(Bloomberg) -- A major winter storm will drag its way across the central and eastern US through Wednesday, but there is little hope for New York City, Philadelphia or Washington to end long-standing snow droughts.

The heaviest snow will initially hit the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas, where more than 12 inches could fall. A second dollop could bring similar amounts through Thursday to parts of New England north of Boston and Portland, Maine. The storms may cause some airline delays and cancellations and tie up ground transportation, particularly in southern states where snow isn’t as common.

“For DC, Philadelphia and New York, it is mostly a rain event,” said Joshua Weiss, a forecaster at the US Weather Prediction Center. “I would be surprised if Central Park got any snow at all. It is not going to be ending the snow drought by any chance.”

So far this winter, Manhattan has only got a trace of snow. While the forecast briefly looked good for Central Park to gather some flakes this week, those hopes have faded as the storm now looks like it will deliver mainly rain to the Northeast cities along the Interstate 95. A few flakes may start to fall in New York on Wednesday before changing to rain.

Read more: NYC is on pace to have its lowest January snow total since 2008

If at least 0.1 inch can fall, that would be enough to end a streak of no measurable snow for Manhattan. The longest into a winter Central Park has gone without even that much was Jan. 29 in 1973. Another record meteorologists are watching is if New York can get at least an 1 inch of snow before the previous latest date of Feb. 5. 

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