Snow, sleet in eastern half of U.S. may make ‘a mess’ for travel

SNOW DELAYS: A TRAVELER WATCHES a crew remove snow in the Central Terminal at LaGuardia Airport in New York. Snow and freezing rain up and down the East Coast have begun to tie up air traffic and make travel difficult in the region.
Posted 1/28/13

BOSTON - 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 may begin to fall in New York City by mid-morning before changing to freezing rain and then rain later today, said Tom Kines, a meteorologist with AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania.

‘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 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 National 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, according to the Federal Aviation Administration’s website. As of 8 a.m., 405 flights were canceled in the U.S. with the most of those originating or departing Newark, according to FlightAware, an air travel tracking service based in Houston.

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

Boston outlook

“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 (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.

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.

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