The New Year will begin with a light fluffy snowfall across much of the U.S. Northeast, including Boston and New York, that will give way to the coldest temperatures so far this season.
New York City, Long Island and northern New Jersey may receive 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 centimeters) of snow, most of it falling Jan. 2-3, while Boston could get 9 inches, said Rob Carolan, owner of Hometown Forecast Services Inc.
“It looks like a moderate snow,” Carolan said by telephone from Nashua, New Hampshire. “Coastal New England will see the greatest impact.”
A hazardous weather outlook warning of snow later in the week has been issued for much of Pennsylvania through New York and into New England, according to the National Weather Service. The agency hasn’t made snowfall predictions for the area yet.
Carolan said there had been some disagreement over the intensity of the storm among computer models earlier in the week. A model popular in Europe called for a heavy snowfall, then backed away from that.
In New York, snow will probably start falling between 2 to 6 a.m. on Jan. 2 and continue through the next day, Carolan said.
“The worst of it for New York will be the Thursday ride home,” he said.
In Boston, snow will start later on Jan. 2.
To the west, Chicago faces as much as 6 inches of snow starting later today, according to the weather service. A winter storm advisory has been issued from northern Iowa to Ohio. Snow is expected to start in Chicago later today and continue through tomorrow, according to the weather service.
For New Year’s Eve revelers, Carolan said Times Square in New York will be partly cloudy tonight with temperatures in the low 20s when 2013 officially ends.
By the end of the week, the high in New York Jan. 3 will be 18 degrees, said AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania. Boston might not get above 14, while dropping below zero for the day’s low, AccuWeather said.
The European forecast models are “suggesting cold intensities in the Midwest to East Coast not seen for several years,” Matt Rogers, president of Commodity Weather Group in Bethesda, Maryland, said in a note to clients today.
For eastern Massachusetts and southern New England, “there is the potential for wind chills of 15 to 25 below late Thursday night into early Saturday,” the weather service said.