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The National Weather Service issued a blizzard watch from late Monday night through Tuesday evening for New York City and parts of northern New Jersey and southern Connecticut, while winter storm warnings and watches were issued for the remainder of the Northeast.

Meteorologists said the storm could bring 12 to 18 inches of snow in New York City. The storm could also bring wind gusts of 40 to 50 mph.

Mayor Bill de Blasio urged residents to avoid unnecessary travel and help keep the roads clear for sanitation crews and first responders.

“We’re preparing for a significant storm on Tuesday, and New Yorkers should also prepare for snow and dangerous road conditions,” de Blasio said.

Light snow is expected to begin late Monday night and intensify overnight into early Tuesday morning.

Snowfall rates as much as 2 to 4 inches per hour are expected on Tuesday.

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

Boston also could potentially receive 12 to 18 inches, with isolated amounts of up to 2 feet across Massachusetts.

Philadelphia could see about 6 to 12 inches of snow.

The National Cherry Blossom Festival is scheduled to start Wednesday in our nation’s capital where snow accumulations of 6 to 10 inches are expected.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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