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Now It Snows?

The Northeast and mid-Atlantic began the cold season with an unusual Halloween snowstorm that knocked out power to millions. And after that? Almost no snow in may parts of those regions.

So maybe it's fitting that one of the mildest winters in memory is being followed by a storm that's expected to dump several inches of snow today on higher elevations of states from West Virginia up into New York.

Forecasters are warning that because the warm weather of recent weeks has led many trees in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic to bud early and start putting out leaves, any accumulation of wet, heavy snow on branches could cause many to break — bringing power lines down with them.

On the plus side, though, The Patriot-News of Harrisburg, Pa., writes that:

"The rain is not enough to prompt flooding concerns, but it might be good news for firefighters who spent the last few weeks battling wildfires across the state.

"Wildfires burned 15 to 20 acres of state forest in South West Madison Township, Perry County, and at least 25 acres on Peters Mountain near the Appalachian Trail in Halifax Township this month.

"At one point this month there were 70 wildfires reported across the state amid dry conditions."

Today's weather also may give Punxsutawney Phil at least some cover for what has certainly seemed like a misguided prediction back in February that we'd have six more weeks of winter.

Update at 12:10 p.m. ET. Two Early Reports:

-- "Storm Prompts School Closings, Delays Across Region." (Rochester Democrat & Chronicle)

-- "Snow Clogs Pennsylvania Turnpike, Knocks Out Power." (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

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