PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- The northeastern U.S. braced Saturday for a powerful, windy storm that forecasters say could bring 18 inches (46 centimeters) or more of heavy, wet snow to parts of the region.
The heavy, blowing snow expected in the afternoon in New England may result in near-blizzard conditions that make travel difficult. Power outages are possible.
The nor'easter could dump as much as a foot (30 centimeters) of snow on suburban Boston.
National Weather Service Meteorologist Michael Clair of the Gray, Maine, office said the storm is beginning as rain and is expected to turn to snow Saturday afternoon. In some areas snowfall of up to 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) per hour is possible.
“This is the first big one,” Clair said of the beginning of the winter season. “There has been some snow up in the mountains, but this is the first one across where most people live."
While localized totals of more than 18 inches are possible in the higher terrain, Clair says that in general, the region is expected to get hit hardest just inland from the coast, where forecasts call for about a foot of snow.
Areas south of New England, including the New York region, are expected to see heavy rain and strong winds.
In Canada, the storm is expected to affect southern Quebec and New Brunswick.