NEW YORK — A fast-moving storm may drop as much as 3 inches of snow on New York City and parts of New England on Wednesday as the threat of a major weekend storm eases.
The first storm is moving through the Texas Panhandle and Oklahoma, where it may leave 3 to 6 inches of snow before moving into the Ohio Valley and the Northeast, said Tom Kines, a meteorologist with AccuWeather Inc. New York and parts of New Jersey, Long Island, southern Connecticut and Rhode Island may receive 1 to 3 inches.
“The extent of the snow probably isn’t big with this system; it will be a narrow ribbon of snow from the Texas panhandle to the Northeast,” Kines said by telephone from State College, Pa. “It could be enough to disrupt travel for a few hours. It probably stays south of Boston.”
Another system set to move across the continent during the week and then off the coast this weekend has forecasters trying to determine if it’s going to be a threat to the Northeast.
The National Weather Service believes the storm will move too far out to sea to bring snow to the coast, said Bob Oravec, lead forecaster for the agency in College Park, Md.
“There is some potential for it, but there’s potential that it could be offshore,” Oravec said by telephone. “It doesn’t take a lot to go from a significant storm to nothing, and that is one of the dilemmas that we’re having with our forecast.”
A model by the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts suggests the storm will go too far out to sea to be a threat, said Matt Rogers, president of Commodity Weather Group in Bethesda, Md. The European model accurately predicted last week’s blizzard and Hurricane Sandy’s turn into the East Coast in October.
Other computer models are beginning to agree with the European one, Rogers said. That may mean no travel impediments for the Feb. 18 Presidents Day holiday.
“Risks for an East Coast holiday weekend winter storm continue to diminish significantly,” Rogers said.
The Northeast still is recovering from a blizzard that lashed the region starting Feb. 8. The storm dropped 31.9 inches on Portland, Maine, a record for a single storm; 24.9 inches on Boston, the fifth-most on record; and 40 inches on Hamden, Conn., according to the National Weather Service. At least seven people died, about 613,000 customers from Maine to New York were without power and travel was crippled.
The overall pattern right now favors more storms along the Northeast, Kines said.
“It’s not a tranquil pattern,” Kines said. “If you are a snow lover and you like snowstorms, this is a pretty good pattern for you because there is a lot of potential.”
Doan reported from San Francisco.