Tomorrow is March, which means we have crept dangerously close to spring without ever enjoying a real winter snowstorm. This troubles me. Every time the experts warn that big menacing weather systems might bury our city up to its knees, we end up with a disappointing riff on Wintry Mix that basically just dampens the sidewalks and sometimes slicks the streets with ice. With the possible exception of The Squall, we have been dealt an unimpressive snow showing, walloped by absolutely uncalled-for winds when we should be bracing for a blizzard.
It's just been disappointment after disappointment, so it is with many reservations that I report: It might snow this weekend, not once but twice, probably without either event amounting to much. Although NBC 4 New York's storm team warns that the "biggest threat looms" on Sunday night, I maintain my skepticism.
Our first flurry attack may come as soon as tonight, when—according to the National Weather Service—we are looking at a chance of accumulation between .3 and .4 inches, starting around 1 a.m. and lingering until tomorrow afternoon. Temps, meanwhile, may hover in the low-to mid 30s, sneaking up to about 38 on Saturday.
The NWS forecasts a small chance of snow on Saturday evening, upping those odds to full chance of .5 inches to 1 inch by 11 a.m. on Sunday. Starting around 9 p.m. on Sunday, snow becomes "likely," and could continue into Monday morning. Interspersed throughout all of this, we have the possibility-to-probability of rain, indicating that this won't be the fun, fluffy snow you can make shapes from.
Storm Team 4 notes that, despite the eye-catching headline, it's really too soon to tell what might happen this weekend. On Sunday, the city will be "right on the mix line," and while the morning might bring a flimsy snow sprinkling, whether or not we enjoy a powder blanket depends on which way the system tracks. Personally my bet is that it tracks in the boring rain direction, but then this winter has broken my spirit, so.
Anyway, the Sanitation Department issued a butt-covering snow alert for Friday at 1 a.m., just in case. Whereas the weather events that followed the November Surprise elicited detailed action plans from various city departments, outlining the newly instated FULL SNOW RESPONSE, this particular alert reads a little thin:
In a snow alert, DSNY coordinates with NYC Emergency Management and the Department of Transportation on snow clearing protocol in accordance with each agency's written snow plan. All relevant city agencies have been notified of the snow alert. DSNY will continue to monitor forecasts and will provide updates as the snow event approaches.
All winter weather information and information about the City's response to the storm can be found by visiting the City's Severe Weather website at www.nyc.gov/severeweather or by calling 311. New Yorkers are also encouraged to sign up for the Notify NYC, the City's free emergency notification system. Through Notify NYC, New Yorkers can sign up to receive phone calls, text messages, and emails alerts about severe weather events and emergencies.
Pretty uninspired stuff, if you ask me. A series of lackluster dustings seem to have sapped the excitement from the city's once-novel-now-obligatory snowverdrive mode, and honestly, same. I suppose I will see you in April when we get our first real blizzard of 2019.