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Blizzard Hitting New England Coast

UPDATED 8:15 AM EDT, March 26, 2014

UPDATED By WeatherBug Meteorologists, Chad Merrill and James West

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A major Nor`easter is winding up off the New England Coast, producing gale-force winds and heavy snow across eastern New England today. In fact, this combination is producing blizzard conditions across far eastern New England.

This powerful storm system is well offshore of the East Coast this morning, producing its fiercest winds and weather offshore. Even so, this nor`easter is large enough to produce howling northwesterly winds across eastern New England, with Cape Cod, Martha`s Vineyard and Nantucket, Mass., getting hit the hardest. Already this morning, a wind gust of 78 mph was measured on Nantucket.

Blizzard Warnings are in effect for Cape Cod, Martha`s Vineyard, Nantucket and far eastern Maine. Winter Weather Advisories and Winter Storm Warning are in effect for interior northern Maine.

Snow is falling across coastal New England from Rhode Island into eastern Maine this morning. The snow will gradually end today from south to north, with Cape Cod and eastern Maine seeing the highest accumulations. Up to a foot of snow will be possible there, with the rest of the eastern New England seeing only a couple inches. Combined with the howling winds, visibility will be reduced to near zero at times in eastern Maine and Cape Cod where blizzard conditions are likely.

In addition, High Wind Warning and Wind Advisories stretch from northeastern New Jersey into Maine. Cities such as New York City, Hartford, Conn., Providence, R.I., and Boston are included in the Wind Advisory. While the highest winds will be felt along Cape Cod on Wednesday with gusts exceeding 50 mph and sustained winds at 40 mph, inland locations along Interstate 95 will have to deal with sustained Northwest winds at 20 to 30 mph and gusts of 45 to 55 mph.

The Nor`easter will quickly bolt into Canada tonight, with snow and wind ending completely across New England. As the weather improves in New England, it will quickly go downhill in eastern Canada by mid-afternoon. Heavy snow and hurricane-force winds will buffet the Maritime Provinces, including Nova Scotia.

In its early stages Tuesday, the storm brought 1 to 6 inches of snow to the Mid-Atlantic. Standardsville, Va., got 6 inches while much of northern Virginia into central Maryland received 2 to 4 inches and Washington, D.C., ended up with 1.7 inches. Farther west, snow totals were much lighter with 1 to 2 inches along Interstate 81 in Maryland and south-central Pennsylvania.

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