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Fox News Weather Center

Spring to start with snow grazing Boston, NYC, Philly

Sunday will not feel like the official start to spring in the northeastern United States as the day will be colder than Christmas and snow will begin to spread up the coast.

The mid-Atlantic is already seeing the beginning of the storm that will eventually become a blizzard in Atlantic Canada early next week.

The storm will be far-less potent in the northeastern United States, but will still give residents a late taste of winter.

Rain and occasional snow will continue to streak across the mid-Atlantic during the first half of the weekend.

The best opportunity for the snow to accumulate will be in the mountains of West Virginia and Maryland, as well as the Laurel Mountains of southwestern Pennsylvania into Sunday.

The majority of the snow that streaks east of the mountains will leave little, if any accumulation. This includes in Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

There may be pockets of moderate snow along the border of Pennsylvania and Maryland late Saturday that could cause the grass to be whitened. Roads will mainly be wet.

Along the I-81 corridor from Hagerstown, Maryland, to Staunton, Virginia, on Saturday night, temperatures will dip enough for a bit of snow to coat roads. Motorists should watch for a few slick spots, mainly on bridges and overpasses.

Travel issues on paved surfaces will once again lessen during the daylight hours on Sunday despite rain and wet snow persisting in the mid-Atlantic and spreading to southern New England.

"Snow will have a hard time sticking to roadways, especially during the daylight hours when temperatures will be above freezing," AccuWeather Meteorologist Brian Thompson said.

The combination of the recent warmth and the strong March sun will make it difficult for light snow to accumulate on paved surfaces during the day. The snow may even initially melt on the grass with the ground still warm.

"During the daytime in March, the rate of snow must be heavy to overcome the warm ground and solar effects," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.

"The higher late-March sun angle also helps keep pavement temperatures above freezing during the day," Thompson said.

The threat of snow-covered roads will increase Sunday night into Monday as the snow begins to strengthen and causes moderate to heavy snow along the New England coast.

The current track of the storm will allow several inches of snow in southeastern Massachusetts, Downeast Maine and into neighboring New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

The heaviest amounts will be measured on grassy and elevated surfaces, but roads will still turn slick for a time.

There could be enough of a gusty wind to blow the snow around, further reducing visibility.

"It may also cling to and weigh down some tree limbs," Sosnowski said. "A few sporadic power outages are possible as a result."

The storm should also track close enough to the coast for snow to graze the major urban areas of Philadelphia, New York City, Boston and Portland, Maine, Sunday night into Monday.

Odds favor Boston receiving the most snow between these four cities with a few inches expected. Residents should prepare for a possible slow morning commute with slippery roads and flight delays in eastern New England on Monday.

The snow will have cleared New York City, Philadelphia and the rest of the mid-Atlantic by Monday morning.

When the snow is falling to end the weekend, roads will mainly be wet in Center City Philadelphia and Midtown Manhattan.

Slick spots may develop in the suburbs of New York City, especially on bridges and overpasses in the northern and western suburbs and in any heavier bursts of snow on Long Island.

Setting the stage for the snow to start spring in the Northeast is the cold air that will cause the official first day of spring to be colder than Christmas Day, even in areas that will miss out on any snowfall.

Brisk winds will allow the chill to linger in the Northeast on Monday before warmer air makes a comeback as the week progresses. However, snow could streak back into northern New England at midweek before the spring warmth returns.