New York City braces for storm that may end two-year snow drought
New York City, facing a historic two-year absence of significant snowfall, is preparing for a winter storm this weekend.
The storm is set to move through the United States' most populous city and across the East Coast on Saturday, potentially marking the end of a record-long, 692-day streak without more than 1 inch (2.54 cm) of snow in Central Park since February 13, 2022. The National Weather Service forecasts up to 3 inches (7.6 cm) of wet snow for parts of the city.
Bill Goodman, a New York-based meteorologist, expressed optimism about breaking the streak, noting a shift toward a more typical winter pattern after a mild start to the season. This storm could surpass the total snowfall of last winter in New York City, which saw a record low of just 2.3 inches (5.84 cm). Along with snow, the city may experience icy rain and wind gusts up to 45 miles (72 km) per hour.
New Yorkers, accustomed to handling snowfalls over a foot (30 cm), are expected to manage this weekend's storm without major difficulty. The lack of snow in recent years is seen as another indicator of climate change's impact on global weather patterns.
While snow accumulation is forecasted, the city might also experience freezing rain. The expected downpours, totaling up to 1-1/2 inches (3.8 cm), could lead to minor urban flooding and icy roads.
New York City is likely to avoid the storm's worst effects, which could bring as much as 8 inches (20 cm) of snow to parts of New York state, New Jersey, and through New England along Interstate 95. Some areas may see up to a foot of snow.
With 16 million people under a winter storm watch, officials warn of hazardous travel conditions due to snow-covered roads and potential power outages caused by downed trees and electrical lines. Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont advised on social media to avoid travel during the storm.
Boston, expecting up to 7 inches (1d8 cm) of snow, is preparing for the weekend. Mayor Michelle Wu urged residents to exercise caution but expects minimal disruption to the workweek.
The storm also brings winter weather to eastern California and the West Coast. Communities in the region could receive up to a foot (30 cm) of snow with wind gusts over 40 mph (64 kph), causing whiteout conditions.