Northeast braces for spring nor'easter with heavy snow, winds

The fourth nor'easter in three weeks pushed its way up the winter-weary East Coast on Wednesday, the first full day of spring, packing high winds and the potential for a foot or more of snow from West Virginia to New England.

Airlines canceled thousands of flights and school districts throughout the Northeast canceled classes ahead of the storm that was expected to intensify Wednesday afternoon, with heavy, wet snow a threat to knock out power around the region. Shore towns were warned of the possibility of coastal flooding.

Snow started falling Tuesday night in West Virginia and Kentucky and continued through Wednesday morning, while mid-Atlantic states saw a wintry mix before the precipitation was to change over to all snow.

The National Weather Service said the storm was expected to kick into gear in the mid-Atlantic by late Wednesday morning, then head north to New York and New England. But forecasters noted that the storm had sharp gradients that could cause several inches to fall in some spots, while nearby areas could see much less accumulation.

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