TIME weather

Bitter Cold Lingers Over Northeastern U.S.

Winter storm maintains a tight grip on parts of the U.S.

A pocket of the U.S. is facing bitter cold and high-force winds on Sunday as yet another winter storm makes its way across the Northeast.

Residents in the New England area continue to remain under blizzard warnings, with parts of Massachusetts already under 2 ft. of new snow, according to the Weather Channel. Over 98 in. of snow has fallen in the Boston area this year alone, according to CBS Boston meteorologist Eric Fisher — it’s second snowiest season on record.

States between Connecticut and North Carolina are under high-wind warnings; damage has already been reported in the Carolinas, where 200,000 reportedly lost power. Illinois, Michigan and Indiana residents are digging their way out of a blanket of snow that fell overnight.

Unfortunately for residents, the National Weather Service says the bitter cold is expected to linger in the Northeast at least until Monday. The high in most areas will be below freezing while the wind chill is set to remain below zero.

Late Sunday, those in states between Oklahoma and northern Georgia can expect a “wintry mix” leading into Monday.

[The Weather Channel]

TIME weather

Snow, Blistering Cold Strikes New England

The fourth storm in less than a month is leading to biting lows and deadly driving conditions

Dangerously strong winds whipped across New England on Sunday morning, as emergency workers scrambled to clear snow and ice. It is the fourth major winter storm in the region in less than a month.

Eight to 14 inches of snow were expected in southern New England and up to two feet in Maine. Forecasts called for lows of minus 10 degrees forecast in some areas Sunday night.

National Weather Service meteorologist William Babcock told USA Today that road conditions will be dangerous as a result of widespread winds stirring relatively dry snow. “On Sunday, the best thing people can do is stay home, stay indoors,” he said.

[USA Today]

TIME weather

Valentine’s Day ‘Snow Hurricane’ Hits New England

Just stay indoors with your Valentine already

A Valentine’s Day blizzard with hurricane-force winds was set to pummel much of New England on Saturday.

Blizzard warnings were issued in six states—Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island—as the fourth major snowstorm of the season made its way toward the East Coast. Iat had already dumped eight inches in parts of Michigan by Saturday afternoon.

MORE: It’s Better to Be Single on Valentine’s Day

New York City and Philadelphia remained under winter weather advisories while Boston, which has already experienced a historic total of almost eight feet of snow this season, could get another foot. Parts of Massachusetts were forecasted to receive 18 inches, and Cape Cod could experience hurricane-force wind gusts.

The bottom line is, stay inside with your Valentine and don’t poke your head out until April. And if you’re single, you have a perfect excuse to do absolutely nothing.

TIME Know Right Now

Know Right Now: Northeast Faces Record-Setting Cold

Temperatures are expected to drop into the lower single digits by Monday

The Northeast is preparing itself for what forecasters warn could be some of the coldest temperatures to hit the region in two decades. Find out more by watching today’s Know Right Now, and read more here.

TIME weather

9 Insane Facts About Boston’s Snow

These numbers show just how rough the winter has been

Boston has been pummeled with record snowfall this season, and more is likely on the way—a storm is predicted to drop 8 to 10 inches this weekend. Here are 9 reasons why that’s not particularly welcome news for Bostonians:

1. Boston set a new record for most snowfall in a 30-day period, with 73.3 inches between Jan. 12 and Feb. 10.

2. The city’s total accumulation for the winter season is 79.5 inches, according to the National Weather Service.

3. That means Boston needs 28.2 more inches before spring to top its all-time seasonal record of 107.6, which it reached in 1995-96.

4. Across the state, plows have shoveled enough snow to fill the Patriots’ Gillette Stadium 90 times.

5. Boston plows have worked a cumulative 136,652 hours as of this writing.

6. In that time, they’ve cleared 244,064 miles of snow.

7. 70,051 tons of salt have been spread on Boston’s roads.

8. Snow melting machines are able to melt 430 tons of snow per hour on the city’s municipal “snow farms,” empty lots where trucks dump the excess buildup from street corners.

9. All of which has cost the city at least $30 million in snow cleanup since Jan. 25.

Bostonians, be careful out there.

TIME weather

Northeast Faces Coldest Temperatures In Decades

Forecasters warn a lot of people will have never experienced cold that bad

Millions of Americans across the Northeast were warned by forecasters to prepare this weekend for some of the coldest temperatures in two decades.

The dangerously bitter conditions are expected to come on the back of yet another winter storm bringing more snow, ice, and high winds across the Northeast beginning Saturday.

The cold will start to creep in early Friday, according to The Weather Channel, and the mercury is expected to plummet until it hits the low single digits in New York City early on Monday. With the windchill forecast between -15 F and -30 F, it is set to be “one of the coldest air masses we have seen in the Northeast in 20 years,” according to Weather Channel senior meteorologist Michael Palmer.

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

Read next: The Curious Ways Brutal Snowstorms Affect How We Shop

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME weather

Monster Hurricanes Could Become More Frequent, Scientists Warn

Hurricane Research Katrina Hugo
NOAA/Getty Images Hurricane Igor gets stronger as it turns west-northwest in the direction of Bermuda on Sept. 14, 2010 in the Atlantic Ocean as seen from space.

"We may need to begin planning for a category 3 hurricane landfall every decade or so"

Storms like the devastating 2005 Hurricane Katrina may start becoming more frequent due to climate change, a new study says.

Sediment deposits suggest that during prehistoric times, severe hurricanes were slamming America’s eastern seaboard with a very high frequency—every 40 years—due to warmer ocean temperatures, according to the study, published Wednesday in Earth’s Future. Today, ocean temperatures off New England, which have slowly risen over the past several decades, are now higher than prehistoric levels.

