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US weather: Spring nor’easter threatens to dump a foot of snow

The fourth nor’easter in three weeks pushed its way up the winter-weary East Coast on Wednesday, the first full day of spring, packing high winds and the potential for a foot or more of snow from West Virginia to New England.

Airlines canceled thousands of flights and school districts throughout the Northeast canceled classes ahead of the storm that was expected to intensify Wednesday afternoon, with heavy, wet snow a threat to knock out power around the region. Shore towns were warned of the possibility of coastal flooding.

Snow started falling Tuesday night in West Virginia and Kentucky and continued through Wednesday morning, while mid-Atlantic states saw a wintry mix before the precipitation changed to sticking snow.

Tourists visit the Lincoln Memorial during a snow storm in Washington, DC, on Wednesday 

Cars travel through light snow in South Hackensack, New Jersey on Wednesday as a fourth nor'easter in a month hits the area 

Cars travel through light snow in South Hackensack, New Jersey on Wednesday as a fourth nor’easter in a month hits the area 

Maiya Ashby crosses Patton Avenue while walking through falling snow on her way to work in Roanoke, Virginia on Wednesday

Maiya Ashby crosses Patton Avenue while walking through falling snow on her way to work in Roanoke, Virginia on Wednesday

Snow blankets Oakwood Drive, seen from Brambleton Avenue in Roanoke, Virginia, on Wednesday

Snow blankets Oakwood Drive, seen from Brambleton Avenue in Roanoke, Virginia, on Wednesday

A person crosses the street at Newport Highway as snow falls during a snowstorm on Wednesday in Jersey City, New Jersey

A person crosses the street at Newport Highway as snow falls during a snowstorm on Wednesday in Jersey City, New Jersey

A car makes its way through falling snow down Grandview Avenue NW in Roanoke, Virginia Wednesday morning 

A car makes its way through falling snow down Grandview Avenue NW in Roanoke, Virginia Wednesday morning 

Snow falls on a lone bicycle and cherry blossom trees at the tidal basin in Washington, DC on Wednesday

Snow falls on a lone bicycle and cherry blossom trees at the tidal basin in Washington, DC on Wednesday

On the second day of spring, snow falls on tourists outside the White House in Washington, DC

On the second day of spring, snow falls on tourists outside the White House in Washington, DC

Two plows from Hazleton's Department of Public Works clear the snow tandem style from West Fern Street in Hazleton, Pennsylvania on Wednesday

Two plows from Hazleton’s Department of Public Works clear the snow tandem style from West Fern Street in Hazleton, Pennsylvania on Wednesday

Nikki Scott, of Franklin County, brushes snow off her car in Roanoke, Virginia on Wednesday

Nikki Scott, of Franklin County, brushes snow off her car in Roanoke, Virginia on Wednesday

Tourists visit Times Square in New York on March 21, 2018, during a nor'easter that's expected to bring several inches of snow to the city 

Tourists visit Times Square in New York on March 21, 2018, during a nor’easter that’s expected to bring several inches of snow to the city 

Workers clean steps at Times Square in New York on Wednesday during a nor'easter 

Workers clean steps at Times Square in New York on Wednesday during a nor’easter 

A man begs for money in the snow along 42nd Street in Times Square in New York on Wednesday

A man begs for money in the snow along 42nd Street in Times Square in New York on Wednesday

An East River Ferry boat makes its way under the Brooklyn Bridge during a nor'easter on Wednesday. Many ferries were operating on a modified service today

An East River Ferry boat makes its way under the Brooklyn Bridge during a nor’easter on Wednesday. Many ferries were operating on a modified service today

The Washington Monument is seen in the background as a worker clears snow from a sidewalk at the National Museum of African American History and Culture during a Spring snowstorm in Washington, DC on Wednesday

The Washington Monument is seen in the background as a worker clears snow from a sidewalk at the National Museum of African American History and Culture during a Spring snowstorm in Washington, DC on Wednesday

Pedestrians carry umbrellas as they walk through the falling snow on 6th Avenue in New York City on Wednesday

Pedestrians carry umbrellas as they walk through the falling snow on 6th Avenue in New York City on Wednesday

Snow is expected to start falling at a rate of two to three inches an hour around the evening commute in some parts, making for a dangerous rush hour.  

The National Weather Service said the storm was expected to kick into gear in the mid-Atlantic by late Wednesday morning, then head north to New York and New England. 

But forecasters noted that the storm had sharp gradients that could cause several inches to fall in some spots, while nearby areas could see much less accumulation.

Winter-whipped residents said they were ready for the latest storm, though many hoped it would be the last and give way to spring.

