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Winter weather: 32 million under alerts for late-season snow

How else did you expect this winter to end?
People walk through the wind and cold on Wall Street in New York's financial district on March 19, 2015.
People walk through the wind and cold on Wall Street in New York's financial district on March 19, 2015.

Spring starts at 6:45 p.m. ET on Friday, bringing an end to a winter that shattered snow records — but the snow won't be ending. Winter weather advisories are posted across eight states — covering 32 million people in all — ahead of a system expected to dump several inches of snow on most of the Northeast.

"This is not going to be a big blizzard, but it is going to be several inches of snow," said Ari Sarsalari, a meteorologist for The Weather Channel.

Accumulations of 1 to 4 inches are likely in most places, but the mountains of central Pennsylvania and western New England could see as much as 8 inches, The Weather Channel reported. New York City issued a winter travel advisory, warning that the city could get 4 to 6 inches through Saturday.

Wet snow is expected to fall in parts of West Virginia, Virginia and Pennsylvania on Thursday night, and perhaps in Washington and Baltimore overnight, it said.

The snow moves into the Northeast and parts of New England on Friday, making for slushy morning and evening commutes in Philadelphia and New York. In northern New England, the snow could linger until Saturday night.

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Temperatures are expected to start warming up Monday and Tuesday, bringing with them the annual spring threat of flooding — a threat the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration said is especially acute this year because of all the water locked up in the record snow that's still on the ground.

NOAA said the likeliest flooding problems will be in parts of eastern New England and western New York. NOAA's National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center said parts of eastern New England still have more than 5 inches of water locked in the snowpack.

Then there's the ice that will be breaking up on rivers in northern New York and northern New England, resulting in ice jams, NOAA said.

What it means, Sarsalari said, is that "we're in that fun transition period between winter and spring."

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