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Spring snowstorm hammers New York, Pennsylvania (+video)

A Spring nor'easter is forecast to dump more than a foot of snow in Pennsylvania, and parts of New York, closing schools and causing power outages. Flood watches have been issued for Maine and New Hampshire

By Bob LentzAssociated Press / April 23, 2012

Canada Geese and goslings travel in a spring snow in Pembroke, N.Y., Monday, April 23, 2012. Weather forecasters expect more than a foot in some locations of western New York and Pennsylvania.

(AP Photo/David Duprey)


Watertown, N.Y. and Philadelphia

A spring nor'easter dumped up to six inches of snow east of Lake Ontario on Monday and parts of western New York could see more than a foot of snow before the late-season storm moves on.

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Rain in the Buffalo area was changing to snow with 5 to 9 inches expected through 7 a.m. Tuesday. Up to 16 inches are possible in higher elevations south of Buffalo through Tuesday morning.

In Cortland County in central New York, authorities said county roads are snow covered and slippery and they urged drivers not to head out unless absolutely necessary.

National Weather Service meteorologist Jeff Wood said six inches of snow fell by daybreak Monday in the higher terrain of Tug Hill, just southeast of Watertown. He says the snow will be changing to rain there later Monday morning. Winds and heavy precipitation brought scattered outages around the state. NYSEG reported more than 12,000 customers without power, with many in the Southern Tier.

IN PICTURES: Extreme weather 2012

Flood watches were up around eastern New York after heavy rain overnight.

In Pennsylvania, the sudden burst of winter is expected to bring up to a foot of snow in higher elevations inland, closing some schools and sparking concerns of power outages.

"It's unusual, but not unheard of," said Kevin Fitzgerald, a National Weather Service meteorologist in State College, Pa., where the eastern part of the state saw rain, and the west, northwest and higher elevations dealt with snow.

Up to 12 inches of snow was expected in the higher elevations of central and western Pennsylvania, as well as New York state, south of Buffalo. A winter storm warning was issued for parts of northeastern Ohio, where 3 to 7 inches of snow was forecast.

Some schools in western Pennsylvania were closed Monday morning ahead of the storm. Districts in the state's Allegheny Mountains began announcing closures Sunday night as the storm was expected to drop 5 to 7 inches of snow by early Tuesday morning.

Much of New Hampshire and western Maine were under a flood watch Monday with more heavy rain expected. Up to 2 to 3 inches of rain is expected in the area, with the possibility of some creeks and rivers flooding.

However, flood watches were canceled early Monday for the New York City area and in New Jersey.

Sustained winds of 20-30 mph were predicted throughout the Northeast, and gusts of up to 50 mph were expected off Cape Cod, Matthew Belk of the National Weather Service in Taunton, Mass., said late Sunday.

One of the biggest concerns with the storm was the potential for power outages due to limbs and branches weighed down by heavy snow falling onto power lines.

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