Another nor'easter slams East Coast with heavy snow, 'damaging' winds: What to know

Bundle up: another nor’easter is hitting parts of the Northeast and potentially leaving thousands of people with multiple inches of snow.

The National Weather Service (NWS) warned about a "potent" nor'easter -- the second winter storm in less than a week -- Wednesday into Thursday.

"[It's] impacting an already vulnerable S. New England; threats of heavy snow, damaging winds, coastal flooding; [associated] impacts of downed limbs, power outages, reduced visibility, coastal inundation & beach erosion," NWS Boston said in an early Wednesday tweet.

Read on for a look at nor'easters, as well as the current storm as it strikes.

What does the term “nor’easter” refer to?

The NWS defines it as “a storm along the East Coast of North America, so called because the winds over the coastal area are typically from the northeast.”

Nor’easters, it explains, “occur at any time of year but are most frequent and most violent between September and April.”


What should I know about the storm?

Fox News Senior Meteorologist Janice Dean said the storm could drop at least a foot of snow on northern New Jersey, the lower Hudson River Valley, northern Connecticut and western Massachusetts. 

"This is a tough forecast as there is a sharp gradient of snowfall accumulation to the north and west where over a foot is expected," Dean said.

Snow from the storm is expected to be heaviest through the afternoon and evening hours on Wednesday, according to Dean. There could be isolated snow totals of over 18 inches where the heaviest bands set up, but heavily populated areas near the coast won't see that much.

"This system is expected to track slightly closer to the coast, resulting in more rain mixing-in near the immediate coast," she said Wednesday.

Parts of Massachusetts could experience heavy snowfall: accumulations of 12 to 16 inches, with "localized amounts" up to 20 inches, are predicted for cities like Lowell and Framingham, a Wednesday afternoon advisory said.

You can find specific weather advisories for your area here.

What else is going on? 

There are currently winter storm warnings for parts of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

Ahead of the storm Wednesday, New Jersey declared a state of emergency. 

"It's expected to hit us tonight through tomorrow, bringing wet, heavy snow," New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said at a Tuesday news conference, reported. "Please do not venture out on the roads during the storm."

A snow emergency for Philadelphia took effect at 8 a.m. Wednesday.

On Wednesday afternoon, a middle school teacher in southern New Jersey was struck by lightning

The woman was holding an umbrella while on bus duty outside the Manchester Middle School around 2:30 p.m. when the strike occurred, Capt. Todd Malland of the Manchester Township police department said.

Malland said the woman felt tingling but didn't lose consciousness and wasn't knocked to the ground. She was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

A second woman who had been standing underneath the umbrella but not holding it escaped injury.

The storm is also causing travel issues: Airlines canceled close to 2,400 flights in the U.S. on Wednesday, while Amtrak also canceled more than 50 trains.

Fox News' Travis Fedschun and The Associated Press contributed to this report.