New York City is expected to receive a dusting of snow on Tuesday—no big deal for a hearty, winterized metropolis like ours that takes freezing precipitation in stride. And we might see more snowfall later this week and this weekend, depending on the whims of two giant masses of air.
Cold, dry, arctic air is pushing southeast, while a warm, wet, southern front is heading northeast. Where the twain shall meet: serious snowfall.
"Never, ever, ever trust a split flow,” one (heartbroken?) Accuweather forecaster warns in a somewhat bombastic forecast that suggests a possible 6 to 12 inches in New York from Wednesday night to Friday.
Storm Team 4 and Weather Underground are more bearish, as both are currently predicting that the cold air will effectively suppress the warm front and eliminate the potential for serious snow on Thursday and Friday.
So is the Sanitation Department's in-house meteorologist, Mitchel Volk.
"Looks like most of the snow will miss us. On Thursday and Friday it will mainly be to our south. We may get a little accumulation," Volk wrote in an email.
Bill Goodman, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in New York, is less committal.
"Right now we think we're gonna be sort of on the edge of the heavier stuff that happens to our south, but we're playing a wait and see game to see if it comes higher north. Or if the cold high pressure system to our north wins out and we stay dry. We're just not sure yet," Goodman told Gothamist.
Goodman echoed the distrust of certain traitorous masses of air.
"Lots of times, looking a couple days out, they look like they're going to stay to our south, at least the weather models say that. But in reality things come north. So we're going in between, leaving a chance of snow before we're more certain."
It should be noted that this pattern does not appear to be as serious as the storm that dropped nearly two feet of snow across the city in early February, but it's not the only one.
"This won't be the only chance," Goodman said. "We've got the Thursday and Friday to watch out for, then there's another storm over the weekend. That one's gonna be tricky too. If it passes to our west it'll be snow to rain, and if it passes to our south, maybe a chance of snow. And then there's a chance coming Tuesday of next week."
The first day of spring is March 20th, 2021.