A modest storm cruising through the South now will take a left turn along the Atlantic Seaboard and will "bomb out" into a lingering, raging blizzard for northern New England and the St. Lawrence Valley for part of the New Year weekend.
The worst of the snow will hit areas from northern New York to northern Maine, New Brunswick and part of southern Quebec. While these areas tend to get hit with multiple storms during a typical winter, this will be the first "biggie" of the season.
Deep snowdrifts and ongoing blowing snow may cause some roads to close in the area.
As the "New Year Blizzard" rages in the north Friday night and Saturday, strong winds over southern New England and the mid-Atlantic will usher in brutally cold air.
The strong winds can knock down large tree limbs and cut the power in some communities from Portland and Caribou, Maine, to Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, Pa., to Richmond and Roanoke, Va.
The strong 40- to 60-mph cross winds will lead to hazards for motorists and delays at major and secondary airports in the Northeast.
In addition to the wind, the storm's back side can also trigger locally heavy, blinding snow showers adding to highway travel problems Saturday and Sunday right to the coastal cities.
The storm's less potent front-end will also cause its share of travel problems as an intermittent wintry mix slickens some area roads and up to several inches of snow blankets others from the Virginias to Maine and part of Atlantic Canada from New Year's Eve into New Year's Day.