A storm will blast northern New England with blizzard conditions while areas farther south get a dose of wintry mix, rain and strong winds before the week comes to an end.
Motorists and airline passengers will face delays, which could disrupt holiday travel plans, as the storm strengthens.
From Thursday to Friday, winds will increase as colder air invades the storm.
Blizzard conditions to evolve in part of northern New England, Quebec
People from central and northern New Hampshire to northwestern Maine, northern New Brunswick and the Eastern Townships of Quebec can expect blizzard conditions to unfold late Thursday and Thursday night and continue into Friday.
In this area, increasing winds will cause extensive blowing and drifting of dry, powdery snow and whiteout conditions.
Snowfall in much of this swath will range from 12 to 18 inches (30 to 45 cm), according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Henry Margusity.
"Some of the mountains of New Hampshire could receive 2 feet (60 cm) of snow or more," Margusity said. "This storm will be a skier's dream for northern New England."
Blizzard conditions could migrate farther west to Vermont for a time.
Wintry mix and wet, clinging snow to raise risk of power outages in central New England
Areas from northeastern Pennsylvania and part of the lower Hudson Valley of New York to coastal Maine and part of Nova Scotia can expect a combination of rain and snow or wet snow from the storm.
Road conditions over much of this swath will become slushy and slippery. This includes the cities of Scranton, Pennsylvania; Poughkeepsie, New York; Portland, Maine; and Boston.
The area from the northern suburbs of New York City to Hartford, Connecticut, and west of Route 128 near Boston are tricky, AccuWeather Chief Broadcast Meteorologist Bernie Rayno said.
"Accumulations will vary significantly in this area," Rayno said. "A distance of a few miles or a few hundred in elevation can mean the difference between an inch or two of slush to close to a foot of heavy, wet snow."
In portions of central and northeastern New England, the combination of strong winds and clinging snow can cause tree limbs to break and result in power outages.
Temperatures will fall as the storm departs. Wet and slushy areas may freeze and become icy.
Rain to drench coastal mid-Atlantic, south coast of New England
Conditions will be too warm for accumulating snow to fall from Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia to Islip, New York, and Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
The majority of the Interstate 95 corridor of the mid-Atlantic and right along the southern coast of New England will get a period of rain from this storm.
It is not out of the question that snow mixes in at the tail end of the storm from New York City to Providence, Rhode Island, but accumulating snow is unlikely.
In most cases, roads and sidewalks will dry off before temperatures fall below freezing in the wake of the storm. However, motorists and pedestrians should be cautious of surfaces that appear wet on Friday and Friday night as they could be icy.
Strong winds to buffet northeastern US, southeastern Canada
Winds will increase Thursday night and Friday as the storm strengthens. Most gusts will range from 40 to 45 mph (65 to 72 km/h). However, a few 50-mph (80-km/h) gusts are possible.
The highest gusts will be strong enough to break weak tree limbs and cause sporadic power outages.
Gusts from the east can range between 50 to 60 mph (80 to 95 km/h) in parts of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick during the first part of the storm.
Gusty crosswinds at some area airports can lead to flight delays and cause difficulties for motorists traveling over some of the high bridges around the major cities.