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Snowstorm alert: Northeast braces for possible winter 'blockbuster'

Published at 6:05 a.m. ET: A winter storm heading for the Northeast could bring major snowfall to upstate New York and New England on Friday and into the weekend – but forecasts are divided on its potential impact.

A clipper from the north is expected to combine with a rainy storm moving through the South to create a snowstorm for many parts of the region late Friday and Saturday, according to Weather Channel meteorologist Kevin Roth.

However, there is still some uncertainty on exactly where and when the two systems combine, he said.

For cities such as Boston, the changing forecast could mean the difference between an icy nuisance and a major winter storm that would dump up to 2 feet of snow, bringing widespread disruption.

“The European model, which is the generally the best model we have, has continued to insist there is going to be this really big storm but the other models are not bullish on it at all,” the Weather Channel’s Carl Parker said. “The difference is -- will it be a blockbuster for places like Boston?” 

The last time Boston had one foot of snow was in January 2011.

Most of the I-95 corridor is already set for heavy rain on Friday.

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Ice and snow changes our environment, as winter engulfs our world.

Under the European model, the whole region would see significant snow but up to 2 feet would be dumped on Massachusetts – including Boston – and southern Maine overnight Friday.

That level of snow is “potentially life-threatening,” the Weather Channel’s Chris Warren warned.

However, other U.S. models show the two systems combining further to the east, meaning there would still be heavy snow in northern New England but cities such as Boston could receive as little as 2 inches.

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