Less than three weeks after temperatures reached the 60s and had people thinking of spring, about a foot of snow is expected to pound the area from early Tuesday morning through Tuesday night.
Frigid conditions from the weekend are forecast to be followed by effects from the “Winter Storm Stella” nor’easter that is predicted to bring even larger snowfalls to locations closer to the East coast such as New York City and Boston.
The total anticipated snowfall for Oneida County is about 12-13 inches, “beginning later tonight after 5 a.m.” with “bands of snow” before diminishing by Tuesday evening, said National Weather Service meteorologist Mitch Gilt. It also includes a “little more accumulation” that is expected Wednesday.
“It is the system” from the nor’easter, said Gilt, and will bring a “high-pressure system...across the area.”
Regarding the contrasting conditions from a couple of weeks ago, Gilt said March can be a “month of extremes” with some of the “greatest extremes...between record highs and lows.” There previously have been “several double-digit snowfalls...the month of March,” he said, calling it a “transitional season.”
In preperation for the storm, the City of Rome’s public works department was “going through the fleet today, making sure all maintenance is caught up” for snow-plow trucks, said Superintendent of Streets Tom Jones.
The department has an ample supply of salt to apply to city streets, as well as ample amounts of a sand-salt mix for streets in the city’s outside district, Jones commented.
“We’re ready,” he said.
During the recent warm spell, “we had people calling here” with requests for the city to “sweep the streets” and “pick up green waste,” Jones observed. But he said the department at this time of year “has to keep the fleet set up, just in case” for snow removal. He said the department typically keeps it equipped until the around the end of March, when it may start taking off the plows and salters, depending on weather conditions and forecasts at that point. But there also have been times when it has “snowed in early April,” he cautioned.
Reflecting the recent roller-coaster conditions, the high temperature locally on March 1 was in the mid-60s, and also was in that range on Feb. 23-25. But over the weekend, highs reached only the mid-teens.