It's a good bet that you'll be able to break out the sleds and tune up the snow blower for this weekend's nor'easter, but you might not want to put any money down yet on exact amounts of snow.

The National Weather Service in Gray, Maine is calling for 8-12 inches of snow and gusty winds for the Seacoast region, but confidence is still low for being so close to "snowtime," according to meteorologist Greg Cornwell.

"It's more uncertainty than we're usually comfortable with at this time range, but it's all about what we're confident about and passing it along to folks," Cornwell told Seacoast Current.

Cornwell said that there are still two possible tracks that the nor'easter could take, each with a different impact on the Seacoast. The accumulation map takes this into account. Either track would see snow starting at daybreak on Saturday and continuing all day.

"There's one that's quicker and out to sea which would result in lower amounts for us, especially inland. Then there's also one that's a little slower and closer to the coast, which would result in more accumulation along the coast as well as bringing more accumulating snow inland," Cornwell said.

Cornwell said forecasters have 60-80% confidence in the track sticking closer to the coastline. No watches or warnings were in effect as of Thursday morning.

A Winter Storm Watch is in effect for Essex County and all of eastern Massachusetts for wind gusts up to 60 mph that could cause tree damage and make travel difficult.

Expected snow totals from the Friday and Saturday nor'easter
Expected snow totals from the Friday and Saturday nor'easter 1/27/22 (NWS)

Less Concern About Astronomical High Tides, More Concern About Wind

The peak surge from the storm is expected at the end of low tide on Saturday afternoon, which means there's less of a chance of astronomical high tides pounding the beaches and causing flooding, according to Cornwell.

"It's still something to watch, but we aren't really concerned about it," Cornwell said.

Forecasters are concerned about gusty winds out of the north at 25-30 knots, and 50-knot gusts over the ocean that could be concerning for mariners on Saturday.

Gusty winds will peak on land Saturday afternoon and evening at 35 mph along the coast and 20-25 mph further inland. Combined with temperatures in the teens, the wind chill will be in the single digits.

Cornwell said the storm will wind down on Saturday night with cold air and gusty winds remaining in place for Sunday. Daytime temperatures will only be in the 20s on Sunday.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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