New England battling a mix of wind, rain, sleet and heavy snow – Monomaxos

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BOSTON (AP) — It may officially be spring, but New England is battling a wintry weather combination across the region Saturday with more than a foot of snow expected in ski county, and rain, wind and possible flooding in southern areas and along the coast.

In Maine the National Weather Service warned of a treacherous travel day with an increase in ice forming inland from the coast, on top of snow or sleet that has already fallen.

Farther inland forecasters are calling for anywhere from one to two feet of snow across the mountains in western Maine and areas north and in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, according to Maura Casey, a lead forecaster for the weather service, based out of Gray Maine.

In the lakes region of New Hampshire up to Maine totals are expected to be somewhat lower at six inches up to a foot with sleet and freezing rain mixing in.

“There’s a pretty steep cut off with lower amounts near the coast and higher amounts in the mountains,” Casey said.

Across Connecticut, New York City, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts the storm is expected to remain largely a rain event, with some freezing precipitation in the earlier part of the day in western and central Massachusetts before turning to all rain.

The heaviest rain is expected in the late afternoon and evening spreading across Connecticut and western and central Massachusetts from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and across Rhode Island and eastern Massachusetts from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. The rain could linger over Cape Cod and Nantucket until midnight.

“Overnight dry weather will give way to sunshine,” said Frank Nocera, lead forecaster for the National Weather Service in Norton, Massachusetts. Despite the sun, Sunday is expected to be blustery with temperatures chillier than average for late March, he said.

Fans of skiing welcomed the snowfall.

At Loon Mountain, a ski resort in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, skiers were looking forward to the between 12 and 20 inches of new snow the storm was expected to drop on top of a foot earlier this week.

“The storm is great. It’s brought a lot of skiers out to the mountain today,” said Kevin Bell, vice president of marketing for the resort. “This could be the biggest snow we’ll see all year. It sets us up for a really good spring. The more snow New England gets, the better for us.”

The storm should be completely out of the New England region by Sunday morning.

There is a threat of flooding across the region including in far southern New Hampshire where morning snow and sleet could clog storm drains for this afternoon’s heavier rainfall, according to the weather service.

The rain could also produce flooded rivers in Rhode Island and southeast Massachusetts. The weather service has also issued flood watches across the tri-state area of Connecticut, New Jersey and New York, including the city’s five boroughs.

In New York City a flood watch and wind advisory were in place until 2 a.m. Sunday, according to forecasters. The weather service warned motorists of slippery road conditions.

Widespread minor urban flooding and scattered flash flooding was predicted with possible wind gusts of 45 to 50 mph. A winter storm warning was in place north of Albany, with more than a foot of snow expected over the Lake George region, the southern Adirondack Mountains and the southern Green Mountains.

In the West, a winter storm warning remained in effect until Sunday morning for parts of the Sierra Nevada, where up to 4 feet (1.2 meters) of snow and winds gusting in excess of 80 mph (128 kph) was possible on the highest mountain peaks, the weather service said.

About a foot (30 centimeters) of snow had fallen by Saturday morning north of Lake Tahoe, and about a half-foot (15 cm) at Dodge Ridge Mountain Resort north of Yosemite National Park. A 91 mph wind gust (147 mph) was recorded at Mammoth Mountain south of the park near the California-Nevada line.

The National Weather Service in Sacramento said snow could fall at rates of up to 1 to 2 inches (2.5-5 cm) per hour on the Sierra’s west slope west of Lake Tahoe, with up to 2 feet (61 cm) of snow possible at elevations as low as 4,500 feet (1,372 meters).

The storm making its way through New England comes at the end of winter season in some areas of the Northeast, including Boston, that saw little snow and warmer temperatures.

The blast of snow and freezing rain came after parts of Montana, the Dakotas, Minnesota, Illinois and Wisconsin were issued winter weather advisories earlier in the week.

The spring follows a wild winter, with record heat in February allowing for golf in Wisconsin and outdoor food trucks in Minnesota.

In South Florida severe thunderstorms Friday night delayed departures at the Miami International Airport during the busy spring break season, suspended a popular electronic music festival and disrupted matches at a high-profile tennis tournament.

And in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, crews battling wildfires this week got an assist from rain.

“Without a doubt the rain is helping” said Cory Swift, a spokesperson for the Virginia Department of Forestry,

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Associated Press writers Susan Haigh in Norwich, Connecticut, and Scott Sonner in Reno, Nevada contributed to this report.