Boston Snow Threat Lessens as Systems Away From Land

A storm threatening Boston with 3 to 6 inches (8 to 15 centimeters) of snow over the weekend isn’t developing with the power forecasters first expected, said Frank Nocera, a National Weather Service meteorologist.

A low-pressure system moving north from Florida had been expected to merge off the Atlantic coast with a Midwestern storm, bringing snow, rain and high winds to New England, Nocera said. Forecasters now predict the systems will join farther out to sea, giving the area a smaller storm to deal with.

“It’s not looking like a big storm, not like we saw two weeks ago,” Nocera said by telephone from his office in Taunton, Massachusetts. “The storm is trending weaker and moving further offshore.”

New York City will get mainly rain starting tonight into tomorrow, said Dan Hoffman, a weather service meteorologist in Upton, New York.

“You could see some flakes at the beginning and at the end, but nothing is going to stick,” Hoffman said. “It’s not a major storm; it’s an inconvenience for the weekend.”

Two weeks ago, a blizzard swept through New England, killing at least seven people and dropping 24.9 inches of snow on Boston. The storm in the Midwest is winding down after bringing more than a foot of snow to parts of the Great Plains over the past two days, according to the weather service.

Less Snow

Because the new storm is expected to be less powerful and may be farther out to sea than first predicted, the area of heavy snowfall on land will be much narrower, Nocera said.

As much as 10 inches may fall from the central Massachusetts city of Worcester into southern New Hampshire, according to the weather service. Six to 8 inches are possible in Boston’s western suburbs.

“Typically there is not much uncertainty this close to the event,” Nocera said. “The rain-snow line is going to be very close to the Boston area, and that makes it, for Boston, a tough forecast.”

Nocera said snow will start falling in the Boston area late tomorrow and continue through the next day.

A winter storm watch takes effect from Massachusetts through southern New Hampshire and Maine tomorrow afternoon and ends by midday the day after, according to the weather service.

Most of the snow will be the result of a storm that has triggered flood watches and warnings from parts of Louisiana to South Carolina.

The system that brought 13.5 inches of snow to Hannibal, Missouri, contributed to 1,364 canceled flights across the U.S. in the past two days, according to FlightAware, a Houston-based airline tracking company.

Kansas City International Airport was closed yesterday because of the system. Delays of more than 90 minutes were reported at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, the Federal Aviation Administration said on its website.

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