New York May Receive Up to 4 Inches of Snow by Week's End, Forecasters Say

A storm system moving into the New York City area late tomorrow may leave as much as 4 inches of snow on the ground by the end of the week, according to the National Weather Service.

Forecasters said the system, expected to develop off the North Carolina coast, would mean at most a fraction of the snow that fell on the city after Christmas, snarling air traffic throughout the Northeast for days afterward.

“There is potential for higher snowfall amounts, but it’s harder to pinpoint,” said John Murray, a weather service meteorologist in Upton, New York.

The Dec. 26-27 blizzard dropped 20 inches (51 centimeters) of snow in Central Park, the single worst December storm since 1947, when 26.4 inches fell, according to weather service records. The city’s snowfall record is 26.9 inches, set in February 2006, the weather service said.

Last week’s storm also left 32 inches in Rahway, New Jersey, and 26 inches in Harriman, New York; stranded vehicles; and kept ambulances from reaching the sick. Airlines were forced to cancel almost 8,000 flights across the U.S.

The new storm may mean 1 to 3 inches of snow from New York to Boston and 1 to 2 inches for Philadelphia, said Matt Rogers, president of Commodity Weather Group LLC, a commercial forecaster in Bethesda, Maryland.

No ‘Big Deal’

“My personal take on this system is that it will not be a big deal,” Rogers said. “The storm is somewhat disorganized and it does not have much moisture, but the best chance of accumulating snow is Friday afternoon and night for the Northeast.”

Some of the computer models used to predict what the system will do aren’t in agreement yet, said Charlie Foley, a weather service meteorologist in Taunton, Massachusetts. For Boston, there is quite a spread in potential results.

“There are two solutions -- one is to give us 6 inches and the other is out to sea,” Foley said. “One way or another, I don’t think it is going to be a blockbuster like the blizzard last week.”

Foley said the models for Boston will become clearer this afternoon.

Sleet Impact

Another factor that will affect how much snow will fall is whether any of the precipitation will be sleet or rain, said Travis Hartman, energy weather manager and meteorologist at commercial forecaster MDA Federal Inc.’s EarthSat Energy Weather in Rockville, Maryland.

“The New York City area looks to be more favored for higher precipitation totals than the Boston area on these latest runs,” Hartman said. “As far as areas south of New York City, the system does not really appear to get organized enough to provide much threat.”

With the potential storm still almost 36 to 48 hours away, it needs to be monitored, Rogers said.

“There is some coastal energy, so we’ll have to watch it closely through tomorrow in case any curveballs are thrown,” Rogers said.

Forecasters are already looking at another system that may develop in the middle of next week and bring snow to New York again, said Allan Huffman, a meteorologist for AirDat LLC in North Carolina, which installs weather-gathering sensors on commercial aircraft.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian K. Sullivan in Boston at Bsullivan10@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net.

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