Bloomberg News

Snow, Sleet on U.S. East Coast May Make ’A Mess’ for Travel

January 28, 2013

Snow and freezing rain expected from Washington to Boston have begun to tie up air traffic and make travel difficult in the mid-Atlantic region.

Snow that began falling in New York City today will change to sleet and then rain later today, said Tom Kines, a meteorologist with AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania. Light snow was also falling in Philadelphia, according to the National Weather Service.

‘We have a little bit of a mess coming,’’ Kines said. “It is not the type of storm that is going to bring down tree limbs or power lines but there is going to be a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain before it changes over to rain. There will be some delays caused by this.”

Winter weather advisories and storm warnings stretch from southern Maine to North Carolina and westward to the Great Lakes and Ohio, according to the weather service. New York may receive half an inch (1.2 centimeters) of sleet, while Boston may get 2 inches of snow before the rain starts to fall.

Delays of more than an hour are being reported at Philadelphia International Airport and Newark Liberty in New Jersey, the Federal Aviation Administration’s website showed. As of 9:30 a.m. East Coast time, 465 U.S. or U.S.-bound flights were scrubbed, with Newark, Toronto and New York’s LaGuardia posting the most cancellations, according to FlightAware, an air travel tracking service based in Houston.

Boston Outlook

Snow will probably begin in Boston about 2 p.m. and make the end-of-the-day commute difficult, Kines said.

“Of the major cities in that I-95 corridor, Boston is the one that is going to struggle the most to get into the moderate air,” Kines said.

After today, temperatures along the East Coast are expected to rise, shaking off last week’s cold, Kines said.

Temperatures may reach 58 degrees Fahrenheit (14 Celsius) in New York and 57 in Boston in two days, according to the Weather Service. Philadelphia’s high may reach 60 and Washington’s 62, according to the agency.

The warmer air later opens the possibility of some “wild temperature swings” in the next two weeks, said Matt Rogers, president of Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland.

Temperatures in the U.S. Northeast may drop 3 to 5 degrees below normal from Feb. 2 to Feb. 6 before rising once again from Feb. 7 to Feb. 11, Rogers said.

Weather patterns that would bottle up the cold along the U.S. East Coast aren’t developing, so the chance the frigid air will linger are small, he said.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net


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