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Nor'easter to hit East Coast with winds, snow, rain

Nor'easter to hit East Coast with winds, snow, rain
Posted at 6:31 AM, Mar 02, 2018

There's a nor'easter roaring toward the East Coast -- and it's a ferocious mix of howling winds, drenching rain, snow and surging waves.

The storm is expected to knock out power, flood neighborhoods and destroy homes along the Atlantic coast Friday and Saturday.

As the high tide advances, authorities are warning residents of coastal communities to be ready to evacuate.

"Take this storm seriously! This is a LIFE & DEATH situation for those living along the coast, especially those ocean-exposed shorelines," the National Weather Service in Boston tweeted.

Like the nor'easter in January, it could undergo bombogenesis -- or become a "bomb cyclone" -- by dropping at least 24 millibars of atmospheric pressure in 24 hours. Some forecasters predict a sudden pressure plummet Friday evening off the Atlantic coast.

Here's what to expect in the next few days:

Coastal flooding

Even if the storm doesn't become a "bomb cyclone," New York's eastern Long Island and Boston will feel its effects.

With the moon full, the tide is at its highest point of the month, and the storm surge could drive up to 4 feet of water into coastal neighborhoods.

With the storm moving slowly, its wind, rain and flood effects will linger for days. Areas in eastern Long Island and eastern Massachusetts could get up to 5 inches of rain through Saturday. The rest of the region could see 2 to 4 inches of rain.

"Mostly minor and some moderate flooding is expected in southern New England and New York on Friday and Saturday," the National Weather Service said.

High tides are expected in Boston on Friday and Saturday, along with wind gusts up to 65 mph, according to Mayor Marty Walsh.

"I encourage all residents to be mindful of the storm and encourage employers to take the weather into consideration, which will mostly impact the coastal areas of our city," Walsh said.

Massachusetts emergency officials said tides "will be astronomically high"during the first few days of March.

In New Jersey, officials are also expecting heavy rain to flood some rivers and streams, and affect drainage.

"If you are told to evacuate from a flooded area, GO!" theNew Jersey Office of Emergency Management said.

Heavy snow

Any snow that falls in the region will be heavy and wet, likely to bring down trees and power lines, and cause power outages.

Inland New England is more likely to get snow, with a foot possible in upstate New York and western Massachusetts.

"Snowfall amounts of 12 to 18 inches are expected in New York, with even higher values in central New York," the National Weather Service tweeted.

Strong winds

The winds will be so ferocious. So much so, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is securing cranes at a LaGuardia Airport construction project. It's also making plans to use buses if trains at JFK or Newark airports are stopped because of the wind.

In Boston, high wind warnings are in effect between Friday and Saturday morning. New Jersey officials say high winds may affect trees and power lines.

In Washington and Baltimore, wind gusts of 60mph to 70mph are expected to hit. The nation's capital has activated a hypothermia alert, and is urging homeless residents to take shelter.

Hundreds of flights canceled

About 1,500 flights involving US airports are canceled, Flight tracking website posted Friday.

Several airlines, including Delta, United and Southwest, are offering fee waivers for flight cancellations or changes involving airports in affected cities.

Emergency operations

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has activated the State Emergency Operations Center. His Massachusetts counterpart, Gov. Charlie Baker, said he's called in the National Guard.

"Do not ride out the storm if you are told to evacuate," Baker said.

Cuomo urged residents to pay attention to weather forecasts.

"As the saying goes, March is coming in like a lion and we are preparing for heavy snow, rain, and flooding across New York this weekend," he said. . " ... I am asking for everyone to ... take the necessary precautions to prepare for conditions."

In New Jersey, officials activated a state emergency operations center. It urged residents to avoid unnecessary travel.

In the nation's capital, federal offices will be closed Friday. Trash and recycling collections are also suspended Friday in Washington.