BOSTON – Mother Nature won’t be showing too much love to millions of people in the Northeast this week as a powerful nor’easter has the potential to slam the region with heavy rain, gusty winds and plowable snow, which would impact travel along parts of the Interstate 95 corridor as well as at some of the nation’s busiest airports.
More than 20 million Americans in nine states from Pennsylvania to Maine are under a Winter Storm Watch, including major cities like Hartford in Connecticut, Providence in Rhode Island and Boston.
As of Sunday morning, the winter weather alerts do not include Pittsburgh, Philadelphia or New York City, though some snow is still likely in those cities.
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Storm takes shape across the Plains, Deep South
Record-breaking warmth was reported across the Northeast and New England over the weekend as the storm system, which could eventually evolve into the nor’easter, takes shape across the middle of the U.S.
The system is responsible for producing severe weather, including large hail and potential tornadoes in Texas, as well as heavy snow across the Texas Panhandle and into Oklahoma.
It will continue on its eastward journey across the southern U.S., where it will again have the potential to produce severe weather and flooding in the Deep South before moving off to the northeast by Tuesday.
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Hartford, Boston, Providence under Winter Storm Watch
More than 20 million people from southern Pennsylvania to southern Maine are now under Winter Storm Watches that will remain in effect over the next few days.
Philadelphia and New York City are so far not included in the winter weather alerts, nor are other cities along I-95 like Stamford, Bridgeport, New Haven and New London in Connecticut.
It’s a different story for major cities to the west and farther north.
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State College, Scranton and Allentown in Pennsylvania are included in the Winter Storm Watch, as well as Binghamton, Albany and Newburgh in New York.
Most of Connecticut is included in the Winter Storm Watch, as is the state of Massachusetts, with the exception of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.
Portions of southern Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine are also included.
Moderate to heavy snow starts Tuesday
Temperatures will be warm enough on Monday that the storm will likely begin as rain across the mid-Atlantic states.
But as the system continues to advance to the northeast and eventually moves off the East Coast, it will begin to pull in the colder air from the north and Canada, which will change the precipitation over to snow.
“The storm itself, and the placement and the movement and the track is still a bit of a question as far as how it moves,” FOX Weather Meteorologist Craig Herrera said.
By the pre-dawn hours of Tuesday, widespread snow is expected across portions of New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.
Snow will also be falling in Massachusetts and Connecticut.
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That means the morning commute for millions of people heading to work on Tuesday will be quite tricky and dangerous.
Schools across the region will likely be closed as the potential nor’easter begins to ramp up at that time.
Snow will continue throughout the day on Tuesday and will likely begin to pull away from the region during the evening commute.
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How much snow will fall from the nor’easter?
Plowable snow is likely from this storm across interior portions of the Northeast and New England.
“Massachusetts, you’re going to be dealing with some pretty decent snow,” Herrera said. “In fact, you might be smack in the bull’s-eye for this.”
Most of the region will see snow totals of about 5-8 inches, but millions of people are at risk of seeing snow totals up to a foot, with some locally higher amounts, especially in the Worcester Hills in Massachusetts, as well as Boston.
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Providence is also at risk of seeing some impressive snowfall totals from the potential nor’easter.
Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Catstexts of New York could also be under the gun of seeing snowfall totals between 8 and 12 inches.