After taste of spring, weekend snow to blanket the Northeast

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winter storm saturday_00000000

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    Winter storm threatens the Northeast

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Winter storm threatens the Northeast 01:03

Story highlights

  • Snow for much of the Northeast Saturday
  • 4-7 inches of snow, but not for everyone

(CNN)Enjoy the early warmth as long as you can on Friday. For much of the eastern US, Thursday felt like spring.

Now, just like Soul II Soul sang in 1989, it is 'back to life, back to reality.'
The season is still winter and winter returns Saturday, with a quick burst of snow blanketing the Northeast coast from Washington to Boston.
    About 30 million people are already in a winter storm watch, including Boston and New York City.
    The National Weather Service issues a watch when they believe significant winter weather is possible in the next 48 hours.
    If the current weather forecast holds, they will likely issue a warning as the storm becomes more imminent Saturday.

    Timing and snowfall amounts

    The storm starts in the Midwest and quickly moves east on Saturday. Chicago and Detroit could see some snow or wintry mix Saturday afternoon. The larger amounts will happen farther east.
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    Washington D.C. may see a dusting starting as early as 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon. However, don't expect much as warmer air mixes in and sleet is a little more likely, eventually turning over to rain overnight Saturday.
    Thankfully, accumulating ice is not likely.
    This warmer air also impacts the snow amounts in Philadelphia, where a wintry mix is forecast Saturday afternoon, but cooler air should prevail and overnight accumulations could reach two to four inches.
    For New Yorkers enduring a burst of rain on Friday, weekend snow is in the forecast. Despite a few glimmers of sun on Saturday morning, clouds should return by afternoon and the snow will begin by early evening. New York City should see four to seven inches by Sunday morning.
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    Boston doesn't get into the snow until much later Saturday evening. The storm will dump a quick three to seven inches before tapering off around sunrise Sunday morning.
    All in all, it is still winter and it hasn't been an overly active one in the Northeast. Snowfall amounts for the season are near normal for both New York and Boston. Just a few short years ago, it seemed as if Boston was dealing with a blizzard almost every weekend in February.
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    There could be some disruptions to air travel this weekend. But with most of the wintry weather happening on a slower travel day and most of the precipitation falling late in the afternoon to overnight, massive disruptions and flight cancellations are not likely.