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World

US Northeast braces for massive snowstorm

Verena Doknik - The Philippine Star

NEW YORK — A winter that has largely spared the US Northeast thus far is about to arrive with gusto: a storm the National Weather Service called "potentially historic" could dump 2 feet (60 centimeters) or more of snow between New York and Boston.

Blizzard conditions with heavy snow and powerful winds are possible in both cities starting Monday and into Tuesday, and snow should arrive in some areas before daybreak — just in time for the start of the work week.

"This will be the strongest storm of the year," said NWS meteorologist Brian Hurley. "This Nor'easter is going to produce a wide swath of snowfall." New York City, Boston and Connecticut should expect whopping snow totals of up to 2 feet, he said.

A weekend storm that had brought snow and slush to the Northeast — the first real snow of the season for many areas — was just a warm up.

The storm system driving out of the Midwest brought snow to Ohio on yesterday and was expected to ultimately spread it from Washington, D.C. to Maine.

Lesser totals were forecast for the Washington area — a coating or a bit more — with steadily increasing amounts expected as the storm plods its way north. Philadelphia could expect to see about 8 inches (20 centimeters) but points north and east should see more substantial snowfalls: 14 inches (35 centimeters) were possible in some parts of New Jersey, the National Weather service said yesterday afternoon.

The storm promised treacherous travel by both land and air throughout the busy northeast corridor.

Preparations large and small were in effect in New York. A Manhattan Home Depot store sold about twice as many shovels over the weekend as it normally does while transit officials hoping to keep the subways running smoothly planned to use modified subway cars loaded with de-icing fluid to spray the third rail that powers trains.

Farther north, a blizzard watch is in effect for Boston from Monday night through early Wednesday. Wind gusts of 60 mph (96.5 kph) or more are possible on Cape Cod, forecasters said.

Wyatt Baars, manager of the Charlestown Ace Hardware in Boston, sold out of his bags of ice-melting pellets. But he said a New Hampshire distributor is helping him and delivering more.

"Everybody is preparing for the storm," he said. "When we have something this big on the horizon, everybody comes in for the ice melt, snow shovels, snow brooms."

A MANHATTAN HOME DEPOT BOSTON AND CONNECTICUT BRIAN HURLEY CAPE COD CHARLESTOWN ACE HARDWARE NATIONAL WEATHER NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW HAMPSHIRE NEW JERSEY SNOW
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