US Northeast hit by blizzards after record snow
Updated: 2015-02-16 10:42
Tom McQuail is hit by a snowball thrown by his daughter during a winter blizzard in Boston, Massachusetts February 15, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]
BOSTON - The US Northeast struggled to dig out on Sunday from the latest in a series of winter storms that made February the snowiest month in Boston's history, but bitter cold and huge drifts hampered the effort.
Blizzard conditions forced the cancellation of more than 1,800 US airline flights, most of them into and out of airports in Boston and New York, where wind gusts of up to 60 miles per hour (97 kph) were predicted.
Temperatures are 25 to 30 degrees (14 to 17 degrees Celsius) below normal for the East Coast, exacerbated by strong winds, said meteorologist Bruce Sullivan of the National Weather Service, adding the region was in the grip of "a brutally cold air mass."
The temperature at 1 p.m. in Boston was around 18 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 8 Celsius), but felt like zero (minus 18 Celsius) thanks to wind chill. By Monday morning, it was likely to feel like minus 20 (minus 29 Celsius), the NWS said.
The latest storm heaped disappointment on retailers who were relying on the Presidents' Day weekend and Valentine's Day to make up for subpar sales during the last three lashings of snow.
Massive snowfall from Boston's fourth major snowstorm in two weeks set a record for the city's snowiest month since weather records were kept, the NWS said.
Boston had seen about 6 feet (1.8 meters) of snow since late January and had already set a record for accumulations in a single week.