However, most of the storm's rain will stay offshore, with maybe an inch or two expected in Massachusetts and less than an inch elsewhere along the coast, he said.
Up to an inch of snow may fall in northeastern New Jersey and the lower Hudson River valley, weather service meteorologist Mike Layer said. Central Massachusetts and western Connecticut also could get an inch or two of snow, according to Masters.
Along the Jersey shore, which was devastated by last week's superstorm, there was some relief that damage projections from the nor'easter have been scaled back. But there was still concern about the ocean barreling past beaches and dunes that were largely washed away.
High winds might be "pushing that water right back across flat dunes and flooding the town again," said Dan Friendly, who lives on Ocean Avenue in Point Pleasant Beach in a neighborhood hard-hit by Sandy.
In neighboring Bay Head, heavy machinery was used to hastily push sand piles back into where well-rooted dune systems once stood.
"We no longer have a dune system; there are just piles of sand back on the beach," said Councilwoman D'Arcy Rohan Green. "Hopefully, they will hold."
AP writers Wayne Parry in Point Pleasant Beach, N.J., and Jennifer Peltz in New York City contributed to this story.
National Weather Service updates: http://1.usa.gov/YSdVqq