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Another Nor’easter heads for East Coast, but no one knows precisely where it will hit

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Furrow-browed weather forecasters struggled Tuesday to figure out just how bad the second Nor’easter in a week will be when it arrives sometime Wednesday in New York, Boston and other major Northeastern cities.

A storm system that blanketed the Plains and the Midwest in snow was rapidly moving north and east, and it was expected to smash into a wet and cold low pressure system sweeping north from the Southeast overnight, the National Weather Service said.

“And that’s our Nor’easter,” said Sherri Pugh, a meteorologist for NBC News.

Authorities throughout the region planned for the worst, not knowing whether they would actually get it. Ari Sarsalari, a meteorologist for The Weather Channel, said the freezing line dividing snow from rain was expected to snake directly through Boston and Providence, Rhode Island, making it impossible to know whether some of the biggest Northeastern cities would get wet, heavy snow or just a lot of rain.

“For places like Boston and Providence, literally the forecast right now is for zero to 12 inches of snow,” Sarsalari said. The track of the low pressure system “can make this whole area of snow, the really heavy snow, move a little farther toward the north and west or a little farther toward the south and east,” he said.

Heavy snow of a foot or more is expected farther north and west, but it will be accompanied by less severe winds than those that gusted across the region during last week’s Nor’easter, which was blamed for the deaths of at least nine people.

Winter storm warnings — meaning dangerous winter conditions are likely — extended from southeastern Pennsylvania to northern Maine, covering New York City, Philadelphia and metropolitan Boston.




Image: Weather preparations in Massachusetts

The Pittsfield, Massachusetts, Highway Department fills salt storage sheds on Tuesday.