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Fox News Weather Center

Eastern New England, Atlantic Canada Face Spring Blizzard

The start of spring does not mean an end to fierce blizzards unfolding as will be evident across eastern New England and Atlantic Canada at midweek.

Concern remains high for a rapidly strengthening storm to unleash windswept heavy snow from eastern New England through Atlantic Canada Tuesday night through Wednesday night.

The rest of the East Coast will escape the worst of the storm, but there is still nuisance-to-disruptive snowfall in store for the spine of the Appalachians and the rest of the Northeast.

The blizzard could easily halt travel and cause school cancellations and other significant disruptions to daily routines.

While there is no question that a large swath of Atlantic Canada will be targeted by the fierce blizzard, the coverage area across eastern New England will be determined by how close the storm tracks to the coast.

The storm may pass far enough offshore to only clip Cape Cod and Down East Maine. However, a track closer to the coast would expand the blizzard threat to more of eastern New England--including the I-95 corridor--and eastern Long Island.

Those in Norwich, Conn., Providence, R.I., Provincetown, Boston and Worcester, Mass., Portsmouth and Manchester, N.H., Portland and Bangor, Maine, are among the residents in eastern New England who should keep a close eye on this storm and prepare for major disruptions.

The New York City area should narrowly escape the blizzard, but not disruptive snowfall.

Snow totals within the heart of the blizzard across eastern New England will generally be on the order of 6 to 12 inches with a potential for some communities to top a foot.

Strong winds will severely blow and drift the snow around, making driving extremely dangerous, if not impossible, and possibly overwhelming road crews. Motorists driving during the height of the storm run the risk of becoming stranded on interstates and highways.

The strong winds alone, which could gust between 40 and 60 mph, are possible of causing tree damage and power outages. The highest wind gusts will be along the coast.

The winds will also kick up extremely rough seas across the northwestern Atlantic Ocean. Coastal flooding may ensue along the eastern New England coast.

The blizzard will not take shape in time to severely impact the rest of the East Coast; however, that does not mean nuisance-to-disruptive snowfall will be avoided.

The storm is currently in its infant stages and will continue to spread nuisance snow from the northern Rockies to the central Plains through Monday. That snow will spread across the Midwest to the spine of the Appalachians Monday night.

As the storm reorganizes along the East Coast on Tuesday, some snow will develop across the mid-Atlantic, southern New York and Connecticut. Outside of the mountains, there will likely not be enough cold air in place for more than wet snowflakes across the Carolinas.

Most of the snow that falls during the daylight hours of Tuesday will have a hard time sticking to roads.

"Where the snow falls at night and first thing in the morning, the odds are greater for an accumulation on roads. However, the warming effect of the March sun during the midday and afternoon could only be negated by a very heavy snowfall rate," stated AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.

Such heavy snowfall is not expected to develop until the evening and overnight hours of Tuesday as the storm begins to rapidly strengthen.

Paving the way for the return of snow to the East Coast will be yet another blast of arctic cold.