Freezing rain, wintry weather knock out power, slick roads, delay schoolsBy DOUG ALDEN
New Hampshire Union Leader
April 16. 2018 11:05AM
MANCHESTER — The winter without end continues with record-breaking cold and another slick morning commute.
Freezing rain spread across the Granite State overnight, making roads slick, causing schools to delay opening and knocking out power.
More than 3,000 homes and businesses around the state were without power Monday morning.
They included 161 Eversource customers in Manchester as of 10:30 a.m. and 644 total affected customers across its Granite State territory.
New Hampshire Electric Co-Op reported 1,664 customers in the dark, including 470 in Lempster.
More than 1,000 Liberty Utilities customers lost power, including 416 in Lebanon.
Unitil had no outages.
A winter weather advisory was posted over much of the state until noon Monday for freezing rain, but that excluded Manchester and the state’s southeast corner.
More than an inch of rain was possible in some areas Monday with highs in the 30s in the North Country and in the 40s in the state’s southern tier.
A wind advisory for gusts up to 60 mph is posted for Coos, Grafton, Sullivan and Cheshire counties until 8 p.m.
Almost 275 schools and other facilities had pushed back the start of their week by a couple hours.
The New Hampshire Department of Transportation treated roads Sunday and warned drivers to be ready for a slippery drive to work Monday. Manchester public works crews were out early Monday.
“The big concern is a lot of people have sort of mentally put winter behind them, but here we are with conditions that really require slower speeds,” DOT spokesman Bill Boynton said Sunday. “It’s not so much snow, it’s slippery conditions.”
Temperatures were around 25 degrees lower than average Sunday and lingered around freezing through Monday morning.
“That’s where the problems are going to come in,” said James Brown, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine. “There’s probably going to be some freezing rain sleet and snow. It’s going to be a dicey drive.”
Brown said New Hampshire temperatures average somewhere in the 50s in mid-April, depending on the area, but on Sunday many areas of the state were stuck in the high 20s.
The April 15 record low for Concord was 36 degrees, set in 1893. The high Sunday in Concord was 29 degrees as of late afternoon and Brown said many other records would be set around the state before becoming official at midnight.
Temperatures in southern New Hampshire were expected to reach the 40s on Monday and 50s by Tuesday, but any warm, spring-like weather was not in the immediate forecast.
“It should be a heck of a lot warmer,” Brown said.