(USA TODAY) -- A winter storm is forecast to explode into a "potentially historic"
blizzard over New England on Friday and Saturday, dumping as much as 2
feet of snow across some parts of the region.
The storm is already
getting cranked up today around the Great Lakes, where 6 to 12 inches
could fall in parts of Wisconsin, Michigan and New York state. Winter
storm warnings are in place in those states.
By Friday, the
greatest impact in New England will be along the Maine coastline, in
southeastern New Hampshire, in eastern Massachusetts, and in parts of
Rhode Island and Connecticut, says AccuWeather meteorologist Paul
Walker. Although snow will start to fall in New England during the day
Friday, "the worst conditions will hold off until later Friday and early
Saturday," he says.
The hardest-hit cities could be Hartford;
Providence; Boston; Worcester, Mass.; Concord, N.H.; Portsmouth, N.H.;
and Portland, Maine, AccuWeather predicts. Boston could see at least a
foot of snow, possibly more - the first major snowfall for that city
New York City will also get snow, but likely not
nearly as much as in New England. The latest forecast as of Thursday
morning is for 6-10 inches of snow in the city, according to the weather
The National Weather Service warns in an online report
that "a potentially historic winter storm and blizzard is expected to
drop 1 to 2 feet of snow across much of the region," and that "travel
may become near impossible at times with considerable blowing and
drifting snow." Late Wednesday, the weather service issued a blizzard
watch for the region, meaning that a blizzard is forecast within the
next 36 hours.
This has the potential to be a top 10 snowstorm
all-time in Boston, according to the Weather Channel. A snow total of
18.2 inches or more would place it in that list.
In addition to
the snow, winds and coastal flooding are also concerns: In
Massachusetts, there is a chance of "ferocious sustained winds near 50
mph at the coast, with wind gusts in excess of hurricane force--74 mph,"
says Weather Underground meteorologist Jeff Masters.
that the winds will push ocean water onshore, potentially causing
flooding in Boston. One forecast, Masters says, shows the city could see
the 3rd-highest water level on record.
The Weather Channel, as
part if its new winter storm naming system, has dubbed this storm Nemo.
Neither the National Weather Service nor any other private weather
agencies are using this name.
Numerous flight delays and cancellations are possible, AccuWeather
warns, mainly centered on New England, but these problems will be felt
elsewhere across the nation.
Two storms - one moving in from the
Great Lakes that's producing the snow there today and another one moving
up the East Coast - are forecast to merge near New England on Friday,
These storms, combined with a high pressure system
over Canada that's supplying cold air, provide "a classic setup for a
major winter storm across southern New England," the weather service
The storm should put an end to Boston's snow drought this
winter: The city has received only 10 inches of snow this winter season,
according to the weather service. Typically, more than 25 inches would
have fallen so far this winter.
It's actually been more than two
years since Boston has seen a snowstorm of greater than 6 inches,
according to Weather Channel meteorologist Jon Erdman.
Englanders are looking forward to a weekend of skiing, sledding and
snowmobiling in places that have been stuck with bare ground for much of
the season: Tom Meyers of Wachusett Mountain Ski Area in Massachusetts
spent the past two days in Vermont at a conference with other ski area
officials. He says everyone there is buzzing about the upcoming storm.