Chicago may get 2 inches (5 centimeters) of snow, according to the National Weather Service. East Coast cities from New York southward will have mostly rain as the storm passes through March 12 to 13.
“For the biggest cities, it will be mainly a rain event,” said Rob Carolan, owner of Hometown Forecast Services Inc. in Nashua, New Hampshire. “Boston is still a guess. I think they start as rain Wednesday afternoon and may pick up a couple of inches Wednesday night into Thursday.”
Snowstorms and cold have swept the U.S. this winter, grounding more than 100,000 flights and costing travelers $5.3 billion in expenses and lost workdays, according to MasFlight, an airline industry data tracker in Bethesda, Maryland.
At Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, 75.5 inches (191.7 centimeters) of snow had fallen through yesterday, 43.7 more than normal, the weather service said. That was still less than the 89.7 inches recorded in the city’s snowiest winter, 1978-79, agency data show.
New York’s Central Park has had 57.4 inches this season, or 34.4 inches more than normal, while at Boston’s Logan International Airport, 56.5 inches have fallen, 19.4 more than usual.
As the latest storm sweeps east across the U.S., the bulk of its snow will most likely miss Chicago and Detroit, said Tom Kines, a meteorologist with AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania. There is a good chance cities from Cleveland through Bangor, Maine, will get at least 6 inches.
How close the center of the storm gets to the coast will determine the amount of snow Boston gets, Carolan said.
Kines said he expects Boston to receive 3 to 6 inches.
“Boston is a close call, but I can see there are ways that at least in the Boston area that somebody picks up 10 to 11 inches,” he said
In New York, rain will start to fall early March 12 and get heavier through the day, Carolan said. It may change to snow overnight into March 13 before ending. The storm will start later in Boston and may be all snow.
Across northern New England, 6 to 12 inches may fall, Carolan said.
As the storm passes, temperatures are expected to drop 20 to 25 degrees below normal across much of the Northeast, Kines said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Brian K. Sullivan in Boston at firstname.lastname@example.org