Warmer temperatures bring respite to Northeast, for a day

Saturday's snow gave way to a warmer Sunday. Is this the start of the long thaw or a temporary break from the freezing conditions? 

Mark A. Large/The Daily Times/AP
People's footprints left in snow that covers sidewalk Saturday on Broadway Ave in downtown Maryville, Tenn. The storm on Saturday and sudden warming forced Tennessee officials to issue flash flood warnings. The rest of the Northeast will enjoy warmer conditions Sunday before plunging back into a coldsnap. (AP Photo/The Daily Times, ) Snow;Slush;Weather;Ice More Slush, Ice and Snow!

When Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow three weeks ago, this is probably not what he had in mind. 

After four monstrous blizzards in as many weeks, the Northeast remains buried under several feet of snow, which in addition to paralyzing the region's transportation infrastructure, has helped keep the already chilly temperatures even colder.

But Sunday will bring respite, albeit a brief one. In the latest round of snow, Hartford, Conn., received up to eight inches of snow, but only an inch or so fell on Boston's Logan Airport, according to the Boston Globe. The snow-turned-rain left major cities like Boston, New York, and Philadelphia covered in slush, reports Boston public radio station WBUR. 

According to USA Today, almost 1,500 flights had been canceled and more than 2,750 delayed Saturday at airports across the region. As of early Sunday, 563 flights were canceled and 1,184 delayed across the nation, according to the report. Restricted visibility and high winds prompted the FAA to issue a temporary ground stop to halt all flights scheduled to leave Philadelphia, the Guardian reports. 

According to WBUR, the storm left interior mid-Atlantic areas in Virginia and West Virginia with over 10 inches in the mountainous parts and Baltimore received nearly eight inches as well. Tennessee officials warned that rain and above freezing temperatures could cause some flash flooding in some areas on Saturday, according to WBUR.  

But Sunday comes as a welcome relief from the cold spell, even though it will only last a day. Some Northern cities are expected to see temperatures climb into the forties, reports the Guardian.

“We have a little teaser with this warm-up,” Kim Buttrick of the National Weather Service in Taunton, Mass., told the Guardian. “But temperatures are going to go back to being below normal on Monday and Tuesday.”

For areas that have been hardest hit with snow, the mixed conditions will just add more weight to the snow pack, which makes a possible roof collapse more likely if it has gone unattended, according to Ms. Buttrick speaking to the Boston Globe. 

For Monday, it goes back to business as usual for the Northeast. Temperatures are expected to be in the high-teens to low 20's with some wind, according to AccuWeather. 

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