This NOAA satellite image taken Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015 at 12:45 p.m. EST, shows a storm system over the Atlantic Ocean with a back-end surface trough that is causing some snow to develop across parts of southern New England. A larger developing storm system is located just due northwest of the Gulf of Mexico with a large precipitation shield over most of the Lower Mississippi River Valley. This system is expected to impact New England later this week. (AP Photo/Weather Underground)
PHILADELPHIA — The first significant winter storm of the season is expected for the Northeast's major cities this weekend in the form of a messy mix of rain, snow and sleet along Interstate 95, according to the National Weather Service.
The weather service said Thursday it was still too early to determine the exact track of the storm, but some areas could expect up to 7 inches or more of snow.
The storm should arrive in the Philadelphia region Friday night and dump from 1 to 4 inches by Saturday morning, causing dangerous road conditions, said Valerie Meola, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Mount Holly, New Jersey.
"Especially during the morning," she said. "There will be a lot of that accumulation then, and then rain will come and wash it all away."
The fast-moving storm system will travel up the Eastern seaboard, creating "the potential for significant snow and ice" before moving out to sea off New England by early Sunday, the weather service said.
Meteorologist Peter Wichrowski in Upton, New York, said snow would likely start to fall in New York City in the early morning hours of Saturday, with a mix of rain and maybe a little sleet along the coastal areas.
He said snowfall totals were expected to be around 1 to 2 inches across eastern Long Island, and could get washed away if there's a turnover to rain. He said higher amounts were expected heading west, with the city getting anywhere from 2 to 5 inches.
The storm could drop half a foot of heavy, wet snow in parts of northern and eastern Connecticut, including about 3 to 5 inches in the Hartford area, meteorologist Bill Simpson in Taunton, Massachusetts, said.
Temperatures will be close to freezing, making it difficult to predict exactly which areas are likely to receive more rain than snow, Simpson said.
Only a dusting was forecast for coastal Maine and New Hampshire. Baltimore and Washington were expected to get only rain as temperatures hover just above freezing.
Dave Collins in Hartford, Connecticut, and Deepti Hajela in New York contributed to this report.
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