Northeast braces for early season snowfall

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 28, 2011 11:39 AM

BOSTON (Reuters) - A rare October winter storm was expected to blanket parts of the Northeast with nearly a foot of snow over the weekend, forecasters said on Friday.

Winter storm watches were issued for parts of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast where a drenching rain was expected to change to snow in many areas on Saturday.

Heaviest snow totals were forecast north and west of the I-95 corridor where six to 12 inches of heavy, wet snow could down tree limbs and power lines from Allentown, Pennsylvania to Worcester, Massachusetts, according to The Weather Channel.

"The higher up you are, and farther away from the coast within the I-95 zone, the better the chance of not only wet snowflakes mixing in, but also a heavy accumulation of wet snow," said expert senior meteorologist John Gresiak.

Cities along the coast may not be spared from the early-season snowfall, forecasters said, with light accumulations possible in seaside spots including Boston, Philadelphia and New York City.

Boston felt its first snowflakes of the season on Thursday evening and six years ago measured 1.1 inches of snow on October 29, an October city record, according to the National Weather Service.

In October 1979, Worcester, in central Massachusetts, measured 7.5 inches of snow and the weekend storm could approach that record, said NWS meteorologist Bill Simpson.

(Reporting by Lauren Keiper; Editing by Jerry Norton)