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'We Need the Sun': First Day of Spring Brings Snow to Northeast

A blast of winter-like weather hit the New York City area and New England on the first day of the vernal equinox.

This is spring?

January conditions settled on parts of the New York and New England on the day of the vernal equinox — with winter-weather advisories and watches from Long Island to Maine.

But anticipated snow totals are dramatically less than what was predicted were earlier in the week, when it was feared that as much as 8 inches of snow could fall in New York City.

Five to 8 inches still could fall on central and eastern Long Island, according to the National Weather Service. And up to 10 inches was expected in southeast Massachusetts from near Boston south, Rhode Island, far southeast Connecticut and Downeast Maine.

Rhode Island and parts of Massachusetts were under a winter storm warning through 11 a.m. Monday, leading Boston school officials to cancel Monday's classes. The University of Connecticut, meanwhile, delayed Monday's classes until noon.

Image: Snow in New York's Times Square
Snow falls on pedestrians Sunday in New York's Times Square.Eduardo Munoz / Reuters

Plows were loaded onto trucks and crews were pretreating roads ahead of the Monday morning commute in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and elsewhere along the South Shore, where people were being urged to delay going into work if they could.

"I'm not looking forward to it. I don't like snow in the spring," Ashley Candido of Braintree told NBC station WHDH of Boston. "We need the sun. I'm ready for spring."

The snow falling up and down the East Coast will be heavy and wet and accompanied by heavy winds, meaning power could be knocked out and travel could be snarled, said Michael Palmer, a meteorologist for The Weather Channel.

Washington, D.C., would likely only get light wet snow with no accumulation, but accompanying heavy winds left meteorologists worried that the cherry blossoms, expected to begin peak bloom Wednesday, might be affected.

Sunday's temperatures were 5 to 15 degrees below average, leading to an uncomfortable chill for many who have gotten used to consistent warmer-than-usual March temperatures.

The last gasp of winter threw a wet blanket on the planned seasonal opening of Luna Park in New York City’s Coney Island. The amusement park said it canceled the opening because of weather.

But the famed attraction and other springtime events will probably be able to get started soon, as temperatures are expected to return to the 60s by midweek.