Bloomberg News

Storm Aims Snow at New York City, Boston as Heads to Sea

March 08, 2013

Storm Aims Snow at New York City, Boston as It Exits to Se

A satellite image shows a winter storm hitting the U.S. mid-Atlantic region. Source: NOAA-NASA/Rex via AP

New York City may get 5 inches of snow and Boston 10 inches as a wet, windy storm moves out to sea after canceling more than 4,000 flights, confounding forecasters and leaving snow from the Midwest to the East Coast.

New York was expected to get 1 to 5 inches (3 to 13 centimeters) of snow today from the system that has pushed a storm surge on to the coast from Delaware to Massachusetts, sending sea water over roads.

“The large winter storm slowly moving away from the Northeast coast will continue to bring a plethora of hazards to the Northeast” through early tomorrow, the National Weather Service said in a forecast. “Strong winds, high waves and coastal flooding will impact the coast from New Jersey to Maine, while heavy snow is forecast across inland locations.”

High winds contributed to the cancellation of 490 flights yesterday and 99 more today as of 9:06 a.m. London time, according to FlightAware, an airline tracking service in Houston. Today’s cancellations included 30 flights at LaGuardia Airport in New York City and 19 at Boston’s Logan International.

More than 4,000 flights were canceled across the U.S. from March 4 through March 6 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.

Slippery Roads

Boston may receive 6 to 10 inches, while its immediate suburbs get 8 to 12, according to the weather service.

“Untreated roads will become snow-covered and slippery,” according to a winter storm warning. “Strong winds and wet snow may result in scattered power outages.”

Snow fell in eastern Massachusetts throughout yesterday with little accumulation near the coast. As of 1 p.m. yesterday, 1 inch had fallen at Boston’s Logan airport on the city’s harbor, while 7 inches were on the ground in Mansfield, about 30 miles south-southwest, according to the weather service.

The system will be followed by milder weather in the Northeast, Tom Kines, a meteorologist with AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania, said yesterday.

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.

Snowfall Fail

An expected heavy snowfall for Washington and Baltimore that closed federal offices March 5 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, said Calvin Meadows, a meteorological technician for the weather service in Sterling, Virginia.

The storm has caused moderate flooding along the New Jersey coast, where a coastal flood warning remains in effect until 9 a.m. today, 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 yesterday.

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

Flooding Threat

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.

Police in Marshfield, Massachusetts, on the coast 30 miles south of Boston, patrolled flooded areas of the Brant Rock neighborhood in Humvees yesterday, 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 8 a.m. today in Marshfield, where residents were advised to stay off the roads and school schedules were delayed by two hours to “avoid the height of the storm,” according to the police department.

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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