People cross Flagstaff Hill as snow falls in Schenley Park in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh on Tuesday, 20 March 2018. Photo: Darrell Sapp / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette / AP

By Nicole Chavez and Judson Jones
21 March 2018

(CNN) – The fourth nor'easter in three weeks already is closing schools and canceling thousands of flights Wednesday as it may dump record springtime snow in the Northeast.

A day after the official beginning of spring, the storm will bring heavy snow, strong winds, and even coastal flooding to some areas. It has potential to be one of the most significant and most disruptive snowstorms this late in the season, CNN meteorologists said.

"If the current forecast pans out, this nor'easter will dump more snow on Washington, Philadelphia and New York than the three earlier storms combined," CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller said.

More than 70 million people are under a winter storm watch, warning or advisory from the southern Appalachians to Boston. […]

Washington will likely see 4 to 6 inches of snow, with some models hinting at much higher totals for the District. Areas west and north of the city are likely to see close to a foot of snow.

"It's been 75 years since Washington has had 5 inches of snowfall or greater this late in the season," Miller says.

Philadelphia could see up to a foot of snow. The City of Brotherly Love may get its biggest snowfall after the first day of spring in more than 100 years.

In New York City, snow will start Wednesday morning. Ten inches to more than a foot is forecast in the area before the storm departs early Thursday.

But Central Park in Manhattan may only receive 4 to 6 inches of snow, CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said, explaining it's more likely snow will accumulate in areas at higher elevations.

"If New York gets 12 inches of snow -- the National Weather Service currently has a high-end potential of 13 to 21 inches -- it would be its largest snowfall ever recorded after the first day of spring," Miller says.

The current record is 11.8 inches, set on 21 March 1958. […]

These late winter storms are likely to become more frequent with climate change. A study last week in the scientific journal Nature Communications ties extreme winter weather, specifically major snowstorms in the Northeast, to warming Arctic temperatures. [more]

Nor'easter closes schools, delays flights as record spring snow likely

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