The great blizzard of Jan. 26-27, 2015 that was predicted to bury New York under 18-24" of snow (some forecasts called for 24-30") brought just under ten inches, making it a big flop. Although this was a significant accumulation (in fact it was the biggest storm of the winter) it was a pittance compared to what had been advertised. A contrite National Weather Service even issued an apology to New York's mayor, who, based on its forecast, called the storm one of "historic proportions." He ordered schools closed and urged businesses to let employees work from home. Meanwhile the governor of New York ordered the City's transit system shut down as well. You can add this storm to the list of nine other storms since 1980 that were billed as blockbusters but then petered out (or brought rain instead of snow).
WINTER STORMS THAT DIDN'T DELIVER
Jan. 15, 1983 - A predicted snowstorm failed to materialize as temperatures stayed above freezing (the day's high/low was 36/33). The combination of drizzle and wet snow (one inch) that fell between mid-morning and mid-afternoon amounted to 0.65" of liquid precipitation in Central Park. This would have produced about half a foot of snow had the temperature been a few degrees colder. Although suburbs north and west of the City received significant snowfall, snow lovers in NYC would have to wait another month for a substantial snowfall (the blizzard of Feb. 11-12).
March 28-29, 1984 - A big coastal storm had potential to dump substantial amounts over a number of days. And while 3.5" did fall, it fell sporadically and was interspersed with periods of rain.
Dec. 17, 1989 - During one of the coldest and driest Decembers on record this was going to be a big snow producer, but the storm moved too far off the coast. And what precipitation there was fell mostly as rain, and just 0.7" of the white stuff was measured.
March 13, 1993 - Although 10.6 inches of snow piled up from the ferocious storm billed as the "Storm of the Century", the predicted 15-18" didn't materialize because of a changeover to sleet and then rain in the early evening.
Jan 17, 1994 - This winter storm sucked in more mild air than expected, resulting in a mostly rain event (after starting as a brief period of snow that accumulated 1.3"). 1.34" of precipitation fell in total, a record for the date. The temperature rose sharply, from 12° at midnight to 47° by early afternoon, and began tumbling later as another Arctic air mass moved in.
March 31, 1997 - There was early talk of significant snowfall, but the City received only rain (2.32") as the temperature stayed above freezing (winds gusted between 40 and 50 mph). Boston, meanwhile, was buried by 25 inches of snow on April Fool's Day.
March 6, 2001 - At one point 12-18" of snow was predicted from what the Weather Channel labeled "The March Lion" and City schools were closed before the storm even began as a precautionary measure. And while parts of Long Island saw a foot or more, Central Park had 3.5" as the storm developed a bit further north than expected.
Feb. 6, 2010 - A huge weekend snowstorm that buried DC, Baltimore, Philly and Pittsburgh with 20-30" of snow came achingly close to NYC, but it stopped at our doorstep. Although parts of Staten Island picked up three inches of snow, Central Park saw just a few snow flurries.
March 3, 2014 - A winter storm that, a few days earlier, was predicted to dump significant amounts of snow on NYC (6-12"), was pushed to the south by an Arctic high and delivered a dusting of 0.1" (which would be the only measurable snow of a month that was the coldest March since 1960).