A major late-winter storm was on its way into the Northeast on Monday, packing a mix of heavy, wet snow, rain and strong winds that could cause widespread power failures, disrupt travel and flood coastal communities, forecasters said.
The storm, which was expected to strengthen into a nor’easter, could unload more than a foot of snow in the Catskills and southern Adirondacks in New York, the Berkshires and Worcester hills in Massachusetts, the Monadnocks and White Mountains in New Hampshire, and the southern Green Mountains in Vermont, the National Weather Service said.
One to two feet of snow could also fall in parts of Maine, northwestern Connecticut and northeastern Pennsylvania as well as Sussex County in New Jersey, forecasters said. But New York City was expected to be spared from heavy snow, if the forecast holds.
Elsewhere, the wet, heavy snow, combined with wind gusts of up to 60 miles per hour, could bring down tree branches and power lines, knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses before the storm ends on Wednesday, the authorities said.
Widespread minor coastal flooding and beach erosion were also possible, the Weather Service said.
Communities in higher elevations were expected to get the most snow, with heavy rain and light snow in the New York-New Jersey metro area, Long Island and southeastern Connecticut. The storm will grow stronger around 10 p.m. Monday night and last into Tuesday.
Gov. Kathy Hochul of New York said at a news conference on Monday said that she would declare a state of emergency beginning at 8 p.m., which would allow the state to deploy additional resources and would send a clear message to residents that the storm could pose a threat to public safety.
Ms. Hochul warned that the wet snow was going to “come down like a brick” — by as much as three inches an hour in some areas — snapping tree limbs and power lines and making travel treacherous, if not impossible.
“This will be a dangerous storm,” Ms. Hochul said. “Please stay off the roads for your own safety. Stay in your homes.”
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Ms. Hochul said that 100 National Guard troops had been placed at the ready to respond to the storm, and that additional utility crews had been called in, including some from Canada.
“It’s going to be one where we’re going to see serious loss of power,” Ms. Hochul said “That is a statement of fact.”
The National Weather Service said 12 to 18 inches of snow could blanket Albany and that eight to 12 inches could fall in Binghamton, Ithaca and Syracuse in New York.
Boston was preparing for six inches of snow, although forecasters warned that even a slight shift in the track could affect totals in the city and surrounding communities.
Jon Mitchell, the mayor of New Bedford, Mass., a port city about 60 miles south of Boston, said he was preparing for several inches of rain, followed by snow.
“The big issue, really, is the risk of flooding for us — and the wind gusts,” he said in an interview, adding that crews were clearing catch basins to prevent rain and snow from pooling.
Utilities across the region said they were preparing for power failures.
Craig Hallstrom, regional president of electric operations for Eversource, a utility that serves Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, said that the storm was “so big” that it could stretch resources across the region.
“As everybody knows, this is a potentially significant event,” Mr. Hallstrom said at a news conference on Monday.
He said that the utility was closely tracking the rain-snow line and was particularly concerned that wind gusts of 40 m.p.h. were expected across Massachusetts, with even stronger gusts along the coast.
Mr. Hallstrom said that to prepare, Eversource had called in hundreds of additional workers from other states.