NEW YORK (AP) — New York City was a staging ground for weather extremes this weekend — shifting from snow to freezing rain, sleet and just plain rain, with temperatures sliding from the 20s and 30s toward nearly 60 degrees forecast for Sunday.
Between 2 and 4 inches of snow came down in the city, its northern suburbs and Long Island after days of biting cold.
“It is very messy,” said Tye Thompson-El, owner of a Brooklyn hardware store that sells snow-removal supplies. “This is the first of this winter, so we’ll see what will come before the end of the winter. Hopefully it’ll get better, but I’m sure it’ll get worse.”
The weather drama started Saturday before dawn, when the first snow started falling. By 8 a.m., vehicles were forced to move at a snail’s pace in the heart of Manhattan — or else spin out of control.
At mid-morning, when streets would typically be filled with holiday shoppers, the city slowed to a crawl as snow blanketed nearly empty streets. It took one driver double the time to get from Madison Avenue near the east side of Central Park to the west side.
There were some reports of minor accidents in the metropolitan area.
By late morning, the snow turned briefly to freezing rain and sleet, creating even more hazardous, slippery conditions. Temperatures rose to the 30s.
“It was a burst of snow, followed by brief periods of sleet and freezing rain,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Jay Engle.
With the snowstorm pushing out into the Atlantic, he said spotty showers were expected Saturday afternoon, with temperatures rising into the 40s. And on Sunday, the temperature was likely to reach the upper 50s, Engle said.
In upstate Buffalo, New York, where about the same amount of snow accumulated on Saturday, the Buffalo Bills recruited snow shovelers to dig out their New Era Field ahead of Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns. Those working a four-hour shift or longer looked forward to a perk: a complimentary Bills game ticket.
Associated Press radio reporter Julie Walker contributed to this story.