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Flights Grounded as Snow Blankets New York City Area

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Dec. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Scores of flights were grounded as a storm out of the Midwest moved into New York City with the threat of 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 centimeters) of snow.

About an inch of snow had fallen in many places around the city by mid-morning, said Joey Picca, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Upton, New York.

“Right now we’re kind of expecting on-and-off light to moderate snow during the day,” Picca said by telephone. Northern portions of the city will probably get the most.

As of 9:30 a.m., 161 flights had been canceled at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey and 51 at New York’s LaGuardia, according to FlightAware, a Houston-based airline tracking service. Across the U.S., 312 trips were scrubbed.

The snowfall was the region’s third in a week. More than 1,031 flights across the U.S. were canceled because of wintry weather over the weekend, FlightAware said.

Outside of New York, the storm is expected to bring as much as 3 inches of fluffy snow to eastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey, including Philadelphia and Trenton, the weather service said.

Snowfall Totals

New York may get less than the amount the federal agency forecast, said Rob Carolan, owner of Hometown Forecast Services Inc. in Nashua, New Hampshire. Heavier snow will develop after the storm’s energy moves out over the Atlantic, and Carolan predicted that will mostly miss New York, striking harder at Cape Ann in Massachusetts and along the coast of New Hampshire and Maine.

“Then it buries the Canadian Maritimes,” Carolan said.

Snowfall warnings of as much as 7.8 inches have been issued for New Brunswick and parts of Nova Scotia, according to Environment Canada.

Carolan said snow will start falling in southern New England about 10 a.m., spreading north into Boston by noon, with a second wave by the end of the workday. Boston can expect 2 to 4 inches, he said.

The storm won’t be a problem for Washington and Baltimore, said Tom Kines, a meteorologist with AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania.

After it passes, temperatures along the East Coast may moderate, Kines said.

“It’s going to get mild in the second half of the work week,” Kines said. “Any precipitation that falls later in the week will be primarily rain.”

A total of 43.5 percent of the contiguous U.S. was covered by snow as of today, with an average depth of 3 inches, according to the National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center in Chanhassen, Minnesota.

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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