Washington, Mid-Atlantic Could Get Season’s First Snow Wednesday

The U.S. Mid-Atlantic could have its first chance to break out the snow shovels this season as a storm sweeps up the East Coast Wednesday and Thursday, but New York could get mainly rain with a few flakes as the system winds down.

There’s a 70% chance southeast Pennsylvania and northwestern New Jersey will get at least 4 inches (10 centimeters) of snow, with a wider area from Virginia to New England, including Washington with a 50% chance, said David Roth, a senior branch forecaster at the U.S.Weather Prediction Center.

“Some of the guidance has gotten snowier,” Roth said.

Currently, the forecast calls for the storm to move parallel to the coast, which would leave New York mainly with rain, although a shift could change the outcome. This would be the first snow for Washington since a trace fell last February. New York has been dusted a few times in the last month, while New England has had at least two storms that left the landscape white.

Winter storms caused $2.1 billion in insured losses across the U.S. last year and about $3 billion in 2018, according to Munich Re. The snowy and icy weather also snarls airline, highway and rail traffic, as well as creating power outages and affecting retail sales. In 2019, 13 peopled died across the U.S. from winter weather, according to the National Weather Service.

There are some modeled outlooks calling for a large area of heavy snow from the storm.

“There are explicit models that go crazy, but those are low-probability outliers,” Roth said.

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