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Nor'easter brewing, blizzard conditions may batter region

As a cold front moves toward New England, the region is bracing for a potential blizzard that may blast southeastern Connecticut with a heavy snowfall.

"It's still premature but there is a potential for blizzard conditions for Saturday," Gary Lessor, chief meteorologist with the Western Connecticut State University Connecticut Weather Center, said Wednesday afternoon. "We're going to have to wait a little bit longer to see what the track is likely to be."

The soon-to-be-storm is set to strike Saturday morning, with up to 8 inches of snow predicted in Groton, Lessor said. Light snow showers might begin late Friday night.

The snow likely will be accompanied by high wind gusts, up to 55 mph, he said.

The National Weather Service has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook for southern Connecticut for Friday and Saturday, when the agency said there is an increasing likelihood that a low pressure system storm will bring "heavy snowfall and high winds to portions of the area Friday night into Saturday night."

Still, "Uncertainties remain with the track and intensity of the storm system and its resulting potential impacts," it said. The NWS also issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook for northeast New Jersey and southeast New York.

Temperatures are expected to reach a low of 19 degrees Fahrenheit on Friday night, according to the NWS, and drop even lower — to about 12 degrees Fahrenheit — on Saturday.

According to the weather service, the chance of precipitation Friday and Saturday is about 90%.

"Overall: significant storm, potential blizzard, stay tuned," Lessor said.

For those who need it, there is a warming center at the United Methodist Church at 130 Broad St. in New London open 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. from Monday to Sunday; individuals must arrive there by 10 p.m. There is also a warming center at the St. Vincent de Paul Place in Norwich open to unhoused people in the Norwich area. The address is 120 Cliff St., and it's open Monday to Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

t.hartz@theday.com

Editor's Note: This has been updated to clarify the locations of the warming centers.

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