Northeast winter storm delays flights

Ryan Parks
Ryan Parks of Arlington, Va., talks on the phone as he waits for his flight to Boston at Washington's Ronald Reagan National Airport, Monday, Jan. 25, 2016. Flights remained delayed or canceled in the aftermath of a massive weekend blizzard that slammed into the eastern U.S., wreaking havoc on travel in the nation’s busiest cities, with airports in the New York City and Washington D.C. metro areas were the hardest hit. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

ALCOA (WATE) — A number of flights departing and arriving at McGhee Tyson Airport in Alcoa are already impacted by winter a winter storm hitting the Northeast. Across the country, more than 2,000 flights had been canceled as of Thursday morning, according to flight-tracking sight FlightAware.com.

WATE 6 Storm Team Meteorologist Trent Magill says a fast-moving storm that could bring more than a foot of snow, strong winds and coastal flooding. Some places were poised to experience an atmospheric yo-yo: Philadelphia and New York hit 60 degrees on Wednesday, were expecting at least a half-foot of snow on Thursday and were bracing for bitter cold temperatures Thursday night.

The storm was expected to hit eastern Pennsylvania and northern New Jersey with rain early Thursday morning, before changing over to snow in time for the morning commute. Near whiteout conditions were possible, with snow expected to fall at a clip of 2 to 4 inches per hour at the storm’s height. The weather service issued a blizzard warning for some coastal areas.

Image from Robesonia, PA, courtesy ABC27

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High winds moving in on the storm’s heels could bring gusts of up to 50 mph, leading to power outages. Temperatures were also forecast to drop into the 20s across much of the region.

Many communities announced parking restrictions in advance of the storm, and some school systems canceled classes on Thursday, including New York City, Philadelphia and Boston. New Jersey authorized the closing of state offices Thursday for all non-essential employees due to the storm, and Connecticut canceled most court activities.

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