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Snow, Winds Swoop Across Parts of the East

UPDATED 8 PM EST, December 21, 2012

UPDATED By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Chad Merrill

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Mother Nature has wasted no time getting into winter on this first day of the season. Heavy snow is blanketing the Great Lakes and northern Appalachians. On top of the snow threat, gusty winds could wreck havoc with the power supply for the first half of the weekend in much of the Mid-Atlantic.

Winter Storm Warnings and Winter Weather Advisories remain in place from northern Maine to eastern Ohio and western West Virginia. Blizzard Warnings remain in effect for far western Maryland and northern West Virginia.

A total of 6 to 12 inches of snow will blanket the northern Appalachians to eastern snow belts. This includes places like Erie and Johnstown, Pa., and Jamestown, N.Y. Farther north for places like Syracuse and Watertown, N.Y., and Newport, Vermont, 4 to 8 inches are possible by late Saturday. Lesser amounts of 1 to 3 inches will brush northern Maine. Adding to the snow will be wind gusts in excess of 45 mph, causing whiteout conditions at times along Interstates 68, 79, 86 and 90.

A few of the highest snow totals today include 6.5 inches in Montville, Ohio, 6 inches in Oakland, Md., 5.0 inches in Mill Creek, W.Va., and 3.5 inches in Courdersport, Pa.

Cold air blasting south in the wake of a cold front moving across the warm eastern Great Lakes and gliding up the western flank of the northern Appalachian ridge is the culprit for this winter storm. It`s part of the same system that tracked from the Front Range into the Midwest earlier this week, leaving a swath of 6 to 12 inches.

The Great Lakes and Interior Northeast won`t be the only areas feeling the impact from the cold chill. Frequent wind gusts to 50 mph are likely farther to the east along the Interstates 70, 81 and 95 corridors in the Mid-Atlantic.

Wind Advisories and High Wind Warnings are posted from western North Carolina to northern New Jersey, including Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York City. Those living in the Mid-Atlantic should be sure to secure outdoor lawn and Christmas decorations and prepare for possible power outages on Saturday.

High pressure will nose into the East, ending the snow and wind threat on Sunday.

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