A strengthening storm will miss most, if not all, of New England into the first half of the weekend; however, it will bury portions of Atlantic Canada with significant snowfall.
An Alberta Clipper system across the Great Lakes of the United States was the driving force to keep this big storm out to sea, but it also allowed this system to crash into portions of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland with heavy snow and major travel delays.
"A slight shift in the storm track will bring heavy snow around and just east of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island and into the western parts of Nova Scotia, including Truro and New Glasgow, into Saturday," AccuWeather Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski said.
There could be a brief period of light snow across extreme Down East Maine on Friday, but any accumulations will be around an inch or two (2 to 5 cm) at most.
The track of this storm will be the determining factor with regards to which areas will receive the heaviest snow and those areas that may mix or change over to rain at times.
A track farther north would allow more rain to reach portions of southern Nova Scotia into southeastern Newfoundland. However, the Avalon Peninsula will receive a heavy thump of snow before changing to rain.
"Even though St. John's and much of the Avalon Peninsula will eventually changeover to rain as warmer air moves in by Friday night, there will still be around 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 cm) of snow during the day Friday into Friday evening," Pydynowski said. "This will make for a messy commute home Friday afternoon and evening."
Precipitation will likely begin as a mix of rain and snow across most of southern Nova Scotia, including Halifax, before changing to snow by Friday afternoon.
"Temperatures will be above freezing at the onset of the storm along the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia, thus precipitation will begin as rain," AccuWeather Meteorologist Michael Doll said.
The heaviest accumulations will be across the central and eastern portions of the province. Some locations could receive 12 inches (30 cm) of snow or more by Saturday.
Snow will extend as far west as eastern New Brunswick, bringing between 3 and 6 inches (8 and 15 cm) to Saint John and Moncton. Accumulating snow may even reach Fredericton where 1 to 3 inches (2 to 8 cm) can fall. Road conditions will worsen for anyone traveling on New Brunswick Route 2 into Saturday.
Snow will blanket all of Prince Edward Island with the heaviest accumulations expected across the eastern portion of the province. This includes Charlottetown. Snow totals could reach 10 inches (25 cm) or more.
Blizzard conditions are likely to unfold from Cape Breton Island into central Newfoundland. Cities at risk of whiteout conditions and heavy snow include Sydney, Nova Scotia, and Gander, Newfoundland. Winds could gust over 40 mph (64 km/h) at times.
"Strong winds will create blowing and drifting snow along with poor visibility," Doll said.
Lighter accumulations are expected across the northern and southern portions of Newfoundland. Precipitation is likely to start as snow across Saint John into Friday afternoon before mixing with sleet into Friday evening. Enough warm air will allow precipitation to change to rain during Friday night.
Conditions will improve early Saturday across much of Atlantic Canada with the exception of Nova Scotia, where snow will continue to thump into the afternoon.
A weak storm moving across Quebec could bring a snow shower to portions of Atlantic Canada to end the weekend. Only a coating to perhaps an inch of additional snow is expected across most of the region.
Milder air will build across the region into early next week.