A fourth nor’easter in a month threatens to dump up to a foot of snow from West Virginia to Massachusetts on Wednesday

Snow has already begin to fall in most of the region, but will intensify throughout the day

Snow has already begin to fall in most of the region, but will intensify throughout the day

The snow will be heavy, wet and concrete-like - sticking to trees and weighing down power-lines

The snow will be heavy, wet and concrete-like – sticking to trees and weighing down power-lines

As the snow gets worse in the evening, the evening commute will be the most dangerous 

As the snow gets worse in the evening, the evening commute will be the most dangerous 

About 75 million Americans are under winter weather alerts or warnings for Wednesday

About 75 million Americans are under winter weather alerts or warnings for Wednesday

EXPECTED SNOWFALL 

WASHINGTON, DC: 3″-6″

BALTIMORE: 4″-6″

PHILADELPHIA: 5″-9″

NEW YORK CITY: 6″-10″

HARTFORD, CT: 5″-9″ 

PROVIDENCE: 5″-9″

BOSTON: 4″-7″ 

‘I didn’t think I’d still need to keep storm stuff in my car in late March, but what are you going to do?’ Wilson Collins said as he prepared to leave his Toms River, New Jersey, home on Wednesday morning, checking his trunk to make sure he had a shovel, a blanket and other emergency items. ‘I’m hoping most of the snow will accumulate just on the grass, but the roads will be a mess no matter what. I just hope this is finally it.’ 

The bulk of the snow and sleet was expected to pound New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware and parts of eastern Pennsylvania on Wednesday before heading toward Cape Cod early Thursday. 

The snow will be a heavy, wet snow that will stick to trees and weight down powerlines – causing widespread power outages. 

Winds are also expected to top out at around 35mph hour, with even stronger gusts. 

National Weather Service meteorologist Dan Peterson said the latest storm was tough to call.

A NOAA satellite image shows the storm making its way up the East Coast on Wednesday morning 

A NOAA satellite image shows the storm making its way up the East Coast on Wednesday morning 

Becky Rhodes walks her dog, Scout, through the snow near her home in Roanoke, Virginia on Wednesday

Becky Rhodes walks her dog, Scout, through the snow near her home in Roanoke, Virginia on Wednesday

Daffodils droop over from the weight of the snow in front of Our Lady of the Valley in Roanoke, Virginia on Wednesday

Daffodils droop over from the weight of the snow in front of Our Lady of the Valley in Roanoke, Virginia on Wednesday

Justin Hobbs, left, and Buddy Hinkle, center, clear snow from the sidewalks surrounding Our Lady of the Valley in Roanoke, Virginia on Wednesday 

Justin Hobbs, left, and Buddy Hinkle, center, clear snow from the sidewalks surrounding Our Lady of the Valley in Roanoke, Virginia on Wednesday 

A woman photographs the US Capitol during a snow storm in Washington, DC, on Wednesday

A woman photographs the US Capitol during a snow storm in Washington, DC, on Wednesday

A school group tours the Martin Luther King Jr., Memorial as the snow falls on cherry blossom trees on Wednesday

A school group tours the Martin Luther King Jr., Memorial as the snow falls on cherry blossom trees on Wednesday

A woman walks with an umbrella during a nor'easter at the Brooklyn Bridge Park in Brooklyn, New York, on Wednesday

A woman walks with an umbrella during a nor’easter at the Brooklyn Bridge Park in Brooklyn, New York, on Wednesday

Ben Stein from Brandon, Mississippi, uses a folder to shield his head from falling snow as he waits in line to go through security to enter Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on Wednesday

Ben Stein from Brandon, Mississippi, uses a folder to shield his head from falling snow as he waits in line to go through security to enter Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on Wednesday

A woman approaches the Hoboken Terminal of the PATH train system as light snow falls on Wednesday in Hoboken, New Jersey

A woman approaches the Hoboken Terminal of the PATH train system as light snow falls on Wednesday in Hoboken, New Jersey

A jogger runs on a path near the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool as snow falls in Washington, DC, on Wednesday

A jogger runs on a path near the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool as snow falls in Washington, DC, on Wednesday

Pedestrians weather the latest storm to hit the US east coast on Wednesday, in Washington, DC

Pedestrians weather the latest storm to hit the US east coast on Wednesday, in Washington, DC

Snow and ice forms on a cherry blossom tree in Centreville, Maryland, on Wednesday 

Snow and ice forms on a cherry blossom tree in Centreville, Maryland, on Wednesday 

Snow coats a magnolia blossom near the tidal basin, Wednesday, March 21, 2018, in Washington, during a snow storm on the second day of spring

Snow coats a magnolia blossom near the tidal basin, Wednesday, March 21, 2018, in Washington, during a snow storm on the second day of spring

A pedestrian wears a snow sculpture on his head during a snow storm in Washington, DC, on Wednesday

A pedestrian wears a snow sculpture on his head during a snow storm in Washington, DC, on Wednesday

A worker operates snow removal equipment on a sidewalk in Washington, DC Wednesday morning 

A worker operates snow removal equipment on a sidewalk in Washington, DC Wednesday morning 

Tourists visit the Korean War Memorial during a snow storm in Washington, DC, on Wednesday

Tourists visit the Korean War Memorial during a snow storm in Washington, DC, on Wednesday

Tourists walk along the Reflecting Pool near the Lincoln Memorial during a snow storm in Washington, DC,  on Wednesday

Tourists walk along the Reflecting Pool near the Lincoln Memorial during a snow storm in Washington, DC,  on Wednesday

