One to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 centimeters) of snow may fall starting tomorrow from Philadelphia to New York, with eastern Long Island, Boston and coastal Massachusetts getting more, the National Weather Service said. A blizzard watch was posted for Cape Cod. Nova Scotia may get 10 inches, Environment Canada said in a special weather statement.
“The confidence is getting pretty solid that the track is going to be far off shore,” said Tim Morrin, the observational program leader for the weather service in Upton, New York. “There will be some impact for the New York area, but not a substantial impact. It will be more of a nuisance. For the most part it would be a glancing blow.”
“I’ve been saying all day, Old Man Winter is coming back in town and he’s picking a fight,” Strait said. Spring began in the Northern Hemisphere on March 20.
Winds of 70 miles (113 kilometers) per hour, heavy snow and waves of 20 to 40 feet (6 to 12 meters) may develop as the storm strengthens rapidly on its trek to the Northeast, said Rob Carolan, owner of Hometown Forecast Services in Nashua, New Hampshire.
“For the Atlantic, it will be like a white hurricane,” Carolan said. “A big part of the western Atlantic will be covered by blizzard conditions.”
The storm’s power means it has to be watched because a shift of 50 miles to the west could mean heavy snow for Boston, he said.
Winter storms have cost U.S. airline passengers at least $5.3 billion in expenses and missed workdays and more than 108,600 flights have been canceled this year, according to industry data tracker MasFlight, in Bethesda, Maryland.
Morrin said New York may get 1 to 2 inches starting tomorrow afternoon. It probably won’t stick to the ground at first, which will keep accumulations down.
“There will be a period of more steady snow in the evening tapering off after midnight,” he said.
The blizzard watch for Cape Cod and the Massachusetts islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket takes effect tomorrow night and lasts through the next day, the weather service said. The area may get 6 inches or more along with wind gusts reaching 60 mph, “making travel very dangerous.”
Forecasters have had trouble getting a clear picture of what the storm will do because it will be made up of three different weather systems, one from the Pacific, the second from central Canada and the third from the Gulf of Mexico, that will meet off the East Coast tomorrow.
“The players in this storm are all over the map,” said Bill Goodman, a weather service meteorologist in Upton, New York. “Exactly how they come together is going to determine the final outcome.”
When it passes, seasonal temperatures are expected to take hold in the eastern U.S. from March 29 to April 2, MDA Weather Services in Gaithersburg, Maryland, said. The Southwest and most of Texas may have average readings 3 to 5 degrees above normal during the period.
To contact the reporter on this story: Brian K. Sullivan in Boston at firstname.lastname@example.org