Forecasters from the National Weather Service are predicting the potential of up to a foot of snow blanketing the state of Maine this week from Tuesday through Wednesday, a day after a nor’easter is expected to sweep the New York region with possibly the season’s biggest snowstorm dumping up to 18 inches on Central Park.

The National Weather Service issued a blizzard watch Sunday for coastal regions including New York City and surrounding areas of Long Island, Westchester County and Connecticut.

A winter storm watch was in effect for a larger area of the Northeast: New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New England.

Priscilla Farrar, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Caribou, said projections did not look good for the state. Initial reports of the storm had indicated it might miss the state and go out to sea, but Farrar said the storm was more than likely taking a bead on the state.

“It looks like the entire state is going to get hit hard,” she said Sunday afternoon. “All the models are bringing it into the Gulf of Maine.”

Coming on the heels of bitter cold weather, including record low temperatures in many towns and cities across the state, the storm is expected to begin sweeping through the central and northern parts of the state on Tuesday morning and will escalate throughout the day.

Farrar said the bulk of the storm should settle in Tuesday night and begin to taper off Wednesday. She predicted the storm could dump 2 to 3 inches of snow per hour and wind could blow up to 40 miles per hour.

“I do not recommend traveling in this at all,” she said. “It’s going to be a fairly significant snowstorm.”

Farrar said it was possible areas along the coast could see between 6 and 10 inches of snow, which John Jensenius, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Gray, also said was possible.

“At this point we’re still in the watch phase,” he said, adding indications pointed at 6 inches of snow or more to fall. “It does look like we’re probably going to see a decent amount of snow across the entire area.”

Jensenius said the storm is indeed a nor’easter based on wind direction. He said there will be a strong northeast wind Tuesday into Wednesday.

“We’re still a couple of days away from the storm arriving,” he said, so it was possible conditions and predictions could change. “If you’ve been forecasting long enough, you recognize models do change, but it’s pretty certain we’ll see 6 inches or more at this point.”

Farrar said there was potential for the storm to mix with freezing rain along the coast Wednesday morning. She said temperatures were expected to be consistently in the 20s. She said at this point it does not seem likely the storm will miss the state.

Jensenius said it will likely not be a wet snow, which is good news when it comes to tree limbs and power lines. He did say the storm has the potential to spawn strong wind between 20 and 30 miles per hour in most parts of the state with even higher predictions in other parts.

“It’s something we have to watch, that will depend a lot on how the storm tracks,” he said.

Like Farrar, Jensenius recommended drivers stay off the roads during the storm.

“It’s one of those days if you don’t need to travel, you probably shouldn’t travel,” he said. “If you do, the key is to drive slowly and drive to conditions. And watch out for snow plows and let them do their job.”

In New York City, forecasters said the first snow of winter’s last hurrah is expected late Monday or just after midnight Tuesday morning with up to 4 inches falling by dawn. Heavy snow the rest of the day could pile 10 to 14 inches more with sustained winds of about 30 mph and wind gusts of up to 50 mph.

“This would certainly be the biggest snowstorm of the 2017 winter season in New York City,” said Faye Barthold, a weather service meteorologist based on Long Island.

On Long Island, a snowfall of 12 to 18 inches was forecast along with equally strong winds and visibility of a quarter mile or less.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday that the New York State Emergency Operations Center will be activated Monday evening, with stockpiles of sandbags, generators and pumps at the ready, as well as snow-removal vehicles and salt spreaders.

The New York City Department of Sanitation is taking similar action and also notifying additional workers to supplement staff if needed.

Other areas, including the lower Hudson Valley and northeastern New Jersey, also could get 12 to 18 inches of snow. But those areas were not under a blizzard watch because high wind and low visibility were not expected.

The severe weather would arrive just a week after the region saw temperatures climb into the 60s. Sunny days and T-shirt-wearing temperatures made it seem like winter had made an early exit. But the chilly weather and snow some areas got Friday may prove to be just a teaser.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Colin Ellis — 861-9253

[email protected]

Twitter: @colinoellis

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