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Intense nor'easter likely to bring blizzard to NH coast, snow and wind to rest of state

By JASON SCHREIBER
Union Leader Correspondent

January 03. 2018 3:34PM

The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning for coastal New Hampshire, with snow and wind expected to spread across the state beginning Thursday morning. (National Weather Service)



A powerful nor’easter likely will create blizzard conditions along New Hampshire's coast Thursday, with heavy snow and gusty winds beginning early in the morning, forecasters said.

The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning for coastal New Hampshire and Maine, where up to a foot of snow and winds up to 50 mph are expected. Blizzard conditions occur when visibility is less than a quarter mile in a snowstorm and sustained winds above 35 mph last for more than three hours.

New Hampshire's coast also is under a flood watch due to the storm.

A winter storm watches was posted for the rest of New Hampshire, where at least six inches of snow is expected. Wind gusts of up to 35 mph could also lead to blowing and drifting, according to Eric Sinsabaugh, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine.

Most of New Hampshire likely will be on the western edge of the snow field associated with the coastal storm, which forecasters say was forming east of Florida Wednesday and will rapidly intensify as it moves off the New England coast.

The effects of the storm will be felt in the southeastern United States; snow was seen in Tallahasee, Fla., Wednesday morning, the first time the white stuff has fallen there in 28 years, according to The Weather Channel. Snow also is expected along the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina.

Forecasters cautioned there is still some uncertainty in the exact track of the storm as it approaches New England.

The weather service is warning drivers to prepare for difficult travel conditions.

Wind chills as low as 20 below zero are also a concern.

Sinsabaugh said he doesn’t expect to see widespread power outages in New Hampshire. The snow will be light and fluffy, but he said any ice still clinging to trees could create problems.

“You’re going to see enough wind in spots, especially along the coast, where you might see some scattered power outages,” he said.

A blast of bitterly cold air from Canada is expected to arrive on strong northwesterly winds on Friday as the storm departs.

High temperatures on Saturday aren’t expected to get out of the single digits in southern New Hampshire and will remain below zero in northern areas, according to the weather service.

jschreiber@newstote.com

With more snow forecasted for Thursday, driver Scott Gordon power washes his sidewalk snow thrower Wednesday at Manchester City Yard. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)


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