hour are expected with significant falling snow — is currently in effect in New England until 1:00 in the afternoon Eastern Standard Time today.
One fatality has already been reported in New York as the result of an automobile accident affected by the storm, and approximately 600,000 people are currently without power.
For the first time since 1978, driving has been banned — with a penalty of up to one year imprisonment and a $500.00 fine for those who violate the ban — throughout the commonwealth of Massachusetts by its governor, Deval Patrick.
Some roads in other states were closed, while railroad service was also significantly impacted by the storm.
As with the storm known as Sandy last October — which affected many of the same areas affected by the current winter weather — this storm was the result of the convergence of two storms. Unfortunately, storm surges of up to three feet are expected along the coastline. Also, lines at gasoline stations had reportedly formed before the storm approached, as residents attempt to be better prepared than they were during the storm known as Sandy.
Cities already affected by this winter storm include but are not limited to Toronto, Philadelphia, Halifax, New York, Boston, Burlington, Pittsburgh, Rochester, Hartford, Syracuse, Portland, Buffalo and Providence — with some locations already reporting snow accumulations of greater than twelve inches.
Approximately 5,000 flights at an estimated 60 airports have already been canceled — affecting the travel plans of millions of people — prompting discussions pertaining to this particular major snowstorm on FlyerTalk to have been launched in the following forums:
- Will DL issue a waiver for the northeast on Friday? Delta SkyMiles forum
- 8-11 Feb. Winter Storm Nemo Travel Waiver for N.E. and Impact on UA’s Operations United MileagePlus (Consolidated) forum
- AA Northeast travel alerts for this weekend (Feb. 8-10) American AAdvantage forum
- Southwest weather waiver in New England Thu-Sat 2/7-9 Southwest Rapid Rewards forum
- NY winter storm British Airways Executive Club forum
- Cancelled AE award flight Friday due to weather Air Canada Aeroplan forum
- YYZ possible delays/cxl due to WX! Feb. 7th. 8th. Air Canada Aeroplan forum
- East Coast Winter Weather Advisory Feb 2013 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan forum
- 02/08 New England Storm Current Cancellations JetBlue TrueBlue forum
- Noreaster predicted for Friday – advice/options? US Airways Dividend Miles forum
- Weather at JFK this weekend Virgin America Elevate forum
- What happens when there’s a blizzard? TravelBuzz! forum
- NYC blizzard and Interjet JFK-MEX Feb 9 TravelBuzz! forum
- Winter Storm Nemo – Prospect for flights over the next few days? New England forum
- Nemo Stressing New York City forum
- Blizzard WARNING posted for NYC just posted for this Fri 6AM thru 1PM Sat New York City forum
Check with your airline for updates or travel waivers if the origination or destination location of your travel was affected by this storm — and please stay safe.