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Winter not done yet: Wet and snowy days ahead from the Rockies to New England

Up to 20 inches of fresh snow could blanket the Rockies as snow creates slick travel for parts of the Northeast and New England. Meanwhile, heavy rain will drench the South.

The next storm system will bring rain, storms and snow to the East Coast through Wednesday night.

On Tuesday, a developing storm system will move across the Southeast, bringing rain and thunderstorms from Texas to North Carolina.

On Wednesday, strong storms will be possible from the Gulf Coast to the Carolinas, where strong winds will be the main threat, followed by locally heavy rain, which could add up to 1 to 2 inches (higher in some areas) in some spots.

Farther north, the storm system will meet with cold air as it moves into the Northeast, bringing the chance for wet snow from Pennsylvania and central New Jersey through New England.

Snow accumulations of 3 to 6 inches are most likely on grassy surfaces and in the higher elevations of the Adirondacks and the Green and White Mountains.

Cities along the Interstate 95 corridor, like New York; Hartford, Connecticut; and Boston, are also likely to see some flakes fly, but wet roads from a slushy inch or two will be the most likely outcome in the large metro areas.

Washington won't get any snow; instead, it will rain for several hours, with temperatures in the upper 30s and the 40s.

At the same time, the Northeast and New England will contend with their March snow, as will much of the Rocky Mountain region.

March is one of the snowiest months of the year for most locations in the Rockies. It will live up to its reputation this week.

Winter alerts were up by Tuesday morning from northern Montana south through southern Colorado and east into parts of Nebraska and Kansas.

Up to 20 inches of fresh snow could blanket the highest elevations of the Rockies through Thursday. Lesser amounts of 3 to 6 inches are more likely for parts of the central Plains.

As if snow wasn't enough to plunge millions of people back into a winter mindset, a temperature free-fall will dramatically drop temperatures back to reality after several warm days.

High temperatures that were 15 to 30 degrees above average Monday led to numerous record highs across the East. Washington, which soared to a high of 80 degrees, experienced one of its earliest first 80-degree days on record.

On Tuesday, high temperatures were forecast to be 20 to 30 degrees colder than on Monday. While the colder temperatures will be a rude awakening after the spring tease, they will actually be close to the average for early March.

Through late in the week, the East will warm up, while the Rockies and the Plains will cool down because of the next blast of arctic air.

The past few days have offered a reminder that March often features weather extremes on both the cold and warm ends of the spectrum.

As millions of people grapple with the abrupt swing from the 70s and the 80s to snow, it's not uncommon to see snow after the first 70-degree day in the spring.