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The Guardian - US
The Guardian - US
Edward Helmore

US north-east braces for heavy snow as powerful nor’easter approaches

satellite view of north-east us with lots of clouds over it
A weather system over the north-eastern US on 12 February. Photograph: NOAA

The north-east of the US is bracing for possibly the largest nor’easter snow storm in two years, with New York City public schools closing in-person attendance on Tuesday amid forecasts of up to 8in of accumulation.

Meteorologists are predicting snowfall rates of 2in an hour from eastern Pennsylvania to Massachusetts, with the heaviest snowfall forecast to intersect with Tuesday morning’s rush hour. Higher rates of 2 to 3in an hour are possible across eastern Pennsylvania, northern New Jersey, the Hudson Valley, and up through northern Connecticut and Rhode Island.

On Monday, 49 million people were already under winter alerts stretching from parts of the central Plains and midwest into the north-east and New England from a weather system moving up from Oklahoma and Missouri.

Severe thunderstorms were also reported across parts of the south and Gulf coast states, with a tornado watch that was in effect until 10am for parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. About 17 million people were under flood alerts.

The New York City mayor, Eric Adams, said the city could see 5 to 8in of snow with locally higher amounts by the morning. “As a result, all [New York City public schools] will move to remote learning tomorrow,” he said on X.

City officials said 40mph winds are expected, and some thundersnow will be possible at about sunrise. If the city receives 6in or more, it will be the city’s largest snowstorm since January 2022.

Nor’easter is the term the National Weather Service uses for storms that carry heavy, wet snow. They either exit or move north along the US’s east coast, creating winds which blow from the north-east.

  • The Associated Press contributed reporting

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