New York Could Dodge the Worst of Wednesday’s East Coast Snow

The large cities along the Mid-Atlantic, including New York, could dodge the worst of the snow from a system set to sweep up the East Coast Wednesday, although the picture isn’t as clear in Boston or the rest of New England.

Forecasts have shifted the rain-snow line along Interstate 95, which means the heaviest accumulation will occur to the north and west of the cities. For parts of eastern Pennsylvania and upstate New York, there is a 50% chance as much as 12 inches (30 centimeters) of snow could fall, said David Roth, a senior branch forecaster with the U.S. Weather Prediction Center.

“There’s been a subtle shift that makes the snowfall reflect climatology, so a lower chance in D.C., a lower chance in Philly,” Roth said. “It is looking more like I-95 west.”

The main part of the storm that will cause Wednesday’s snow is still in the Pacific off the U.S. West Coast, and as it comes ashore the forecast will become clearer. Slight shifts in its ultimate track up the East Coast will determine if one area gets snow or rain — this is what makes the situation for Boston and New England tricky, because that transition zone is closer to the shoreline.

If the track bends west, for instance, rain will reach much farther inland, Roth said.

Winter storms caused $2.1 billion in insured losses across the U.S. last year and about $3 billion in 2018, according to Munich Re. The snowy and icy weather also snarls airline, highway and rail traffic, as well as creating power outages and affecting retail sales. In 2019, 13 people died across the U.S. from winter weather, according to the National Weather Service.

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