Yasmeen Khan is a reporter covering education. You can find her stories on the air and on SchoolBook.org, WNYC’s education website.
And Now for the Slush Lakes and Falling Ice
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Warmer temperatures and a bit of rain are on tap for the next few days, a much-needed combination to help melt piles of snow.
But beware of too much of a good thing: a lot of warmth and rain could lead to flooding, since all of that snow could amount to 2.5 to 3.5 inches of water once melted, according to the National Weather Service.
Fortunately, forecasters expect the rain and above-freezing temps to arrive gently enough to work in our favor. Temperatures are expected to remain above 40 degrees during the day through the weekend, with a high above 50 in New York City on Friday.
"Snow is obviously going to melt with temperatures that warm," said David Stark with the National Weather Service. "But it’s not going to be a situation that we’re expecting any significant flooding from.”
Stark said none of the week's rain, nor the thunderstorms forecast for Friday, should last a prolonged period of time.
But while the weather is cooperating, we humans must do our part to make the most of the thaw:
- The New York City Office of Emergency Management is urging residents to make sure the catch basins around homes and apartment buildings are clear so that all of the melting snow has a place to drain. Clear gutters too.
- Remove snow and ice from roofs, overhangs and awnings. The Department of Buildings said that flat roofs can be especially vulnerable to collapse under the weight of melting snow.
- Beware of falling ice or snow from buildings. On Wednesday morning, falling ice forced police to close a couple lanes of West Street in Manhattan. Last week, falling ice from the World Trade Center shut down the main entrance to the PATH station.
- Keep putting down salt on walkways. Please! As the snow melts, the sidewalks become wet and can re-freeze and get slick overnight.
Drivers should also be careful of road conditions with the wet weather and pothole-ridden streets (though the Department of Transportation is working like crazy to fill them — close to 110,000 filled so far, more than twice the number of potholes this time last year).
Also, pedestrians should be mindful of (even more, even larger) slush puddles.