A storm will move northward along the Atlantic coast, strengthening into a nor'easter this weekend.
While the storm will merely graze the mid-Atlantic region with intermittent precipitation and a breeze, it could hit parts of eastern New England hard with heavy rain, snow and increasing winds.
The strengthening storm will spread swath of rain northward along the East Coast, after drenching Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas on Friday.
Airline delays are possible in Atlanta, Charlotte, North Carolina, and other southern U.S. hubs for a time.
As the rain encounters colder conditions from the central Appalachians to southern New England, a light wintry mix or some sleet can occur at the onset Friday night into early Saturday.
Just enough of a wintry mix can occur to make roads slippery from portions of central and northern Pennsylvania to upstate New York, central Massachusetts and southernmost Maine.
For part of northern New England, snow or snow changing to a wintry mix is in store with several inches possible and difficult travel conditions during Saturday.
According to AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams, "In the swath from Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia, New York City and Boston, this will essentially be a cold rainstorm."
The rainy scenario includes the nearby northern and western suburbs of the cities in the same Interstate 95 swath. Most of the rain from Washington, D.C., to New York City will occur Friday night.
The combination of rain and increasing wind could lead to airline delays in New York City and Boston.
Winds will increase along the coast as the storm evolves into a nor'easter on Saturday. People from eastern Massachusetts to Maine should be prepared for gales, increasing surf, minor coastal flooding and perhaps sporadic power outages, if the storm develops to its full potential.
How close to the coast the storm tracks will determine how nasty conditions will get in New England.
There is a chance that enough cold air wraps in on the tail end of the storm to bring a change to wet snow or snow showers over part of the interior Northeast during the day Saturday. This is most likely from northern West Virginia to coastal Maine. However, by the time the atmosphere gets cold enough for snow, much of the moisture may have departed. Any accumulation in the central Appalachians is likely to be small.
Windswept rain at Foxboro, Massachusetts, during the morning and afternoon on Saturday may depart in time for the NFL Playoff game late in the day. Blustery conditions are in store, with a few snowflakes possible as the game progresses into the evening.
High winds, rain and snow will blast Nova Scotia, Canada, Saturday night into Sunday.
Another blast of arctic air will race southeastward from the Midwest to the East and South later this weekend into early next week.
The return of arctic air will trigger another round of lake-effect snow, as well as the possibility of snow squalls in some locations of the interior mid-Atlantic and New England.
Other storms bear watching for the potential of wintry weather during next week.