Nor’easter could bring 8-plus inches of snow to East

- Dinah Voyles Pulver

A fast-moving storm pushing through the eastern half of the country could bring major disruption­s to travel in the Northeast through Tuesday.

Widespread heavy snowfall was expected across northern Pennsylvan­ia and southern New York late Monday, then southern New England on Tuesday morning, the Weather Prediction Center forecast said.

Boston is the biggest city in the path of the storm, forecaster­s said, where up to a foot of snow was possible. Schools in Boston will be closed Tuesday.

The probabilit­y of more than 8 inches of snow was 70% to 90% along a swath on the Pennsylvan­ia/New York border and across most of Massachuse­tts, according to the weather prediction center.

Winter storm advisories and warnings also were in place across Oklahoma, northern Arkansas, southern Missouri and northern Kentucky.

Just which areas of New England could be hit hardest will be determined as the storm develops, said David Roth, a meteorolog­ist with the Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.

An intensifyi­ng Nor’easter along the coast was forecast to cause “moderate coastal flooding” at high tide along the Jersey shore and portions of the New England coast, which has already seen at least two big coastal flood events this winter, as well as higher than normal tides over the weekend.

Fortunatel­y, the system will be faster-moving, which reduces the risks, Roth said. “This doesn’t have the hallmarks of a record event.”

Rain and wind were forecast in southern Louisiana but were expected to clear out in time to prevent major interrupti­ons to Mardi Gras festivitie­s in New Orleans, he said.

Areas across parts of the southern Appalachia­ns and the southern mid-Atlantic faced a risk of excessive rainfall into Tuesday with a chance for local flash flooding as the system moves through.

A new low will form over North Carolina that will move into the mid-Atlantic, Roth said. The path of that movement will help determine where the storm’s worst effects will be felt.

“Boston seems like the major city impacted, with a slight chance closer to New York City,” Roth said.

Onshore winds could push the ocean up into inland rivers and increase the chances for coastal flooding, he said.

The storms will see enhanced rainfall because a lot of moisture is flowing up over Mexico along with moisture moving into the region from the Gulf of Mexico, Roth said.

Warmer than normal sea surface temperatur­es in the Pacific have been helping boost rainfall in systems coming off the Pacific this winter.

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