BOSTON — A no-joke April Fool's snowstorm swirled toward the Northeast Thursday, a cruel prank on a region that was finally seeing a reprieve from its long, white winter.

The spring snowstorm was expected to hit late Thursday and last into Friday morning — April Fool's Day — dropping up to a foot of snow in some areas including northwest New Jersey, eastern New York and around New England.

The timing could make for a messy Friday morning commute.

Storm warnings were up around the region, and parts of New Jersey and New York's Hudson Valley and Catskills could see 5 to 10 inches. Up to 8 inches were possible in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains.

High-altitude areas of central Vermont could get up to a foot of snow.

Coastal parts of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut were expected to get mostly rain, or wet snow that won't accumulate.

No snow was expected in New York City, but the National Weather Service said commuters could see a rain-snow mix Friday morning.

The storm caps a particularly brutal winter for the region, with many cities setting record or near-record snowfalls.