By Victoria Cavaliere
(Reuters) – A fresh band of winter weather that churned up the East Coast on Saturday, pummeling the storm-weary region with snow, sleet and freezing rain, was expected to gradually taper off Sunday morning, forecasters said.
Six inches or more of fresh snow was forecast for parts of the Northeast by early Sunday, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). Bitter cold is also expected, but conditions should start to ease in many areas by mid-morning, the service said.
Boston, which had already been hit by 98.7 inches (251 cm) of snow going into the weekend, saw only about an inch Saturday, but local weather watchers there were forecasting the total tally to hit 100 inches by midnight. The city’s total is well above the average yearly total of 31 inches (79 cm).
The new round of harsh weather is part of a system that has cut a curving, 2,000-mile path from southern Missouri to Maine.
Snow and ice contributed to major delays at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York Saturday, with some arriving flights delayed more than two hours, and flights destined for Newark International Airport in New Jersey were delayed more than three hours, according to a Federal Aviation Administration advisory.
Winter weather advisories and winter storm warnings were in effect until Sunday for parts of West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire, the NWS said.
The system dropped steady snow on Washington and Baltimore as it pushed up the East Coast Saturday. West Virginia saw 18 inches of snow, according to state officials.
NWS warned that “structural collapses” are possible for rooftops overloaded with the persistent snowfall. Maryland State Police said people had abandoned their vehicles along interstates and roadways.
Nearly a week of cold and ice has contributed to 18 weather-related fatalities in Tennessee since Monday, according to the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency. They include nine people who died of hypothermia and five victims of motor-vehicle accidents.
And in Kentucky, 10 people have died since Monday in weather-related incidents, said Buddy Rogers, a spokesman for Kentucky Emergency Management.
Pennsylvania authorities said Friday at least two people had frozen to death outside.
A 119-year-old record low temperature for Feb. 20 was broken in Washington, with a temperature of 5 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 15 degrees Celsius) recorded at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere in Seattle and Tim Ghianni in Nashville and Carey Gillam in Kansas City; Editing by David Holmes and Nick Macfie)