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A nor'easter could drop several inches of snow on New York City, New England

A significant winter storm from the Mid-South will transition into a strong nor'easter for the Mid-Atlantic and New England  on Monday.
National Weather Service
A significant winter storm from the Mid-South will transition into a strong nor'easter for the Mid-Atlantic and New England on Monday.

Updated February 12, 2024 at 10:18 PM ET

Millions brace for a brief but intense nor'easter that is expected to pummel the Mid-Atlantic and New England with high winds, coastal flooding and up to a foot of snow in some areas starting Monday evening.

The blustery weather has already prompted hundredsof Tuesday flight cancellations at airports in Boston, New York and New Jersey, according to airline tracker FlightAware.com.

The storm is part of the same system that doused the Gulf Coast and parts of the South with rain and heavy wet snow over the weekend and on Monday. It has been trekking toward the northeast for days and is set to move quickly into the Atlantic.

Officials in multiple states are preparing for what could be the heaviest snowfall in several years. Parts of New York City could see at least 6 inches of snow, while somewhere between 8 inches to a foot could fall in Boston.

Some areas of central Pennsylvania and southern New England could get as much as 2 inches per hour on Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced New York City Public Schools, the nation's largest school system, will move to remote learning as the city prepares for a massive amount of snowfall.

"All relevant city agencies have been activated and preparations are underway," Adams said during a press conference, adding that a Code Blue Weather Emergency notice had been issued for homeless New Yorkers. The notice guarantees that any unhoused person seeking shelter in the city cannot be denied.

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu declared a snow emergency, ordering municipal buildings and public schools closed on Tuesday and instituting a parking ban on major roads.

"With the arrival of our first major snowstorm this winter, City teams are prepared to clear our roadways and respond to any emergencies during the storm," Wu said in a statement.

"Please be aware of parking restrictions so that we can clear the roads as quickly as possible, and check on your neighbors, family, and friends to be sure everyone has a plan to stay inside and stay safe," she added.

In New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul warned residents of the potential for "significant snowfall," and urged people to stock up on essential items and avoid unnecessary travel. New York City public schools preemptively closed Tuesday and planned to hold classes remotely.

The National Weather Service says parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and New England could see several inches of snow — up to a foot in some areas — just before Valentine's Day.

More than 12 inches of snow could fall in some higher-elevation areas near the Poconos, the Catskills and parts of southern New England.

Snowfall rates are expected to pick up steadily on Tuesday, falling as quickly as 2 inches per hour across central Pennsylvania and southern New York in the morning and southern New England in the afternoon.

The wet and windy conditions could fell trees and damage power lines, and also snarl traffic during the morning and evening commutes in several busy East Coast cities.

Forecasters also warned of the potential for moderate coastal flooding Tuesday night at high tide along the Jersey Shore and in parts of New York and New England.

Nor'easters are powerful storms that form along the East Coast with winds from the northeast, and such extreme weather events may be occurring more frequently and growing stronger due to climate change.

On Monday, the storm system was tracking through the Southeast, and will continue to move northeast toward the Carolinas in the evening. Meteorologists predict showers and thunderstorms across the Southeast.

The Oklahoma City metro area saw several inches of snowfall overnight Sunday, with a small area near Lawton in southwest Oklahoma receiving between 8 inches to a foot of snow, the NWS said.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Vanessa Romo is a reporter for NPR's News Desk. She covers breaking news on a wide range of topics, weighing in daily on everything from immigration and the treatment of migrant children, to a war-crimes trial where a witness claimed he was the actual killer, to an alleged sex cult. She has also covered the occasional cat-clinging-to-the-hood-of-a-car story.