The latest storm, coming in the aftermath of two deadly nor’easters and resulting blackouts, is also expected to bring coastal flooding and powerful winds.
On top of that, it could reach “bomb cyclone” status, a severe drop in atmospheric pressure that would bring heavy snow and winds.
Travel conditions are expected to be difficult Tuesday morning, as nearly 44 million people are under winter weather advisory or warning. The nor’easter is expected to bring blizzard conditions to coastal Massachusetts.
Winter storm warnings are in effect for parts of Long Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.
Winter storm warnings will remain in effect until 8 p.m. ET, according to the National Weather Service. The center of the storm is forecast to pass around 200 miles southeast of Cape Cod early Tuesday morning.
Which places are affected?
Boston is one of the cities likely to bear the brunt of the storm. Snowfall totals of 12 to 20 inches are predicted. In some areas, snow could reach 2 feet. Boston schools have closed Tuesday and a snow emergency in the city went into effect Monday night.
“It feels like we haven’t seen this type of storm since 2015,” Mayor Marty Walsh said Monday. “It seems like this one is going to be a big one.”
The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency said that snow could fall at a rate of 1-3 inches per hour.
“This storm could bring significant snowfall across much of the Commonwealth, high winds along the coast, southeast and eastern portions of the state, and minor coastal flooding on east ocean-exposed shorelines,” the agency said.
New England is bracing for the brunt of the snowfall and wind gusts that could be hurricane force.
The National Weather Service’s Boston office is forecasting 8 inches to a foot of snow for parts of Connecticut through western Massachusetts and up to 18 inches for eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Public schools in Hartford, Connecticut, Providence, Rhode Island, and Portland, Maine, have closed Tuesday.
New York City, under a winter weather advisory, will be spared the heaviest snow, but accumulations of 2 to 4 inches are expected.
The National Weather Service said Monday that Suffolk County in New York, and Southern Connecticut will receive a heavy, wet snowfall of 5 to 10 inches, with 1 to 2 inches of snow per hour.
Little or no snow accumulation is forecast for Philadelphia and Washington.
How is travel affected?
More than 1,000 flights were canceled Tuesday, most of them at Boston Logan International Airport, according to FlightAware.
Amtrak temporarily suspended its Northeast Corridor Service between Boston and New York until at least 11 a.m. Tuesday.
In Massachusetts, all ferry services have been suspended in anticipation of blizzard conditions. The Boston mayor asked residents to stay off the roads and, if needed, to take public transportation.
What happened with the previous nor’easters?
On March 2, a nor’easter that morphed into a “bomb cyclone” slammed much of the Northeast with heavy snow and rain, hurricane-force wind gusts, and significant coastal flooding. The storm left six people dead from falling trees, and about 900,000 people lost power.
As residents were still digging out from that snow, a second storm hit the Northeast late last week. The storm dropped heavy, wet snow in areas west of Interstate 95, leaving feet of snow in some areas and leaving one person dead in Suffern, in southern New York.
CNN’s Michael Guy, Joe Sutton, Joe Sterling and Susannah Cullinane contributed to this report.