Out Like A Lion: Nor'easter Caps Last Days Of Winter With A Frosty Finale

Mar 14, 2017
Originally published on March 14, 2017 2:33 pm

Updated at 1:20 p.m. ET

Two of the biggest cities standing in the way of Tuesday's nor'easter, New York City and Philadelphia, have lifted their blizzard warnings as the storm's path has shifted to the west and meteorologists have tempered their forecasts for the major urban areas.

But not before the storm managed to leave a considerable heap of flight cancellations, power outages and school closures in its wake. By midday, The Associated Press reports that some 6,000 flights had been canceled and more than 200,000 customers had lost power in roughly half a dozen states in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions.

The college basketball playoffs have not escaped the storm's effects, either. To beat the snow, teams began their travel early so they could be sure to make their tournament time.

"We are closely tracking the weather and working with our travel partners and teams in the tournament to ensure the safety of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, officials and fans," the NCAA said in a statement. "This includes looking at departure times for teams that will play in affected cities."

Even a meeting between President Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, which had been planned for Tuesday in Washington, D.C., was postponed Monday amid fears of the storm's looming shadow. That meeting has been rescheduled for Friday.

Still, in some areas the fearsome nor'easter that had been promised turned into a paper tiger by the time it showed.

In New York City, for instance, predictions of up to 20 inches of snow were downgraded to a range of 4 to 8 inches as the day went on — though west of the city, along the New York-Pennsylvania border, predictions still range up to 30 inches.

The storm whiffed on Pittsburgh almost entirely — despite forecasters' predictions — prompting a few residents to crack wise about the M. Night Shyamalan-like twist.

Meanwhile, the storm's arrival in Boston was so gradual, the Massachusetts' state highway administrator, Thomas Tinlin, had to roll out reassurances in the morning that the storm was indeed on its way.

"It feels a little bit like you invited all your friends over for a party and then you are kind of hanging around, saying, 'Where are they?' " Tinlin quipped at an 8 a.m news conference, according to the Boston Globe.

"Rest assured," he added, "your friends are coming."

The nor'easter is still expected to bring up to 2 1/2 feet of snow to parts of New England as the day stretches on — a heavy blow to those who had hoped the warm temperatures recently had signaled an early farewell to snowfall.

Those hopes were dashed when the powerful nor'easter caused the National Weather Service to issue blizzard warnings earlier this week in parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.

State officials continue to encourage residents to stay home amid the inclement weather, if at all possible. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker asked drivers to stay off the roads, and Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy even had some suggestions on how to pass the time.

It's a "good day to make brownies," Malloy said, according to the AP, "and/or read a book."

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