Winter storm expected to bring freezing rain to Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont

People walk through a snow squall in New York City on Dec 18, 2019. PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (NYTIMES) - A storm system that brought heavy snow and strong winds to the Great Plains and the Midwest was moving towards the north-east on Sunday (Dec 29), potentially complicating travel, forecasters said.

Through Monday and into Tuesday, the storm could bring 10cm to 20cm of snow to parts of New England as well as freezing rain to areas of Vermont, New Hampshire, Eastern New York and Western Massachusetts, Mr Andrew Orrison, a meteorologist with the Weather Prediction Centre, said.

"It could be rather damaging for some of the areas up through there where you can have downed trees, power lines, and as a result, power outages to a number of people," he said on Sunday.

Major cities in the north-east are expected to only see rain, but Boston could get snow and freezing rain, Mr Orrison said.

As of Sunday morning, the storm had brought at least 35cm of snow in Fargo, North Dakota, and about 30cm in western Nebraska and northern South Dakota.

The system is expected to move across the Great Lakes and arrive in New England by Tuesday morning, bringing the possibility of severe ice storms, said Mr Patrick Burke, a meteorologist with the Weather Prediction Centre in College Park, Maryland.

Several airlines issued travel notices for the upper Midwest as a result of the weather, including United Airlines, American Airlines and Delta Air Lines, offering people who are travelling just ahead of the new year the chance to change tickets without being charged a fee.

Mr Burke said the worst weather was not expected to hit major airports.

"It's not the type of weather that would close down a major airport," he said. "Maybe expect some delays, but not too bad, considering."

Temperatures on Monday and Tuesday are expected to be above normal for parts of the north-east.

"Tomorrow, portions of the Mid-Atlantic are actually going to feel like spring," Mr Orrison said on Sunday, adding that some places could see temperatures "well into the 60s (15 deg C) and even the 70s (21 deg C)" near Washington.

Farther north, temperatures will be lower, in the 30s (-1 deg C) and 40s (-15 deg C), but "that's actually going to be above normal for this time of the year".

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