PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A weekend storm bearing down on the Northeast on the first day of spring is expected to dump up to a foot of snow on some parts of New England, making for a very messy Monday morning commute, but could leave behind only a couple of inches and clear skies in some mid-Atlantic cities.
In southern New England, forecasters are predicting heavy, wet snow and accumulation of 6 to 8 inches in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, said Stephanie Dunten, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Taunton, Massachusetts. The southeastern corridor of Massachusetts could get 8 to 12 inches, which could cause scattered power outages, she added.
It's the timing of the snowfall, not the amount, that has forecasters worried, Dunten said.
"It looks like the heaviest snow will occur during the morning commute, so that's going to cause havoc for commuters," she said.
The outlook is similar for northern New England.
The "big jackpot" of snow will probably hit the Penobscot Bay area in Maine, which could see up to 12 inches from Bar Harbor north, said meteorologist Eric Schwibs with NWS in Gray, Maine.
The snow will likely start early Monday, and the southeast coastal area will likely get 3 to 6 inches of snow, Schwibs said.
The bad news for skiers is the mountains won't see any of that.
In New Hampshire, the Concord area is likely to get 2 to 3 inches of snow and Manchester will see only a bit more than that. The seacoast could see 4 to 6 inches, Schwibs said, noting the snow will likely start after midnight.
"It's going to make the morning a commute a real pain," Schwibs said.
Four to 8 inches are predicted for eastern Long Island in New York and southeastern Connecticut.
By contrast, Philadelphia and New York City are expected to get 1 to 3 inches, with most of the snowfall occurring overnight, leaving behind clear skies Monday.
Faye Barthold, a meteorologist with NWS in Upton, New York, said precipitation from a low pressure system off the coast of the Carolinas is mixing with cold air from Canada.
What of a snowstorm on the first day of spring?
"Snow on this magnitude certainly isn't unheard of," Barthold said.