msnbc.com
updated 3/31/2011 12:52:24 AM ET 2011-03-31T04:52:24

No joke! Forecasters on Wednesday said the Northeast likely would wake up to a snowy April Fools' Day.

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The Weather Channel reports that the storm could develop late Thursday off the Virginia coast and intensify Friday near the New Jersey coast and southern New England.

Computer models showed that the system could dump 6-12 inches just west and north of the major cities along the Interstate 95 corridor, according to the Weather Channel's Tim Ballisty. New York, Boston and Philadelphia should get plenty of rain.

Winter storm watches were posted for areas in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

Inland cities expecting heavy snow include: Albany, N.Y., Scranton, Pa., Burlington, Vt. and Manchester, N.H.

High winds and heavy snow could cause power cuts and low visibility, the Weather Channel said.

Snowfall amounts may vary, "but the bottom line is that you should plan on snow-covered roads Friday morning," warned Meteorologist Brian Lapis of NBC station WWLP in Springfield, Mass.

The jet stream is farther south than normal, making for colder temperatures, the Weather Channel said. Combine that with the system moving up the East Coast and that should create a strong Nor'easter storm.

Cities with below average temperatures Wednesday include Raleigh, N.C., (20 degrees colder than normal), Springfield, Mo. (12 degrees colder) and Cleveland, Ohio (14 degrees colder).

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Data: Wild Nor’easter

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