Commuters in New York will probably see the worst of a storm that will strike at the beginning of the workweek, spreading snow, sleet and ice from Boston to Washington, forecasters said.
There’s at least a 30 percent chance for 8 inches (20 centimeters) of snow in New York from late Sunday, March 2, into March 3, the National Weather Service said. The agency will release specific accumulation forecasts tomorrow because the track of the storm is still in doubt, said Lauren Nash, a meteorologist for the agency in Upton, New York.
“We have seen quite a few storms that have gone from something to nothing and nothing to something this year,” Nash said.
Wave after wave of winter storms have grounded tens of thousands of flights, frozen pipes, collapsed roofs and disrupted business across the U.S. Insured losses reached more than $1.5 billion since Jan. 1, according to the Insurance Information Institute in New York.
The timing of the next storm is almost certain to disrupt the morning commute on March 3 as well as scrub flights at airports across the Northeast.
“It’s a great way to start the week,” said Tom Kines, a meteorologist with AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania.
So far this winter, 57.3 inches of snow has fallen in Central Park, making the season the seventh-snowiest on record, according to the weather service. The worst winter for snow was 1995-96 when 75.6 inches fell.
“Right now, if they get 6 inches of snow or more they will have their second-snowiest winter on record,” said Rob Carolan, owner of Hometown Forecast Services Inc. in Nashua, New Hampshire.
What the storm will do and how it affects the cities along the East Coast will depend on its track and where the boundary of a cold front sets up, Carolan said. It currently looks as though Boston will receive all snow, while Philadelphia and Washington will get a mix of snow, sleet and rain.
“We’re leaning to most of it being snow in New York,” Carolan said.
Snow totals in Boston might peak at about 6 inches because it may be too far north to get enough of the heavy snow, Kines said. Philadelphia may also only receive about 6 inches because the storm will start as rain and sleet there.
“But inbetween those cities at least 6 inches seems like a pretty sure bet,” Kines said. “With the upside potential, you are probably talking 10 or 12 inches, which would include New York City.”
The storm will arrive in Washington and Philadelphia late on March 2 and in New York sometime overnight, Kines said. Boston will start to have snow on the morning of March 3.
“When you get down to Washington, D.C., they are going to have a mix of freezing rain and sleet there,” Kines said. “Even though they don’t get the big snow accumulations, they are going to have to deal with the ice.”
The system will start dropping snow tomorrow across the Midwest, Kines said. Chicago will be on the northern fringe and may pick up a few inches.
A winter storm warning has been issued from eastern Kansas and Oklahoma to western Pennsylvania.