NEW YORK - A spring nor'easter rumbled along the East Coast on Sunday and was expected to bring rain and heavy winds and even snow in some places as it strengthens into early Monday, a punctuation to a relatively dry stretch of weather for the Northeast.

The storm is atypical for April but not uncommon, said David Stark, a National Weather Service meteorologist in New York City, where 21/2 to 31/2 inches of rain and wind gusts of 25-30 m.p.h. were expected

With the storm came a spate of disruptions. Pro baseball games were postponed in New York and Washington. The space shuttle Enterprise's scheduled arrival in New York City was pushed back. An Earth Day celebration at a park in Virginia Beach, Va., was canceled.

From Philadelphia north through New York City and into southern New England up to 4 inches of rain could fall, with the heaviest downpour expected early Monday.

Some higher-elevation areas in the western parts of Pennsylvania and New York and in West Virginia and Ohio could even see snow.

Flooding was possible in some areas, but precipitation in much of the Northeast is below normal for this time of year.

"We're down 7 or 8 inches," weather service forecaster Charlie Foley said. "This won't completely wipe out the deficit but it will certainly help."

The storm's biggest threat is likely power outages caused by falling trees and limbs bringing down power lines, said meteorologist John Darnley.

Light rain was falling Sunday over the Baltimore and Washington metro areas and intensified throughout the day, said meteorologist Carrie Suffren.

In Florida, a woman had to be rescued Saturday night during thunderstorms after disappearing while out on Tampa Bay.

In Rockport, Mass., the storm forced authorities to halt until Tuesday a search for a 2-year-old girl who disappeared from a beach Thursday when her mother went to retrieve a lost ball. The beach is known for strong riptides.

Authorities in New York also suspended work that began last week on digging up a basement in a search for the remains of Etan Patz, who was 6 when he disappeared in 1979.