18" of snow forecast for Northeast; NY announces truck restrictions

Weather map of USA
National Weather Service

If your driving takes you up the East Coast and into the Northeast during the first half of the week, be sure you're prepared for some demanding winter conditions.

The National Weather Service is forecasting what it calls a 'major Nor'easter" expected to deliver high winds and as much s 18 inches of snow --if not more -- for sections of the Northeast including the interior of New England and much of New York beginning later today and through Wednesday.

The weather service says a storm system over the Great Lakes will combine with one moving across the South and then up the East Coast to create conditions for a classic Nor'easter with high winds, heavy snows, and coastal flooding beginning this evening.

"Heavy snow rates (2 inches plus per hour) and strong winds will produce dangerous to impossible travel." according to the weather service. "The heavy-wet nature of the snow, combined with max wind gusts up to 50 mph, will result in scattered to widespread power outages and tree damage. Similar impacts could be felt along the I-95 corridor from New York City to Boston."

The New York State Thruway Authority has issued restrictions on tandem and empty tractor-trailers as the storm approaches. The ban applies to the Thruway (I-87/I-90) beginning today, March 13 at 8 p.m. from I-87 exit 17 (Newburgh - Scranton - I-84) to I-90 exit 36 (Watertown - Binghamton- I-81) and the length of the Berkshire Spur (I-87 exit 21B to the Massachusetts border).

Meanwhile, California is bracing for another round of heavy rain late today through Wednesday, according to the weather service. Residents should expect areas of heavy rain and snowmelt producing flooding, high winds, and mountain snow.

"The storm will produce rain in low elevations and foothills and snow at high elevations from Northern to Central California and northwest Nevada and Oregon," the weather service said. "The rain and snow will intensify late Monday into Wednesday, creating considerable flooding impacts below 5000 feet elevation across much of the California Coast and Central Valley and over the southern Sierra Nevada foothills into Wednesday."