Storm expected to hit northeast U.S. could be record-setting
Verena Dobnik , The Associated Press
Published Sunday, January 25, 2015 4:50PM EST
Last Updated Sunday, January 25, 2015 5:30PM EST
NEW YORK -- A winter that has largely spared the northeast United States so far is about to arrive with gusto: A storm the National Weather Service called "potentially historic."
Forecasters say the massive storm could drop 60 to 90 centimetres of snow from northern New Jersey to southern Connecticut starting Monday night. Boston is expected to get 45 to 60 centimetres of snow, and Philadelphia could see 35 to 45 centimetres.
At a news conference Sunday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio held up a list of the city's top 10 snowstorms and said this one could land at the top of a list that goes back to 1872.
In the Maritimes, Environment Canada is also warning of a winter storm that's expected to start in parts of the region overnight on Monday.
Although there was some uncertainty about the storm on Sunday, snow is forecast to begin in southwest Nova Scotia with 15 to 25 centimetres falling across the province's mainland before it turns into rain on Tuesday evening.
In New Brunswick, Environment Canada says 15 to 30 centimetres are generally expected for most of the province, while P.E.I. is forecast to get 15 to 25 centimetres of snow.
At his news conference, de Blasio warned people in New York City to plan ahead.
"This could be a storm the likes of which we have never seen before," he said.
"Don't underestimate this storm. Prepare for the worst."
In the northeast U.S., the storm would mark a change in this winter's weather.
"Looks like our luck is about to run out," said John Paulsen as he gassed up his sport utility vehicle in New Jersey. "I can't complain too much since we've had a pretty mild winter, but I don't know if I'm ready for a foot or so of snow all at once."
The storm system driving out of the Midwest brought snow to Ohio on Sunday and was expected to ultimately spread from Washington, D.C., to Maine.
Lesser totals were forecast for the Washington area -- a coating or a bit more -- with steadily increasing amounts expected as the storm plods its way north. The storm promised treacherous travel by both land and air throughout the busy northeast corridor.
At New York's Penn Station, Cicero Goncalves was waiting for a train to Vermont, where he's going snowboarding, because he expected the flight he had hoped to take would be cancelled.
But the 34-year-old flight attendant from Queens counted himself and his travel partner as lucky. "We'll get there before it snows, and we're coming back when the storm is over, on Thursday," he said.
Preparations large and small were in effect elsewhere in New York. A Manhattan Home Depot store sold about twice as many shovels over the weekend as it normally does while transit officials hoping to keep the subways running smoothly planned to use modified subway cars loaded with de-icing fluid to spray the third rail that powers trains.