First 1999 Winter Storm Update

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Release date: 
January 4, 1999
Release Number: 
HQ-99-024

» Full FEMA Coverage of Winter Storms

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The National Weather Service (NWS) reports the Arctic air behind the latest winter storm is generating heavy snows over parts of western Michigan and Northern Ohio and New York today. The cold air mass is generating snow as it passes the relatively warmer water of Lake Michigan and Lake Erie. Parts of western Michigan may see as much as 12 to 18 more inches of snow.

Officials in the Buffalo, New York, area have posted a total travel ban as near whiteout conditions envelope the area. The very cold arctic air is generating sub-zero temperatures across much of the Midwest this morning. Wind chill factors as low as 60 below zero will be seen in parts of Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin today.

The storm system that wreaked havoc in the Midwest and Northeast over the weekend is pulling away into Canada this morning. In its wake, the storm left St. Louis and Chicago residents digging out of near record snow, put thousands of people in the southeast in the dark as power lines fell under the strain of ice and stranded thousands of travelers in airports across the country.

Chicago received 22 inches of snow, the second greatest snowfall amount ever recorded for the city. The same storm brought sleet and freezing rain that created problems from the Appalachians to Northern New England. NWS forecasters expect snow and freezing rain to continue in parts of Maine tonight.

Most of major metro areas along the eastern seaboard (Philadelphia, New York City, Boston and Washington, DC) saw mostly rain as milder air came in from the Atlantic. Parts of the New York City metro area recorded up to five inches of rain over a short period of time. Urban flooding was a problem in some parts of the NYC metro area. Strong winds were a problem as gusts exceeded 70 mph in Chatham, Mass., on Cape Cod Sunday.

The American Red Cross (ARC) National Operations Center reports shelters open in Illinois, South Carolina and West Virginia this morning. Three shelters are open in the Chicago area housing approximately 300 people. At least two shelters are open in West Virginia and six in South Carolina from power outages.

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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