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Nor'easter wreaks havoc on US east coast

Nor'easter delays space shuttle Enterprise's New York arrival

NEW YORK | April 23, 2012

A gusty, raw spring nor'easter dumping heavy wet snow and buckets of rain on the U.S. east coast Monday delayed the space shuttle Enterprise's New York arrival.

The storm, with characteristics similar to those of a hurricane, postponed the prototype space shuttle's arrival in New York City, originally set for Monday morning, until at least Wednesday, NASA said Sunday.

Managers were to meet at 1 p.m. to evaluate the weather and decide when Enterprise, fitted onto the back of a specially modified Boeing 747 wide-body jet, would fly to New York's Kennedy International Airport from suburban Washington's Dulles International, the space agency said.

The shuttle had been at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, an annex of the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum, at Dulles.

Once the departure date and time are set, the shuttle is expected to be flown to Kennedy and then placed on a barge that will be moved by tugboat up the Hudson River to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in June.

The storm, which dumped some 3 inches of rain in New York City blown by 41 mph wind gusts, brought 5 to 9 inches of snow to the Buffalo area early Monday and more than a foot west of New York's Catskill Mountains along the northern border of Pennsylvania.

Western Pennsylvania, extreme eastern Ohio, parts of northern West Virginia and extreme western Maryland also received heavy snow, with significant accumulations reported in Pittsburgh and at least a foot in the Allegheny Plateau and Appalachians.

Snowfall rates exceeded 1 inch an hour Sunday night into early Monday, accompanied by thunder and lightning, The Weather Channel reported.

The snow, rain and strong winds were to continue through much of Monday, with up to 4 inches of rain forecast farther east, from Philadelphia north through southern New England.

Flooding was possible in some areas, The Weather Channel said.

Some areas of western New York to northern West Virginia reported downed trees and power lines.

The spring had been unseasonably warm and dry in the Northeast, with record-high temperatures well into the 80s on some days and locations from Washington to Boston reporting rainfall at least 6 inches below normal, AccuWeather reported.

A nor'easter gets its name because the storm travels to the northeast from the south and the winds come from the northeast.

It most often affects coastal areas of the U.S. Northeast and Atlantic Canada.

2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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