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Here’s a timeline of the snowstorm hitting Southern New England

Quick-hitting nor’easter to impact travel on Tuesday mainly for southeastern Massachusetts and the Cape

Satellite loop shows the nor'easter moving into New England on Tuesday.TropicalTidbits.com

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A powerful nor’easter headed toward New England overnight Monday is expected to cause major travel disruptions and widespread power outages for parts of the region.

Southern New England could see anywhere from 2 inches to 8 inches of snow by the time the storm ends Tuesday evening. Southern New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine are forecast to see much less, about a coating to 2 inches, according to Globe meteorologist Dave Epstein.

With strong, gusty winds and snowfall accelerating at a rate of 1 to 3 inches per hour, the storm could cause poor visibility and treacherous driving conditions where the heaviest snow falls.

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How the storm will unfold

• 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. – Light snow to start in New England, first across Connecticut. The Cape will see rain.

• 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. – Precipitation to start in Boston area, first possibly as rain and then quickly changes over to snow.

• 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. - Storm ramps up in intensity, with snow falling at a rate of 1 to 3 inches per hour.

• 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Heaviest snowfall occurs.

• 1 to 3 p.m. - Snow starts winding down in central and western Mass.

• 4 to 6 p.m. - Snow ending for Boston area, eastern and southeastern Mass.

• 7 to 9 p.m. – Storm “completely shuts off,” with the Cape seeing light snow, Epstein says.

“This is not going to be a long-lasting storm. This is a very quick-hitting storm -- it’s in and it’s out,” he said.

Satellite loop shows the nor'easter moving into New England on Tuesday.TropicalTidbits.com

Forecasters say Southern New England could see snowfall rates of about 2 inches per hour around 1 p.m. Tuesday.

“If this verifies, some of you could see it snow as hard as you have ever seen it,” Epstein said. “Since it will be daylight, it will be pretty awesome to observe the power of nature. (It will be) fast moving, so it is done by about 6 p.m.”

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But Epstein warned that road conditions will deteriorate rapidly due to this powerful storm.

“People should stay off the roads during the height of the storm...it’s going to be incredibly intense,” Epstein said.

Meteorologist Dave Epstein says "It's not often you see such a high probability of intense snowfall rates."NOAA

Expected snowfall accumulation

• 6 to 10 inches -- Southern Plymouth County and most of the Cape

• 4 to 8 inches -- Southeastern Mass., Rhode Island and Connecticut

• 2 to 5 inches -- Boston area, suburbs and portions of western Mass.

• Coating to 2 inches -- South of Mass Pike, western Mass., southern NH, VT and Maine

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Marianne Mizera can be reached at marianne.mizera@globe.com. Follow her @MareMizera.