MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — It's almost spring, but it feels a lot like winter in northern New England.

A winter storm is expected to dump close to a foot of heavy snow in some areas, a day before the official start of spring.

At least several inches of snow had fallen in parts of the region early Tuesday. Some of the higher amounts were 8 inches recorded in New Ipswich and Rindge in New Hampshire.

Hundreds of schools were closed and highway speeds were lowered.

The forecasts call for 10 to 18 inches around Montpelier, 7 to 11 inches in Concord, N.H., and 5 to 11 inches in Portland, Maine with lesser amounts, 4 to 10 inches, in western Massachusetts and along the coast.

The storm is expected to taper off on Wednesday.

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