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Snow Ending in Chicago as Winter Storm Moves to Northeast

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March 12 (Bloomberg) -- A winter storm out of the Midwest grounded more than 1,000 flights as it moved to the Northeast with rain for New York and ice for Boston.

About 6 inches (15 centimeters) of snow fell in Chicago before the storm ended there, the National Weather Service said. The system was expected to track over New York and into southern New England during the day, leaving snow on its north side and rain along its center and to the south, said Rob Carolan, owner of Hometown Forecast Services Inc. in Nashua, New Hampshire.

“For Boston, New York and Philadelphia this is mainly a rain storm with some ice on the tail end,” Carolan said. Heavier snowfall was forecast for northern New England and into eastern Canada.

Across the U.S., 1,092 flights were canceled as of 11:45 a.m. New York time, said FlightAware, a Houston-based airline tracking company. About half were into or out of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.

Winter storm warnings extended from Indiana to Maine, with blizzard warnings posted for western New York, according to the weather service. Alerts also stretched from Ontario to Newfoundland, Environment Canada reported.

Rain in New York and Boston may change to snow overnight before ending tomorrow morning, though little is expected to accumulate, the weather service said.

“The snow on the backside doesn’t look impressive for Boston or New York City,” Carolan said.

Blizzard Warning

Across northern New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, heavy snow may fall. A blizzard warning from lakes Erie and Ontario through much of western New York predicts Rochester may get 19 inches through tomorrow while Buffalo receives 17, the weather service said.

Carolan said 8 to 16 inches were possible across the Adirondacks into New England, with some mountain areas getting more than 20 inches.

In the wake of the storm, a cold front is expected to drop through the U.S., sending temperatures plummeting, Carolan said.

The low in Boston tonight is forecast to be 18 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 8 Celsius), according to the weather service. Chicago may reach 14; New York, 20; and Washington, 22.

Across New England and upstate New York, daytime highs may be only in the teens tomorrow.

“For mid-March, that is pretty ridiculous,” Carolan said.

The passage of the front will also cause high winds to develop from Texas to New Jersey, and that may cause additional delays for air travelers today, Carolan said.

Wind advisories covered parts of 24 states from Pennsylvania to Florida and west to New Mexico, the weather service said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian K. Sullivan in Boston at bsullivan10@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net Charlotte Porter, Richard Stubbe

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