As snow falls across the Great Plains, forecasters are watching the potential for a strong storm to scrape southern New England this weekend.
Winter storm warnings and advisories stretch from Colorado to southern Illinois and south into Arkansas and Oklahoma from a system that may bring as much as 6 inches (15 centimeters) of snow and sleet to St. Louis and 3 to 5 inches to Chicago tomorrow, according to the National Weather Service.
That storm might merge with a system off the Atlantic this weekend, bringing snow to Boston and New England and mostly rain to New York City, said Rob Carolan, founder and meteorologist of Hometown Forecast Services Inc. in Nashua, New Hampshire.
It’s the same sort of scenario that produced a blizzard across the Northeast two weeks ago. However, the air won’t be as cold and the systems may come together farther from the coast, which would keep the storm from being as severe, he said.
“We’re going to have to watch it,” Carolan said by telephone.
The track the storm takes Feb. 23 to Feb. 24 will determine how much snow or rain Boston gets, Carolan said. The closer the system is to the coast, the more snow it will bring.
Computer forecast models are in disagreement, said Bill Simpson, a weather service meteorologist in Taunton, Massachusetts. Before the blizzard that began Feb. 8, the models started to agree on a forecast several days out, and that isn’t happening this time, he said.
The best chance for “plowable snow” is north of the Massachusetts Turnpike and west of Interstate 495 in the central part of the state, Simpson said. From the Boston area to Providence, Rhode Island, there’s a good chance the storm will produce rain as well as snow, which would keep accumulations lower, he said.
“We will know much better tomorrow,” Simpson said by telephone.
For New York, the storm will probably mean rain with some snow north and west of the city, Carolan said.