NORTHAMPTON, Mass. – A January heat wave came to an end Monday across parts of the Northeast as a storm brought dropping temperatures and heavy snow that closed scores of schools and caused road-closing traffic accidents.
Up to 10 inches of snow was possible in some areas from eastern New York state to New Hampshire.
"I don't listen to the news or anything, so I had no idea this was coming," Blake Antrobus said as he cleared a 4-inch-thick blanket of snow from his car. "It's been so nice lately. This is strange."
A state trooper at the barracks in Claverack in Columbia County, N.Y., said police were being "slammed" with reports of traffic accidents.
Temperatures had been in the 50s and as high as 60 last week, but the mercury dropped on Sunday, and on Monday it struggled to reach the 30s.
At least 200 schools were closed in central and southern New Hampshire, and many more closed or delayed their start in eastern New York state's Hudson and Mohawk valleys and the Catskills.
By midday, snow totals reached 7 inches at West Brookfield, in central Massachusetts, with 4 1/2 inches at Salem and Seabrook, N.H., and a little over 4 inches at South Berwick, Maine.
Boston's Logan International Airport closed for 37 minutes during the morning, Massport spokesman Phil Orlandella said.
Vermont State Police shut down Interstate 91 in both directions between Hartland and White River Junction during the morning commute because of the hazardous driving conditions. Just south of Concord, N.H., an accident tied up traffic on I-93, and a section of I-81 about 10 miles south of Syracuse, N.Y., was closed because of accidents, police and highway officials reported.
The snow came down so quickly in Northampton that Celina Marchand had to shovel the sidewalk in front of her Main Street deli four times between 7 and 9 a.m.
"If I don't keep doing it, it's going to pile up and be too heavy," said Marchand, whose hair was caked with snow within just a few minutes of stepping outside.
Until Monday, just 4 inches of snow had fallen at Portland, Maine, in January, 11 inches below normal and 22 inches below the total last year at this time.