Northeast gets a sloshy taste of winter

Story highlights

  • Messy mix of sleet, snow and rain hit much of the Northeast
  • Weather advisories or warnings are in place from West Virginia to Maine
  • An estimated 40 million people get their first real glimpse of winter

(CNN)It's winter after all.

For large swaths of the Northeast, Saturday arrived with a messy mix of sleet, snow and rain -- with parts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey receiving as much as 8 inches of snow before the storm set its sights on New England.
An estimated 40 million people got their first real glimpse of winter: Weather advisories or warnings were in place from the Appalachians of West Virginia to Maine.
    By Saturday afternoon, about 27 million people were still under a winter weather advisory or warning.
    Rain pelted the coast. Snow fell on inland areas.
    It wasn't your typical bucolic winter wonderland.
    Coming on a weekend, the sloshy weather will inconvenience many. But a major snowstorm on track to hit the Northeast region Monday night into Tuesday could wreak havoc during the workweek.
    The nation's capital was under a winter weather advisory, with snow expected in the western suburbs and brief snowfall downtown turning into a mix of rain and snow.
    In Philadelphia, a winter weather advisory was in effect, with 2 to 4 inches of snow in the city but as much as 8 inches farther west.
    The township of Coolbaugh, Pennsylvania, got 9 inches of snow; the village of Huffs Church received 8 inches.
    Crews from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and other agencies spent two nights salting roads to avoid a repeat of last Sunday, when wet weather caused hundreds of accidents and parts of major highways and bridges were forced to close, CNN affiliate KYW reported.
    "They've been out through the duration of this storm," spokesman Brad Rudolph told the station. "We have 339 trucks in the five-county region and they'll be out for the duration."
    Messy winter storm headed for the East Coast
    Messy winter storm headed for the East Coast


      Messy winter storm headed for the East Coast


    Messy winter storm headed for the East Coast 01:47
    The New York area also awoke to a winter weather advisory, with 2 to 5 inches of snow in the city followed by rain but a higher amount in interior New Jersey, the Lower Hudson Valley and Southern Connecticut. Sleet and freezing rain were mixed in at times.
    Highland Lakes, New Jersey, recorded 9 inches of snow.
    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo urged drivers in the Hudson Valley, New York City and Long Island to exercise caution. The state was dispatching some 870 plows and 1,800 operators from the transportation department throughout the region, Cuomo said in a statement.
    The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey urged air and bus travelers to check with carriers before heading out.
    The authority, which operates the three major airports in the area, reported that it had more than 200 pieces of snow equipment at airports, including melter machines capable of liquifying 500 tons of snow an hour and plows to clear snow at 40 mph.
    In New England, Boston also was under winter weather warnings, with snowfall expected to reach as much as 7 inches.
    Between 6 and 12 inches of snow could fall in parts of Massachusetts up through Maine. A wintry mix on the freezing line separating the rain and snow bands could make driving conditions treacherous.
    Burlington, Connecticut, received 8 inches; Ludlow, Massachusetts, recorded 6 inches.
    But that's not all.
    By Sunday, a strong storm system originating in Alberta, Canada, will have moved down to the upper Midwest, leaving between 2 and 4 inches of snow across Minnesota and Wisconsin before heading east.
    That will mean new snowfall is likely Sunday night into Monday in Philadelphia and New York, with the nation's capital getting a mix of rain and snow.
    The start of the work week could get ugly.
    The major storm on track to hit the Northeast starting Monday night could heap the heaviest snowfall from coastal New Jersey and New York City, to Boston and coastal Maine.
    Blizzard conditions are possible in New England on Tuesday, with forecast models showing more than two feet of snow in Boston and as much as a foot in New York.