A big storm in both size and strength moves up the coast Thursday. The center of it will slam Nova Scotia, sparing us the worst, but its expansive precipitation and wind will reach back into New England.

It's time for an opening bid on snowfall amounts.

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A widespread 6 to 12 inches of snow is expected. Higher amounts (12 to 16 inches) are expected in Eastern Maine. Lesser amounts (3 to 6 inches) expected in central and northern New Hampshire into far northwestern Maine, since those areas will be farther removed from the storm center.

These numbers are counting on a close pass but, believe it or not, not a direct strike from this storm (would be 20" if so).

Snow will begin from south to north Thursday morning. Expect it to start in southern and central Maine between 7 AM and 10 AM; around noon farther north.

The heaviest snow will fall during the afternoon and evening. Snowfall rates may top an inch or two per hour in the heaviest bands.

Winds continue to be a big concern along the coastline. Wind gusts over 35 MPH are possible for most; over 55 MPH in Downeast Maine. This will create blizzard conditions during the height of the storm with blowing and drifting snow.

Since track is SO essential, please stay with me on this storm. A wiggle west would be huge.