Ice storm could make NYC streets, sidewalks treacherous


The skies won’t be showing New Yorkers much love this Valentine’s Day, as the region gets pelted with a wintry mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain.

Starting Saturday afternoon, the messy mixed precipitation will start falling in a storm that will continue through late morning on Sunday. Temperatures will remain in the upper 20s through Saturday, dropping into the low 20s overnight.

The area might not get more than a coating or an inch of snow, but drivers and walkers can expect roads and sidewalks to be slick, said Dan Pydynowski, a senior meteorologist with Accuweather.

The odd combination of rain and below freezing temperatures is coming because there’s a pocket of warmer air between the ground and the clouds, Pydynowski said.

“What really matters in terms of precipitation type is not just the surface temperature, but also what’s going on above your head, well up in the atmosphere,” he explained.

The warm layer will melt snow that falls from the clouds, and it won’t have time to completely refreeze when it hits the colder air closer to the surface. That means it will come down as sleet or frozen rain rather than snow.

The mix could make driving treacherous and walking around the city a bit dicey.

snow valentines day
The skies won’t be showing New Yorkers much love this Valentine’s Day.
Dan Herrick

Problems are likely to continue into the work week, as well. Pydynowski said a similar storm is on the way for Monday into Tuesday. “Again, like this one, we’re not necessarily looking at snow, probably mix of snow and ice, or more icing,” he said. That could mean dangerous commutes Monday evening and Tuesday morning.