Storm didn't produce much snow ... but plenty of bluster
BOB FORD/TIMES NEWS Snow blows across Route 443 at McCall's Farm near Country Club Road in Mahoning Township. Although only an inch or so of snow fell from the Nor'easter, strong winds created drifting and reduced visibility for motorists.
The Nor'easter that was predicted to miss us, then give us up to 10 inches of snow, delivered mostly wind.
About an inch or two of snow was reported, just enough to cause drifting across roadways in open areas and some slippery conditions.
According to the National Weather Service and wire services, the brunt of the storm walloped the coast, traveling up through Long Island and into New England. Blizzard conditions were reported on Long Island, which was expecting up to two feet of snow.
Up until Thursday of last week, weather forecasters predicted there was a Nor'easter forming on Christmas weekend but that it would travel far out to sea and would miss us. The forecast drastically changed Christmas Eve, with meteorologists telling us we could be facing up to 10 inches of snow with the high winds on Sunday into today.
Light snow began falling shortly after noon throughout the area yesterday and most places had less than an inch by early last night. The major snowfall didn't happen, but last night's howling winds kept light sleepers awake by rattling through the home, sending trash cans rolling through yards, and whipping up the small amount of snow that fell.
Locally, Lehighton, Tamaqua, and Lansford had an inch or so of snow. Only three inches of snow was measured in Blakeslee, and one inch in Danielsville. The only road closure reported was Route 329 in Northampton, which was due to drifting.
PennDOT crews worked 'round-the-clock in anticipation of problems from the storm but the gusty winds caused the biggest concerns. Route 443 in the vicinity of McCall's Farm remained snow-covered despite being cleared several times and Mill Road in Mahoning Township was covered with snow, requiring motorists to use extra caution.
Toby Krajcirik, borough maintenance manager in Lansford, said no problems were reported in that community, "just a lot of blowing snow."
Lansford police officer Chris Ondrus said to his knowledge, there were no traffic problems reported.
Palmerton police also reported no problems.
The brunt of the storm slammed the eastern-most areas. A foot was recorded in Philadelphia, while 22.5 inches was measured in Somerset, N.J.
The weather had a major impact on airports. Flights were stopped in Philadelphia, Newark, Boston, Providence, and the New York City airports. Lehigh Valley International Airport in Allentown remained open with only flights into and from cities not affected by the storm.
It also impacted football fans. Last night's game in Philadelphia between the Eagles and the Minnesota Vikings, which has playoff implications, was postponed until Tuesday night.
The good news is that forecasters tell us that the month-long deep freeze is going to ease up by the end of this week, with temperatures climbing to near 50.