New England is bracing for its third s
nowstorm global warming event in three weekends today, "putting crews to work sanding roads and trimming trees ahead of the snow, sleet and freezing rain", the news agency Reuters reports:
The storm blanketed states from Minnesota to Ohio earlier this week, dumping more than a foot (30.5 cm) of snow in Kansas on Thursday, forcing airports to cancel hundreds of flights and leaving motorists stranded on highways.
The storm was expected to pelt New England's coastal areas from northern Connecticut to southern Maine with a mix of snow and rain starting late on Friday, National Weather Service meteorologist John Foley said.
A winter storm watch forecasting heavy, wet snow was posted for Saturday afternoon through Sunday evening in southern New Hampshire, northern Rhode Island and much of Massachusetts, including the Boston metropolitan area.
The Weather Channel forecast that southern parts of Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and northern and central Massachusetts could see snowfalls of 6 inches or more over the weekend. From 2 to 5 inches of snow may fall in Boston, and the storm will likely dump rains from New York City to Philadelphia, it said.
A few days ago, the same Weather Channel reported that "Cold Snaps, Global Warming Go Hand-in-Hand":
Frigid temperatures like these are sometimes used to refute the idea that the planet as a whole is getting warmer with each passing year. That's just not so, say NASA scientists, who point out that even on a warming planet, bitterly cold temperatures and harsh winter weather will still be possible and even commonplace.
One of the reasons they can coexist is a phenomenon known as Arctic Oscillation, a phrase used to describe the interaction of the jet stream and Arctic air during the winter. It can cause unseasonably cold air masses to sweep over what are normally temperate latitudes, NASA reports, making for unusually cold and severe winter weather across many parts of the U.S.
This bitterly cold air even can make it too cold to snow across regions of the country that normally see double-digit snowfall amounts each year, the Guardian newspaper of London reported last week. Because colder air has a lower capacity for holding water than warmer air, it can be more difficult for snow to form when temperatures reach the teens and single digits.