Saturday, April 1, 2023

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    ‘Potent’ Nor’easter to Bring Heavy Snow, Forecasters Say

    A late-winter nor’easter is expected to bring widespread heavy, wet snow, rain and gusty winds to parts of the Northeast that had otherwise had a largely snowless season starting Monday night and lasting into Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.

    Heavy snow rates and strong winds up to 50 miles per hour will likely produce dangerous to impossible travel in parts of the Northeast and will cause scattered to widespread power outages and tree damage, the Weather Prediction Center said.

    The storm, which forecasters described as “potent,” will strengthen on Monday over the Northeast, where the heaviest snowfall is expected across inland areas of the region, the Weather Service said.

    Millions of people across New England were under winter storm warnings and advisories on Monday morning.

    Bob Oravec, a meteorologist at the Weather Prediction Center, said that the weather system will probably start with rain that may transition into heavier snow in some places.

    “At the moment, there’s predominantly rain forecast for New York City and for Boston, rain changing over to snow with some accumulation,” Mr. Oravec said, adding that this system would probably not be the winter event of the season for the New York metro area, where snow has been scarce.

    “It just happens to be that the storm track has been such that it has not favored the Northeast so far and, in a sense, we’re running out of time,” Mr. Oravec said. “We are definitely fighting the calendar and fighting the season.”

    There’s no strict definition of a nor’easter, but broadly speaking, they occur when a storm over the Atlantic tracks nearly parallel to the East Coast and delivers fierce winds from the northeast. They occur most frequently between September and April.

    With this nor’easter, snow rates of two inches or more per hour are possible, and in higher elevation areas, snowfall could ultimately surpass a foot of accumulation, the National Weather Service said.

    Total snowfall could be even higher in the Catskills and southern Adirondacks in New York, the Berkshires in western Massachusetts and the southern Green Mountains in Vermont.

    Five to 10 inches of snow could accumulate in interior portions of the Lower Hudson Valley, northeastern New Jersey and southwestern Connecticut, the Weather Service in New York said.

    Driving conditions are expected to be hazardous, and “widespread minor coastal flooding” may occur, forecasters said.

    The greatest uncertainty in snow amounts is in coastal areas, including New York City, Long Island and New Haven, Conn., and will depend on how close to the coast the low pressure intensifies, the Weather Service in New York said.

    Widespread minor coastal flooding and beach erosion may be a concern through Wednesday, forecasters said.

    Around Tuesday night, wind gusts could reach up to 50 m.p.h. along the eastern portion of Long Island, the Weather Service said.

    The storm may linger into Wednesday, Mr. Oravec said, adding that precipitation would probably begin to wind down that morning.

    April Rubin contributed reporting.

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