New York City Spared Worst Of Storm, Slams Washington D.C. Instead

New York City was braced for yet another heavy snowfall over the weekend, but much to the relief of winter-weary New Yorkers, received just a light dusting as the major storm took a sharp right turn and headed south, directly for Washington D.C.

The largest snow accumulation in New York City registered at JFK airport, a mere 0.6 inches.

But the jet stream that blew in and knocked the storm away from New York City will charge a stiff price for its services. The cold air mass it brings with it will keep New York in its grip until mid-week, with temperatures expected to remain the 20s through Wednesday — that’s about 20 degrees colder than average for this time of the season.

The good news for the weather-scarred denizens of New York City is that by Friday and Saturday, somewhat milder temperatures should prevail, with AccuWeather predicting the thermometer to register in the 40s by the weekend.

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At the same time, AccuWeather forecasters reminded New Yorkers to check weather updates regularly when a storm is coming, because conditions can change quickly. That’s exactly what happened this weekend.

“If you heard a foot of snow was in the forecast Friday and did not check for updates over the weekend, then woke to see no snow Monday morning, you might think that no storm had ever formed,” said AccuWeather’s Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams.

That’s exactly what happened when New York City woke up Monday morning to find almost no snow had fallen despite predictions that a new storm system would dump several inches on the Big Apple.

According to Abrams, the cold, dry air sweeping in from the north pushed the storm system south, but data that would have enabled forecasters to make that call was not available when meteorologists made their initial predictions of heavy New York snow last week.

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“As the storm moved onshore in the West and we knew more about its nature, the forecasts improved farther to the east,” said Abrams. “This is an example as to why it is important to look at forecast updates as often as possible, whenever you have a weather-sensitive decision to make.”

Washington D.C. and Baltimore ended up directly in the path of the storm originally expected to slam New York City. The nation’s capital was covered by up to four inches of snow by 11:30 am Monday morning, with slippery roads, flight cancellations and government office closures wreaking havoc on the daily routine of that city.

New York City should not rest too easy yet, however. A new storm could bring another blast of snow on Thursday.

[Images Via Flicker By vpickering and Tim Evanson]