Weakening Snowstorm Heads Northeast After Hitting Midwest

A winter storm that dropped a record 19 inches (48 centimeters) of snow in Amarillo, Texas, headed toward the U.S. Northeast with less staying power.

The second major storm for the central U.S. in two weeks blanketed the southern Great Plains with well over a foot of snow, causing more than 1,000 flights to be canceled. Winter storm warnings and advisories covered parts of 19 states from Kansas to Maine late yesterday, agency data showed. Ice storm warnings were in effect for parts of West Virginia.

Wheat in Chicago dropped to the lowest level in eight months yesterday as the storm system eased drought conditions in the world’s largest exporter. Wheat conditions in Kansas improved in February because of snow, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Feb. 25.

“It’s just not going to last long enough” to produce the amounts recorded in Texas and across the Great Plains in the past 24 hours, said Richard Castro, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Romeoville, Illinois.

Chicago will probably receive 2 to 5 inches by the time the heaviest snow ends, Castro said. The storm was expected to bring moderate to heavy snow to the middle Mississippi River Valley, the upper Great Lakes and the northeastern U.S.

Wheat for delivery in May traded at $7.13 a bushel at 12:38 p.m. in Singapore today, with most-active prices down 8.4 percent in 2013. The grain dropped to $6.9775 yesterday, the lowest price since June 25.

Canceled Flights

As of 7:37 p.m. New York time yesterday, 1,217 flights were canceled across the U.S., including 545 at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago and 182 at Kansas City International, according to FlightAware, an airline-tracking company. Both airports were open late yesterday, according to their websites.

The storm closed parts of Interstate 40 in Texas and the airports in Lubbock and Amarillo. Both airports have reopened, the Federal Aviation Administration said on its website. Amarillo received a record snowfall for the date of Feb. 25, breaking a mark set in 1903, according to the weather service.

The storm dropped 18 inches of snow on Fort Supply, Oklahoma; 10 inches on Carbondale, Kansas; and 11.2 inches on Warrensburg, Missouri, according to the U.S. Hydrometeorological Prediction Center. The storm’s south side brought gusty wind and heavy rain, including 5.87 inches at Panama City Beach, Florida.

The storm will lose power as it travels east and bumps up against an area of high pressure, said Rob Carolan, founder and meteorologist at Hometown Forecast Services Inc. in Nashua, New Hampshire.

The Boston area may get an inch of snow while parts of New Hampshire may receive more than 6 inches, Carolan said. Rain or wet snow will start falling in Boston early today, he said. Warmer air will keep the precipitation to rain in many places and make it hard for the snow that develops to stick to the ground, he said.

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