On the first day of spring, the fourth nor’easter in a month is barreling toward the Big Apple, where it is expected to dump as much as 10 inches of snow and disrupt travel Wednesday.
A winter storm warning is in effect from 12 a.m. Wednesday until 8 a.m. Thursday, with heavy snow and winds of about 45 mph expected, according to AccuWeather. “The wintry mix during the evening commute will change to all snow overnight (Wednesday) as the temperatures fall to the upper 20s,” AccuWeather meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski said.
The snow will intensify during the day Wednesday and is expected to cause problems for commuters, as well as flight delays and cancellations, she added.
Before the system heads off to Nantucket early Thursday, between 6 and 10 inches of snow may blanket the city — and even more in the northern surburbs, where more than a foot is expected.
By Thursday morning, temperatures in the low 30s — about 20 degrees lower than normal for this time of year — will still make travel treacherous because of frozen spots on roads.
The jet stream, the upper-level river of air that guides weather, is stuck in a plummeting pattern that brings plenty of moisture from the south up the East Coast, said Brian Hurley, senior forecaster at the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center.
Four nor’easters in three weeks is highly unusual, but it happens when a pattern locks in, Hurley said.
Officials are warning against unnecessary travel Wednesday afternoon and evening, when snow could be falling as fast as 3 inches an hour.
Widespread power outages are possible, especially Wednesday, with high gusts.
On March 2, the first nor’easter canceled thousands of flights and disrupted the region’s commuter rail systems, including Amtrak, which shut down its Northeast Corridor.
Five days later, the second nor’easter knocked power out for hundreds of thousands of people in New Jersey and the Hudson Valley, according to WNBC.
And the third, on March 12, grazed most of the tri-state but slammed Long Island and Connecticut with as much as 18 inches of snow.
At least three people in the tri-state were killed in the three nor’easters.
A 11-year-old Hudson Valley boy was hit by a tree, an 88-year-old woman was hit by a tree outside her Hudson Valley home, and a New Jersey driver was electrocuted when he drove onto a live wire, the station reported.
“Upper-level patterns like this tend to repeat and you tend to get these serial storms, one after the other,” meteorologist Ryan Maue said
But “the calendar is catching up to spring,” Maue said. “Thankfully, you’re going to see some spring pretty soon.”