New York Weather Outlook Is Cloudy: It’s Snow, or Maybe Rain

After a frigid weekend, New York and the Northeast face an uncertain start to the work week as weather models grapple with the outlook for either snow or rain.

The exact track of a weather system that drenched California will determine whether New York streets and sidewalks are covered with snow or rain puddles, said Rob Carolan, owner of Hometown Forecast Services Inc. Chicago may face as much as 9 inches (23 centimeters) of heavy, wet snow starting Saturday, and a winter-storm watch has been posted, the National Weather Service said.

The best chance of a change to rain is in coastal New Jersey, New York City and into southern New England, said Carolan, who provides forecasts for Bloomberg Radio. Areas north and west of Interstate 95 “have a good chance for accumulating snow over 5 inches,” he said.

The storm is starting to wind down in California after causing flooding rain and snow by the foot in moutrain areas, the National Weather Service said. As the system moves across the West, meteorologists can take a closer look to sharpen the forecast for New York and the East Coast, Carolan said.

Weather models aren’t clear on how much snow will eventually fall, Carolan said. This season, Central Park in New York had 10.6 inches of snow, or 0.7 inch below normal.

Snow may start in Washington late Saturday and overnight on Jan. 31 in and into Feb. 1 in New York before a shift to rain in both cities. Boston won’t start to get the impact of the storm until late Feb. 1. The storm’s ultimate track may alter the final precipitation tallies.

“It is moving slow,” Carolan said.

Before the storm, New York and the Northeast face some of the coldest weather of the season. Temperatures in Central Park reached 16 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 9 degrees Celsius) just before dawn on Friday, and lows were forecast to stay in the teens through Jan. 31, according to the weather service.

Temperatures in Boston were 9 degrees at 7 a.m. Friday and 25 degrees in Washington.

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