According to the research, the prehistoric storms were likely category 3 hurricanes, such as Hurricane Katrina, or category 4 storms such as Hurricane Hugo in 1989, which would have catastrophic consequences if they reached land.

“We hope this study broadens our sense of what is possible and what we should expect in a warmer climate,” said the study’s lead author Jeff Donnelly in a statement. “We may need to begin planning for a category 3 hurricane landfall every decade or so rather than every 100 or 200 years. The risk may be much greater than we anticipated.”

MONEY Shopping

The Curious Ways Brutal Snowstorms Affect How We Shop

The region is being hit once again by snow, and some businesses such as this T.J. Maxx store in North Andover, Mass., were closed, February 9, 2015.
Jim Davis—Boston Globe via Getty Images The Northeast was hit once again by snow, and some businesses such as this T.J. Maxx store in North Andover, Mass., were closed, February 9, 2015.

As the snow piles up in the Northeast, business suffers at many restaurants and stores, as you'd expect. But bad weather isn't bad news across the board for retailers.

We’ve seen the pattern repeat itself many times over. Weather forecasters predict a big winter storm, and long before the snowflakes appear, panicked shoppers hit the supermarkets to grab whatever milk, bread, eggs, and, if you’re at Whole Foods, kale, is still available.

Likewise, the arrival of a blizzard—or rather, the forecast that one could be coming—all but guarantees that there to be a run on shovels, sand, salt, and other snow-coping materials at hardware stores and home improvement centers. Gas stations and stores selling winter boots and other cold-weather gear can rely on storm forecasts to create sales spikes too.

In these ways, at least, the storms pounding New England and much of the Mid-Atlantic region over the past few weeks have boosted retail sales in ways not seen since, well, last winter, when the polar vortex caused mad rushes on grocery stores throughout the Midwest.

And yet, bad winter weather is hardly a good thing for retail in general. In fact, for stores that aren’t selling groceries, gas, shovels, or boots, blizzards can be business killers. Jon Hurst, president of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts, told the Boston Herald that “conservatively,” retailers in the state have lost $10 million for each day they’ve been closed or had almost no business thanks to relentless snow. Restaurant owners in Rhode Island are calling this “the worst February in years” thanks to snow keeping would-be customers at home. Overall, a 2014 IHS Global Insight study found that a single-day shutdown in New York can add up to $700 million in total economic costs, including $152 million in lost retail sales.

Presumably, the bulk of those lost sales transactions would have been conducted in person. After all, snow and cold weather can only prod more consumers to stay indoors and shop online, right? Actually, the impact of big snowstorms on online shopping is a bit muddled.

On the one hand, 16% of consumers in a recent survey from Fluent said that they have shopped less this winter, while 27% said they have done more online shopping. So snow + frigid temperatures = increased online sales, right? Not so quick.

According to Adobe Digital Index data, the winter storm that hammered the Northeast in late January resulted in a $35 million decrease in online sales, largely because people were home rather than at work. “During the work week, a lot of people really do shop from their work desktop,” Adobe analyst Tamara Gaffney explained to InternetRetailer.com. “You also have power outages and people out shoveling snow. They’re not shopping, they’re doing other things. It has a negative impact on e-commerce.”

Another way that winter storms can wreak havoc on e-retail is that when roads are impassable or close to it, it’s extraordinarily difficult for goods to simply be picked up or delivered. For instance, a Federal Express Service Alert issued this week warned that in light of persistent snowy weather in the Northeast, “some service delays and disruptions can be anticipated for inbound and outbound shipments in CT, ME, MA, NH, NJ, NY, PA and VT.”

For what it’s worth, the impact of snow—even a series of storms in a particularly bad winter—is generally short-lived. Often, if snow or cold weather brings about a slow period for sales of cars or home appliances or whatever, there will be a significant, corresponding rise in sales once things warm up. In other words, the sales shift; they don’t simply disappear.

Besides, retailers really shouldn’t go blaming uncooperative weather as the reason sales have been poor. “It’s usually one of those ‘dog ate my homework’ excuses,” Forrester Research analyst Sucharita Mulpuru told Bloomberg News last fall, when some apparel stores were pointing the finger at warm weather for why winter fashions weren’t selling well. “Whenever something can’t be explained and is an anomaly — and it happens to coincide with an unusual weather pattern — that becomes the reason people supposedly didn’t shop.”

The observation calls to mind the way that Big Beer blamed unseasonably cold weather in the spring of 2013 as a prime reason macro beer brands like Budweiser, Miller Lite, and Heineken were experiencing slumping sales. Meanwhile, Bud and other major beer brands have seen sales decrease for years, and why this is so has a lot more to do with the increasing popularity of craft beer, cider, boutique spirit distilleries, and other alternatives to pale mass-produced American lagers than it does to any bad spell of weather.

TIME weather

See This Abandoned Ohio Mall Buried in Snow

Snow covers the abandoned Rolling Acres Mall in Akron, Ohio.
Johnny Joo Snow covers the abandoned Rolling Acres Mall in Akron, Ohio.

A surreal winter lanscape

Heavy snow shattered the glass ceiling of an abandoned mall in Akron, Ohio, transforming an ordinary atrium into a bizarre wintry landscape.

Photojournalist Johnny Joo stumbled on the scene at Rolling Acres Mall during one of his frequent photo excursions to the area’s abandoned buildings, which he regularly posts to his website. “Nature paints a soft and beautiful world into the last place you would expect to see it,” he wrote on his Facebook page.

TIME

Six Feet Under: Buried in Snow in Boston

More than two feet of snow covered parts of New England on Monday in the region's third snow storm in one month, crippling Boston's transit system

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