Two storms will merge quickly enough to bring colder air, tremendous snow and damaging wind to New England, causing airline and rail delays and creating a nightmare for travelers.

The storm will do more than end a recent snow drought in part of New England. Thelist is long on storm characteristics and impacts. Some areas will be hit with an all-out blizzard and buried under a couple of feet of snow and massive drifts.


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The worst of the storm will hit the Boston area late Friday and Friday night and will wind down Saturday morning. However, lingering effects from blowing and drifting snow, blocked roadsand other travel problems are likely to linger into much of the weekend.

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Numerous flight delays and cancellations are occurring throughout New England and elsewhere across the nation.

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has already announced that service will be suspended on all modes effective 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 8.

Boston Logan Airport will remain open through the snow storm, but all flights will be canceled Friday.

Amtrak has already adjusted its Friday travel schedule, reducing its service on Northeast Regional routes. Southbound service out of Boston South Station will be suspended following 1:40 p.m. Northbound service out of New York Penn Station will cease at 1:03 p.m.

The storm will bring strong winds causing not only white-out conditions and massive drifts, but also coastal flooding and power outages. Gusts can approach hurricane force in coastal areas. If the power goes out, it could take a while for crews to repair the lines.

At the height of the storm, snow can fall at the rate of 2 to 4 inches per hour and may be accompanied by thunder and lightning.

The intense snowfall rate anticipated is making the forecast especially challenging. A matter of a couple of hours versus 12 hours of intense snow will make the difference between a manageable few inches and a debilitating few feet of snowfall. Nearby to the south (and east) of this intense snow, a rain/snow mix or plain rain will fall for a time.

While the drive to work or school may be manageable but slippery Friday morning, weather conditions for the drive home will grow worse by the minute in southern and central New England.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval L. Patrick asked that employers do not ask employees to come to work and urged school districts to cancel classes Friday. Patrick emphasized that drivers stay off the roads after noon.

A person traveling northeastward from New York City to Boston Friday evening along I-95 would encounter increasingly challenging and potentially dangerous weather conditions.

With such intense snowfall, vehicles can become stuck and people can become stranded. Weak and/or flat roofs could collapse under the weight of the snow, which could be greatly uneven due to drifting.

Daniel Marquand, of Boston, shovels snow in front of the North Bennet Street School in Boston, Monday, Dec. 27, 2010. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

The hardest-hit areas are likely to include Hartford and Providence to Boston, Worcester, Concord, Portsmouth and Portland. The worst of the storm will hit coastal areas of northern New England and southern Nova Scotia later Friday night into Saturday.

Coastal flooding is forecast with this storm in eastern Massachusetts and to some extent along the northern shore of Long Island.

The period of strong northeast winds will occur within a couple of days of the new moon and high astronomical tides. Water levels averaging 2 to 3 feet above published values are possible along the Massachusetts eastern shoreline.

Warm air will play a major role in the storm from New York City, Long Island and central New Jersey on south and west in the mid-Atlantic, resulting in rain during part or all of the storm, depending on location.

Only if the two storms sync completely early on would heavy wet snow wrap around into New York City for an extended period, bringing a foot of the white stuff. Even so, without complete phasing of the storms until Friday night, New York City and Long Island will get significant snow. Portions of eastern Long Island could experience blizzard conditions for a time Friday night.

A separate story on the storm’s role in New York City and the mid-Atlantic is now available on

A fresh injection of arctic air will fuel the blizzard over New England. The colder air will cause rain to change to snow on Cape Cod and along the South coast, as well as cause wet snow to become more dry and powdery with time, making it subject to blowing and drifting in central and southern areas.

In northernmost New England from northern Maine to along the Canada border of New Hampshire, Vermont and northern upstate New York, too much dry air feeding in from the north may limit snowfall or cut off the storm completely.

Snow from the Alberta Clipper part of the storm will still deliver enough snow to shovel and plow over much of upstate New York.

A separate story on the impact of the Alberta Clipper around the Great Lakes is now available on

On a brighter note, for those who are able to “get out of Dodge” early on Friday ahead of the worst of the storm, it will be a great weekend for skiing. Hopefully, the roads will be cleared by the time they get back next week.