New England blizzard: Forecasters are predicting more than 2 feet of snow in New England, and blizzard conditions, including high winds, blowing snow, and coastal flooding. A major winter storm heading toward New England may not be one for the record books, but even some of the nation's snow-hardiest people should proceed with caution, according to at least one expert.

The National Weather Service forecasts blizzard conditions in New England by late Friday afternoon.
As much as 2 feet of snow could fall on a region that has seen mostly bare ground this winter, the National Weather Service said. That's exciting for resort operators who haven't had much snow this year.

The storm would hit just after the 35th anniversary of the historic blizzard of 1978, which paralyzed the region with more than 2 feet of snow and hurricane force winds from Feb. 5-7.

"This has the potential for being a dangerous storm, especially for Massachusetts into northeast Connecticut and up into Maine," said Louis Uccellini, director of the weather agency's National Centers for Environmental Prediction.

Uccellini, who has written two textbooks on Northeastern snowstorms, said Wednesday it was too early to tell if the storm would be one for the record books. But he said it will be a rare and major storm, the type that means "you can't let your guard down."

The snow will start Friday morning, with the heaviest amounts dumped on the region that night and into Saturday as the storm moves past New England and upstate New York, the National Weather Service said.

A blizzard watch for parts of Massachusetts and Rhode Island said travel may become nearly impossible because of high winds and blowing snow.

A coastal flooding watch also is in effect for some shore communities in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Long Island.

Thanks to the ability to make their own snow, the region's larger ski resorts aren't as dependent on natural snowfall, though every bit helps.