Northeasterners still shivering from the tail end of a brutal winter were expected to find early spring no less frigid Tuesday night and into Wednesday.
From Connecticut to Maine, 12 to 20 inches of snow and winds up to 60 mph were forecast, the National Weather Service said late Tuesday.
The agency warned of downed trees, power outages and zero visibility in the Cape Cod region of Massachusetts and issued a blizzard warning for the area, including Martha’s Vineyard.
The short but "explosive" storm could cause "minor to moderate coastal flooding from Boston to Nantucket, including northeast facing shorelines along Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard," the weather service said.
Martha's Vineyard Airport canceled all flights for Wednesday, and at least two dozen flights out of Boston were canceled, according to FlightAware.
Light snow dusted Detroit, Baltimore, Philadelphia and other cities in the lower Northeast on Tuesday.
But forecasters predicted that two storms would collide before they reached the New England states and produce more powerful blasts.
A possible blizzard isn’t out of the ordinary for April, but it extends a wretched winter of snowfall that rivaled records set decades ago.
Boston, for example, has received nearly 5 feet of snow this winter and spring, exceeding the average of about 3 1/2 feet, according to AccuWeather data released Tuesday.
The below-freezing temperatures are particularly troublesome in Washington, D.C., where officials have struggled to find shelter space for the homeless.
D.C. Superior Court Judge Robert D. Okun ruled Monday that the city could no longer place homeless families with children in gymnasiums lined with cots because it violated the district's privacy requirements. The district had resorted to such arrangements when family shelters were full.
The judge issued a temporary injunction ordering that the overflow families must be kept in motel rooms when below-freezing temperatures are present. The district said it planned to appeal the ruling and contended that finding hotel rooms in a pinch was difficult.
The district complied Monday night, spending $159 to $224 per hotel room to house 11 families, the Washington City Paper reported. Tuesday night's forecast triggered the hypothermia alert requiring the special accommodations, the district's Department of Human Services said on its website.