Tourists visit the Korean War Memorial during a snow storm in Washington, DC, on Wednesday

Tourists visit the Korean War Memorial during a snow storm in Washington, DC, on Wednesday

Toourists have a snowball fight near the Lincoln Memorial during a snow storm in Washington, DC, on Wednesday

Toourists have a snowball fight near the Lincoln Memorial during a snow storm in Washington, DC, on Wednesday

Tourists visit the US Capitol during a snow storm in Washington, DC, on Wednesday 

Tourists visit the US Capitol during a snow storm in Washington, DC, on Wednesday 

Pedestrians carry umbrellas as they walk through the falling snow crossing 6th Avenue in New York City on Wednesday

Pedestrians carry umbrellas as they walk through the falling snow crossing 6th Avenue in New York City on Wednesday

The White House is reflected in a water puddle during a spring snow storm on Wednesday

The White House is reflected in a water puddle during a spring snow storm on Wednesday

A commuter waits to catch a subway train during a late season snow storm in New York City on Wednesday 

A commuter waits to catch a subway train during a late season snow storm in New York City on Wednesday 

‘It’s definitely a tricky forecast,’ Petersen said. ‘We’re still expecting heavy snows throughout the region, but there could be lower numbers in some coastal areas where warmer temperatures are causing rain or more of a wintry mix.’

New Jersey and Delaware will see minor to moderate flooding in the late evening, at high tide. The New England coast will also get some minor flooding, but the risk will be highest in the early morning on Thursday. 

In Philadelphia, where wind-whipped snow fell on Tuesday, restaurant server Katy Halbeisen called the early-spring storm ‘pretty lame.’

‘Yesterday I was walking around and saw little birds taking a bath and it looked like they were thinking it would be spring. So I feel bad for those little birds,’ she said.

Pamela Howard waits for the Valley Metro bus on Williamson Road as snow falls in Roanoke, Virginia on Wednesday

Pamela Howard waits for the Valley Metro bus on Williamson Road as snow falls in Roanoke, Virginia on Wednesday

A pedestrian races across the snow covered and tire streaked street in Washington, DC during a winter storm on Wednesday

A pedestrian races across the snow covered and tire streaked street in Washington, DC during a winter storm on Wednesday

Hazleton Patrolman Walt Mazur places a ticket on the snow covered windshield of a vehicle whose driver violated the snow emergency parking ban and parked on the wrong side of North Wyoming Street in Hazleton, Pennsylvania on Wednesday

Hazleton Patrolman Walt Mazur places a ticket on the snow covered windshield of a vehicle whose driver violated the snow emergency parking ban and parked on the wrong side of North Wyoming Street in Hazleton, Pennsylvania on Wednesday

A woman pulls a cart filled with items purchased at a nearby store as she treks through the snow along East 2nd Street near Taylor Court in Hazleton, Pennsylvania on Wednesday

A woman pulls a cart filled with items purchased at a nearby store as she treks through the snow along East 2nd Street near Taylor Court in Hazleton, Pennsylvania on Wednesday

A man walks under a blanket of snow during the early stages of a snowstorm on Wednesday in Hoboken, New Jersey

A man walks under a blanket of snow during the early stages of a snowstorm on Wednesday in Hoboken, New Jersey

A pedestrian crosses the street as snow falls in downtown Washington, DC, on Wednesday

A pedestrian crosses the street as snow falls in downtown Washington, DC, on Wednesday

On the second day of spring, snow falls on tourists outside the White House in Washington, DC

On the second day of spring, snow falls on tourists outside the White House in Washington, DC

epa06617963 On the second day of spring, snow falls on a Secret Service Agent outside the White House in Washington, DC, USA, 21 March 2018. Though updated accumulation totals are only expected to be a few inches, federal offices in the DC area are closed.  EPA/JIM LO SCALZO

On the second day of spring, snow falls on a Secret Service Agent outside the White House in Washington, DC

The storm will also produce winds of up to 35 miles an hour, with the heaviest winds expected off Long Island and Cape Cod

The storm will also produce winds of up to 35 miles an hour, with the heaviest winds expected off Long Island and Cape Cod

Many in the region are still dealing with power issues after the three previous Nor'easters

Many in the region are still dealing with power issues after the three previous Nor’easters

As of Wednesday morning, more than 3,800 flights had already been cancelled for the day, mostly out of New York City-area airports

As of Wednesday morning, more than 3,800 flights had already been cancelled for the day, mostly out of New York City-area airports

Appalachia, Long Island, Cape Cod and the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket will have some of the most extreme weather

Appalachia, Long Island, Cape Cod and the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket will have some of the most extreme weather

Dog walker Emily DiFiglia said she was done with winter.

‘I’m outside all day long. So having the weather constantly fluctuating has driven me a little mad,’ she said on Philadelphia’s South Street. ‘Mother Nature, let’s get some warm weather!’

The flight-tracking site FlightAware reported more than 3,800 canceled flights across the U.S. on Wednesday, most in the Northeast.

On the ground, Amtrak scaled back service on the Northeast corridor and some states banned certain types of trucks from major highways.

Five-day weather forecast: 



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