Storm to Drop Snow, Ice and Rain on New York

(Bloomberg) -- A quick moving front that shut government offices in Washington and grounded more than a thousand U.S. flights is expected to leave New York commuters slipping and sliding on the way home Wednesday.

Snow began falling across Washington and New York and will leave as much as 4 inches (10 centimeters) before it changes to sleet, freezing rain and, finally, all rain, said Bryan Jackson, a forecaster with the U.S. Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.

In New York “it should change over to sleet during the evening rush, about 5 p.m.,” Jackson said. On Thursday, the sun will return and temperatures could reach as high as 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 Celsius) and may be even warmer in Washington, he said.

The storm has closed U.S. government offices across Washington, according to the Office of Personnel Management. More than 1,900 flights were canceled around the U.S. as of noon local time, with the majority of those in Washington, Baltimore and New York area airports, according to FlightAware, an airline tracking service in Houston.

Winter storm warnings and weather advisories stretched from Nebraska to Maine early Wednesday. Light snow was falling in Chicago, but very little accumulation was expected.

Flood watches and warnings were posted across the Ohio and lower Mississippi River valleys. Major flooding was expected on the Ohio River at Cairo, Illinois, by Saturday, the weather service said. The Ohio joins the Mississippi River at Cairo, and the bulge of water will then move south through Memphis, Natchez, and Baton Rouge by next week.

Power prices in New York City and Washington, D.C. surged as demand to heat homes and offices rose. In New York City, electricity prices climbed 68 percent to $60.84 a megawatt-hour, according to Genscape data. That’s the highest for the hour since Feb. 2. On the PJM grid that covers Washington, power rose 65 percent to $36.22 a megawatt-hour.

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