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Worst Is Over, But More Snow's Coming

In Times Square on Friday morning, plows were clearing away the snowy mess.
Andrew Kelly
In Times Square on Friday morning, plows were clearing away the snowy mess.

Here's the good news: The weather's about to get better from the Mid-Atlantic up through New England.

"The big nor'easter which recently delivered heavy snow and ice to much of the southern and eastern states will bring heavy snow and coastal rain to New England before exiting the region by Friday afternoon," the National Weather Service says.

Here's the not-so-good news: Although the storm is moving out and there will be some thawing in many places today, temperatures are going to drop again — which means roads and highways will refreeze overnight. After that, there will be some more snow over the weekend. Here's what the Weather Service expects:

"Light to locally moderate amounts" of fresh snow from the Central Appalachians to New England this weekend — areas that are already dealing "with deep snow-cover."

And here's the just-plain bad news: The storm has carved a deadly, destructive trail across much of the eastern half of the nation. The Associated Press sums up some of the sobering statistics:

-- "At least 21 deaths, most of them in traffic accidents, were blamed on the storm as it made its way across the South and up the coast."

-- "About 1.2 million homes and businesses lost power as the storm moved from the South through the Northeast. By Thursday evening, about 550,000 customers remained in the dark, mostly in South Carolina and Georgia."

-- "More than 6,500 flights were canceled across the country, according to the website FlightAware."

Headlines help tell the story as well:

-- "Massive Winter Storm Taking Toll in Power Outages, Canceled Flights — and Lives." (CNN)

-- In New York City, "Expect A Tough Friday Commute." (WNYC)

-- Connecticut Suffers "Salt Shortage Emergency." (The Courant)

-- "Roads Mostly Clear ... But A Few Icy Patches Remain." (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

-- "Some Power In SC Won't Be Restored For Days, Officials Say." (Columbia, S.C.'s The State)

There's also this related news: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is under fire for not closing schools.

Meanwhile, there is something good to say about the nation's weather. Much-needed rain and snow is expected for the parched Northwest and Rocky Mountains. The Weather Service says that:

"Moderate to occasionally heavy precipitation is expected for the Pacific Northwest, Intermountain West, and Northern/Central Rockies through Saturday night. Most of the precipitation should be in the form of rain except for the higher elevations, where significant snowfall is likely for the Northern Cascades and Rockies."

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Mark Memmott
Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.
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