Dynamic storm brings heavy, wet snow and high winds to New England

A storm system that has already brought significant amounts of spring snow to parts of the Great Lakes region this week will move east on Wednesday, bringing heavy snow, heavy rain and strong winds from upstate New York to northern New England, the National Weather Service said.

  • Up to two feet of snow is expected in parts of northern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula by the end of the day.

  • Weather conditions are likely to worsen in parts of northern New England throughout the day.

In the New York area, forecasters are expecting two to three inches of rain by Thursday night, the weather service said. High wind warnings were in effect Wednesday for the New York area, including Long Island, New Jersey and southern Westchester County, N.Y., and coastal Connecticut, with winds gusting up to 60 mph along the coast. Flood watches were issued for most of those areas Wednesday afternoon.

It will be wetter further north, including around Buffalo. Steady rain of 1.5 to 2.5 inches could cause flooding in western New York through Thursday afternoon and could also cause flooding in urban areas and along rivers and streams, forecasters said.

Parts of western Massachusetts, including Worcester and Fitchburg, and southern New Hampshire, including Portsmouth and Keene, were under a winter storm warning Wednesday afternoon, according to the weather service in Boston.

A winter storm warning is also in effect for the Burlington, Vt., area until Friday morning.

“For us, the hazards are really two-pronged,” Rodney Chai, lead meteorologist with the Weather Service in Burlington, said early Wednesday.

“One is a heavy snowfall that will start late this afternoon, mostly into tomorrow,” he said. “And then the other danger would be strong winds that cause damage, along the spine of the Green Mountains.”

Wind gusts of up to 70 mph along the western slopes overnight could cause widespread power outages, Mr. Chai warned, adding that those winds could lead to localized fogging and blizzards in Vermont’s higher passes.

Snow accumulations will depend on altitude. Up to seven inches could fall in valley areas of the region, Mr. Chai said, with six to 15 inches of snow expected above 1,000 feet and as much as two feet of snow by Friday morning in some areas.

Traveling across Vermont can be difficult, and most likely impossible on the mountain passes. Dangerous conditions will also complicate travel on Thursday morning.

The weather service office in Gray, Maine, issued similar warnings and said this wet flakes began to fall in southwestern New Hampshire on Wednesday afternoon.

While some northeastern New Englanders may be caught off guard by the storm, just days after the Easter holiday and during spring break for many school districts, Mr. Chai said snow in April is not unusual.

“It might come as a bit of a shock to people because we had nice spring weather and this winter was abnormally mild,” he said. “People may have felt too much.”

Johnny Diaz contributed to the reporting.

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