TAUNTON, Mass. — Forecasters warned of bitter cold arriving in New England on the heels of a Christmas storm that brought treacherous travel, power outages and blizzard conditions to parts of the region.
Snow totals ranged from a few inches in Boston to more than a foot in some central and northern portions of Maine, where a rare blizzard warning was issued Monday by the National Weather Service.
Police urged motorists to stay off the roads if possible during the height of the storm, but volume on major highways was relatively light on the holiday.
Despite inconveniences, many New Englanders embraced the white Christmas.
“I’m actually happy,” said Dwayne Doherty, as he stopped in at The Tobacconist cigar shop in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, one of the few businesses open on Monday. “We haven’t had snow on Christmas at all in the last few years. It’s actually perfect.”
Forecasters warned of a “flash freeze” as arctic air settled in for the coming days.
The weather service said temperatures were likely to drop below zero by Wednesday night and only reach the single digits during the day on Thursday in much of New England.
The western Massachusetts city of Springfield said it would activate its cold weather emergency response team, which includes prevention teams that will check on the city’s homeless and provide transportation to shelters. Residents, especially the elderly, were being urged to stay indoors if possible during the cold snap and to make sure their pets stay warm.
Winds howled during the storm, with a gust of 73 mph reported in the Cape Cod town of Falmouth, and a 66 mph gust on the island of Nantucket.
The utility company Eversource reported more than 20,000 residential customers without power at the height of the storm, the bulk of them on Cape Cod. By late afternoon that number had been reduced to about 7,300.
Maine State Police took to social media to warn residents of the perilous whiteout conditions and slick roads across southern and western Maine. “This was one of many and is in Clinton,” the police account wrote in an Instagram post featuring a photo of a car stuck in a snowbank.
Boston’s Logan International Airport halted flights both into and out of New England’s largest airport for a short time on Monday morning. Several smaller airports in the region reported some flight delays and cancellations.