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Northeast residents brace for late season Nor’easter

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March snowstorms bring the threat of a late season Nor’easter to residents of the Northeast United States with snow squalls and powerful winds expected to hit New York City, Connecticut and Boston on Monday and Tuesday, forecasters say.

Just one week before the start of spring, the National Weather Service issued a blizzard watch for New York City, Long Island, metro New Jersey, northern Connecticut, southern Rhode Island and parts of eastern Massachusetts, including Boston.

Ahead of the strong storm, bone-chilling temperatures persist across the region, highs in New York remain below freezing, forecasters said.

“Nearly one in every three people in the US are under a winter weather alert of some sort,” CNN meteorologist Pedram Javaheri said. “This all comes after what seemed like it would be the year without a winter.”

The agency warned that Boston and the New York metro area could be blanketed with 12 to 18 inches of snow.

The blizzard watch extends beyond New York City to Long Island, Southern Westchester, Southern Fairfield, Southern New Haven, Middlesex, and New London counties.

Washington D.C., Boston and Philadelphia, as well as parts of West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland are under a winter storm watch, forecasters said.

Damaging wind gusts of up to 60 mph are expected across eastern Long Island and southeastern Connecticut, forecasters warn.

The strong winds will result in dangerous travel conditions as well as power outages throughout the Northeast.

“We have two low-pressure systems essentially coming together to create a potentially significant Nor’easter,” CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar said.

“The first low begins in the Midwest and progresses east to the Mid-Atlantic region. The second low begins off the coast of Florida and moves north along the east coast and meets up with the first low around Washington, D.C.”

The blustery weather descending on Boston could bring an excess of a foot of snow to the city by Wednesday.

Washington D.C. kicked off the month with a record high of 80 degrees on March 1st. Now, residents will have to bundle up for a foreseeable 5 to 10 inches of snow through Tuesday, forecasters said. Both Boston and New York began the month with highs at or above 70 degrees.

“Since January first, we have seen over 9,000 record high temperatures set in the US, compare that to only 1,300 record low temperature this winter, a 9 to 1 ratio favoring warmth,” Javaheri said.

Despite the advance of colder temperatures across the Eastern US, last month was one of the warmest on record, the National Weather Service tweeted.