Bloomberg News

Fizzled Washington Storm Showering Boston With Rain, Snow

March 07, 2013

Boston may get 4 to 6 inches of snow from a wet, windy storm that has scrubbed more than 300 flights in the Northeast and flooded the Northeast coast from Delaware to Massachusetts.

West of Boston and south to Providence, Rhode Island, 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 centimeters) may fall, according to the National Weather Service in Taunton, Massachusetts. One to 3 inches may accumulate in New York City after dark.

“It is not going to be snowing or raining heavily the entire time,” said Tom Kines, a meteorologist with AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania. “Temperatures are going to play a big role in how much snow accumulates. At least during the daylight hours it may have a tough time accumulating on the roads.”

High winds contributed to the cancellation of 396 airline trips as of 1 p.m. New York time, according to FlightAware, an airline tracking service in Houston. Of those, 150 were at LaGuardia Airport, 92 at Newark Liberty International in New Jersey and 40 at Boston’s Logan International.

In addition, flights to Newark were being delayed as long as 1 hour and 41 minutes because of high wind, according to the Federal Aviation Administration’s website.

Thousands Canceled

More than 4,000 flights were canceled across the U.S. from March 4 through yesterday as the storm moved out of the Plains and Midwest, dropping 9.2 inches of snow at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, as much as 24 inches in the mountains of West Virginia and about 5 inches in Fairfax County, Virginia, just outside of Washington.

The system will be followed by milder weather in the Northeast, Kines said.

“If we can make it through Friday, we have some good weather coming,” Kines said.

The high temperature in Boston is expected to reach 48 degrees Fahrenheit (9 Celsius) by March 11, according to the weather service. In New York it should reach into the 50s in Central Park over the weekend and be 55 degrees on March 11.

An expected heavy snowfall for Washington and Baltimore that closed federal offices yesterday failed to materialize. A layer of warm air over Washington and central Maryland kept the snow light and made sure a steady rain was mixed in, Calvin Meadows, a meteorological technician for the National Weather Service in Sterling, Virginia, said.

Shore Flooding

The storm has caused moderate flooding along the New Jersey coast, where a coastal flood warning remains in effect until tomorrow at 9 a.m., according to Mitchell Gaines, a weather service meteorologist in Mount Holly, New Jersey.

“The worst of the coastal flooding has occurred but there could be some minor coastal flooding events over the next 24 to 36 hours,” Gaines said by telephone.

Water was reported on streets in Monmouth and Ocean counties in New Jersey and Sussex County in Delaware, he said.

The Massachusetts coast faces a day of above-normal tides and the threat of flooding of homes and roads along its east- facing shoreline, said Scott Kaplan, a meteorologist with Hometown Forecast Services Inc. in Nashua, New Hampshire.

“A dangerous coastal flood situation is taking shape for this morning through Friday’s high tides along the eastern Massachusetts coast,” the National Weather Service said. “Some evacuations may be needed as a precaution.”

Flooded Roads

Police in Marshfield, Massachusetts, on the coast about 30 miles south of Boston, patrolled flooded areas of the Brant Rock in Humvees, while at least two roads in the town of Hull were impassable because of water, according to the town’s emergency management department.

The next high tide is expected at 7:37 p.m. in Marshfield, where National Guard troops are standing by to assist, according to the police department.

“The next two high tide cycles will likely cause significant flooding,” the department said on its website. “We stress the need for people to avoid the area around Brant Rock during the storm.”

Block Island, off Rhode Island, may experience coastal erosion because the shoreline was weakened by Hurricane Sandy in October, according to the weather service.

To contact the reporters on this story: Brian K. Sullivan in Boston at bsullivan10@bloomberg.net; Lynn Doan in San Francisco at ldoan6@bloomberg.net

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


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