The East Coast is bracing for Wednesday's big snow storm. New York is expected to bear the brunt this time, with airlines already canceling flights in the region and schools shut for the day.
Cities in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast are getting ready for Snowmageddon Part II.
Only this time, the sequel to the snowstorm that dumped 30 inches of snow in the Washington area is expected to deposit a wet heavy mix on cities that were spared last time - New York and Boston, for example.
Since the snow may degenerate into blizzard conditions, weather analysts are warning there could be lengthy air traffic delays, huge traffic backups, and a long day for snowplow operators. Already, many school districts have canceled classes for Wednesday. And utility crews are gearing up for the thousands of people who could potentially lose their power when wet sloppy snow topples trees onto power lines.
"This will be quite a disruptive storm," says Joe Lundberg, a senior meteorologist at AccuWeather in State College, Pa. "There is just the question of how much snow we are going to get."
His initial forecasts envision more than a foot of snow in the New York metro area, six to 12 inches in Washington and Baltimore, more than a foot in Philadelphia, and perhaps a foot of the white stuff in Boston and Providence, too. Making matters worse, the storm will have high winds, gusting as much as 40 miles per hour.
That could produce high drifts and also result in power outages.
The timing of the storm is creating problems for some cities. In New York, Mayor Michael Bloomberg at a press conference Tuesday pointed out that the worst of the storm will come in the afternoon. As a result, New York decided to cancel school rather than risk trying to get children home in a blizzard.
"The storm is coming in at just the wrong time," says Mr. Bloomberg.
Airlines cancel flights
The transportation system is likely to feel the first effects. Airlines will start to "cordon off" the snowy areas of the country, says Alan Bender, a professor of aeronautics at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla. …