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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 02/26/2010

Winds batter region, increasing snows north & east

'Snowicane' impacting New York City

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Winds continue pounding the entire metro region, with widespread reports of gusts near or even exceeding 50 mph. Snow is confined mostly to just north and east of the District, with reports of light accumulations starting in Howard and Anne Arundel counties. The combination of snow and wind may reduce visibilities and cause some challenging driving conditions at times in those regions. From the District and south and west, more isolated snow showers and flurries are possible, and snow-related travel problems are less likely.

Throughout the entire region, powerful winds will continue throughout today, with gusts to 55 mph likely -- especially late this morning and early this afternoon, possibly downing trees and power lines. The peak wind gusts reported so far have been impressive, including 53 mph at BWI, 53 mph at Dulles and 47 mph at Reagan National. To the north and northwest, gusts exceeding 60 mph have even been reported...including a gust of 63 mph in Clear Spring, Md., and a couple gusts exceeding 60 mph in Frederick County, Md. (See National Weather Service wind observation reports.)

While we've had to contend with the winds and some light snow north and east, this storm has caused been dubbed a "snowicane" for its impacts around New York City, northeast Pa., northern New Jersey, and interior New York.

Keep reading for more on storm impacts elsewhere...

Around 17" of snow has fallen in Central Park in New York City, with 3-6" of more snow possible. Upward of 20" has impacted the northern suburbs. The storm has caused hundreds of thousands of power outages and closed New York City public schools. Interestingly, Boston has seen mostly rain and coastal flooding because the storm has remained to its south, resulting in relatively mild winds from the east.

Closer to home, blizzard conditions are impacting western Maryland and the highlands of West Virginia around Canaan Valley. Around 15-20" of snow has fallen near Davis, Wv. with severe blowing and drifting. Another foot or so could still fall there. According to a Davis, Wv., weather Web site: "Route 32 is closed from Davis to Harman and Route 33 is closed from Seneca Rocks to Harman. State of emergency has been declared for the Tucker County Highlands." So one only has to go a few hours from the District for a blizzard, but getting there is another story...

By  |  11:00 AM ET, 02/26/2010

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