Joke's on us: April Fools' snow hits

A snapshot of the April Fools Day snow from Lancaster County, sent in by Matt Pellman's parents near Leola, Pa.

April 1, 2011 5:30:15 AM PDT
A no-joke April Fools' snowstorm descended upon parts of the Northeast early Friday, a cruel prank on a region that was finally enjoying a reprieve from its long, white winter.

The spring snowstorm was expected to last through Friday morning - April Fools' Day - dropping up to 10 inches of snow in some areas in eastern New York and around New England, dispiriting people eager for spring after a long, snow-filled winter.

For Pennsylvania, the National Weather Service says a little over 2 inches of snow is expected to fall in the higher elevations of the Pocono Mountains, well under the earlier predictions. Snow began falling in the mountains by early Friday.

Monroe and Carbon counties are under a winter weather advisory until 10 a.m. A winter storm warning that had been issued previously was dropped early Friday.

Elsewhere in the state a few spots have seen flakes but little or no accumulation. A handful of school districts in central Pennsylvania were operating under two-hour delays.

In Portland, Maine, heavy wet snow clung to trees and street signs Friday morning.

"It's got to end at some point," said Tim Watts, of Boston, a delivery truck driver dropping a load at a convenience store outside of Portland. "Hopefully this is the last one."

The timing made for a messy Friday morning commute for some in Maine, New Hampshire and southern Vermont.

But in other parts of the area, the storm turned out to be a joke.

National Weather Service meteorologist Brian Montgomery said the storm tracked farther east than some models predicted, meaning higher elevations in Vermont and western Massachusetts could get the heaviest snow.

In Boston, forecasts called for between 2 and 4 inches, with the precipitation tapering off in the afternoon. Inland, 3 to 8 inches were expected in northeastern Massachusetts and northern areas of Rhode Island and Connecticut. Western Massachusetts could get up to 10 inches or foot.

High-altitude areas of central Vermont could get up to a foot of snow.

Coastal parts of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut were expected to get mostly rain, or wet snow that won't accumulate.

In parts of New York and New Jersey, the storm sputtered. A few inches of wet snow was forecast for sections of upstate New York, while the Catskills were likely to get up to 6 inches of snow. New York City and Long Island dealt with morning rain.

Forecasts of up to 8 inches of snow in northwestern New Jersey were changed. The day was expected to be more wet than white.

But it's not all bad news, at least not for some skiers in western Pennsylvania.

Anna Weltz, a spokeswoman for Seven Springs Mountain Resort, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette the resort will reopen for Saturday only to cash in on the new snow. The resort 45 miles southeast of Pittsburgh had already closed for the season.

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