Winter won’t let go.
A week before spring, an icy blast dumped more than 2 feet of snow on Vermont, caused a deadly 50-car pileup in Ohio and packed wind strong enough to knock out the lights at the Capitol dome. The late winter storm was enough to shatter or threaten century-old records, especially around the Great Lakes.
“Winter is not done yet,” said Tom Niziol, a winter weather expert for The Weather Channel.
Chicago got 3.6 inches of snow and climbed a notch on its list of snowiest winters, to No. 3. The Windy City has recorded 79.1 inches this season — more than 6½ feet. The record is 89.7.
In Michigan, 6.5 inches of snow brought Detroit within 3 inches of its record, 93.6 inches during the winter of 1880-1881. Ann Arbor pushed its season total to 92.1 inches, good for an all-time high. Toledo, Ohio, extended its record to 84.8 inches.
In Buffalo, N.Y., the National Weather Service recorded blizzard conditions — three straight hours of falling snow and 35-mph winds — for the second time this winter. That's the first time that has happened in 130 years of record-keeping. Almost a foot and a half of snow fell in western New York.
The town of Sharon, Vt., got the worst of it — 26 inches — or best of it, depending on whether you were shoveling it or skiing in it. Killington Resort reported 24 inches in 24 hours.
It didn’t set a record there, but Vermont State Police had a little fun with the latest winter wallop, invoking The Weather Channel’s name for the storm:
Behind it all was face-numbing cold — all too familiar this winter but crueler because it hammered parts of the country that had been enjoying several days of tantalizing mild weather.
In Philadelphia, where the high temperature on Wednesday was 69 degrees, the wind chill Thursday morning made it feel like 3. New York also plunged to a wind chill of 3 after an actual high of 54.
In parts of Kentucky, it was 41 degrees colder on Thursday morning than at the same time the day before.
The Ohio pileup caused backups for 10 miles. Besides the three people killed, a state trooper was seriously hurt when he was pinned between two cars while responding to a crash.
The strong wind caused some flights landing at La Guardia Airport in New York to be delayed two hours on Thursday morning.
In Washington, strong wind on Wednesday night briefly grounded flights at Reagan National Airport and knocked out power to part of the Capitol for a half-hour. Gusts as strong as 60 mph were recorded.
“Fortunately, the storm is going to wind down quickly this morning and into the afternoon,” said Kevin Roth, another meteorologist at The Weather Channel. “Maine will be the last one to lose it, probably early this evening.”
First published March 13 2014, 9:22 AM