Jan. 17 (UPI) -- Another major snowstorm is heading for the Midwest and East, bringing blizzard conditions to the Plains and heavy snow to the Northeast this weekend.
The storm, which will get a boost from cold air once it reaches the central and eastern United States on Friday, is already producing heavy snow in the West -- with 5 inches falling in 2 hours in Lone Pine, Calif.
"Blizzard warnings are in effect through Thursday morning for the highest elevations, with snowfall amounts in excess of three feet expected," the weather service said. "In addition to the heavy snow, heavy rain will also fall across the lower elevations, with most of it happening through Thursday evening."
An upper-level trough will fuel the storm as it moves into the western High Plains Friday morning. Freezing rain and heavy snow are expected with the storm system as it travels through the central and the eastern United States for the next few days.
Winter storm watches have been posted for Boston; Hartford, Conn.; Providence, R.I.; Albany, Syracuse, Buffalo and Rochester in New York; and parts of South Dakota.
Snow, some reaching blizzard conditions, will move into the lower Great Lakes area by Friday night with rain changing to snow in Kansas, parts of Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle. Freezing rain will be possible Friday in parts of Missouri, southern Illinois and Indiana.
Heavy snow is expected Friday evening over the central Plains before trekking eastward for the weekend. An arctic surface high will plunge southward from Canada, bringing frigid temperatures to the Plains and the Upper Midwest some 15 degrees to 25 degrees below normal.
The storm also will generate some thunderstorms across the Gulf Coast region, forecasters said.
By Saturday, snow will blanket parts of the Midwest and spread into New England by Saturday evening. Stiff winds will join the snow in some areas.
Travel will be impacted in the Midwest and Northeast this weekend because of the storm. Delays and cancellations are anticipated at Boston-Logan, Newark, JFK, LaGuardia, Philadelphia, Dulles and Reagan National airports. Chicago O'Hare, Kansas City International Airport and other Midwest airports could also face delays.
Storm turns Washington, D.C., into snowscape