A major and potentially historic snowstorm will hit New England as a blizzard Friday and Friday night, with the height of the storm occurring late Friday into Friday night..

The merging of two storms, an Alberta Clipper from the west and a storm from the south, will bring tremendous snow and damaging winds to many locations throughout the Northeast.

A widespread swath of 12-24 inches of snow will stretch from southern New England to coastal Maine. Some towns and communities in this area may pick up over 2 feet of snow.

The latest snowfall forecast map can be found on the AccuWeather.com Winter Weather Center.

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Travel Nightmare in Store for New England

Significant travel delays will occur throughout the Northeast on the roads, at the airports and on the rails. Travel will likely be shut down across much of New England. These effects will last into much of the weekend.

Accuweather

UPDATES:

5:40 p.m. EST Friday: Lightning is showing up south of Long Island. There will be thunder snow in the heaviest bands of snow across Long Island and southeastern New England within the next few hours.

6:56 p.m. EST Friday: Three inches of snow an hour is falling in Islip, NY. Reports of thundersnow in the area also.

5:15 p.m. EST Friday: As the storm ramps up, the intensity of snow will continue to increase across southeastern New England Friday evening into the overnight.

Snowfall amounts so far: 3.8 inches in Avon, Conn.; 3.5 inches in Farmington, Conn.; 4.0 inches in New Bedford, Mass.; 3.6 inches in Shrewsbury, Mass.; 3.5 inches in Foxboro, Mass.

High wind gusts in Massachusetts so far include: 59 mph in Nantucket and Fort Independence: 51 mph in Hingham; 51 mph 3 miles south-southwest of Milton; 49 mph in Scituate.

6:24 p.m. EST Friday: Thundersnow has been reported in New York and Connecticut.

5:31 p.m. EST Friday: Water levels for Kings Point, NY are running 2 feet above normal.

4:40 p.m. EST Friday: @breakingstorm tweeted: "New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo declares state of emergency due to storm - @NYGovCuomo Details

4:15 p.m. EST Friday: AccuWeather Facebook fan Rich G. said 8 inches of snow have piled up in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. He shared the photo below:

3:40 p.m. EST Friday: @Ginger_Zee tweeted: "Security guard just told us there is a $500 fine if you are found driving on the roads after 4 pm in #boston #BlizzardUpdate"

3:30 p.m. EST Friday: The storm off the mid-Atlantic coast will start to strengthen very rapidly over the next eight hours. This will allow very heavy snow bands to slam Long Island to New England. Thunder snow is possible in the heaviest bands, which could unleash 2-3 inches an hour.

3:10 p.m. EST Friday: Snow amounts so far include: 7.0 inches in Lockport, N.Y.; 3.8 inches in Darien, Conn.; 2.8 inches in Bridgeport, Conn.; 2.3 inches in Bronx, N.Y.

1:40 p.m. EST Friday:Track the blizzard live on radar.1:30 p.m. EST Friday: One inch of snow reported by the National Weather Service in Boston.1:00 p.m. EST Friday: Gov. Patrick of Massachusetts signed an executive order banning vehicle traffic effective at 4 p.m. Friday. Connecticut's Gov. Malloy said that drivers should go home now, if they aren't already headed there.12:40 p.m. EST Friday: Flight Aware reports that more than 3,000 flights were cancelled so far Friday and more than 1,000 flight have already been cancelled for Saturday.12:20 p.m. EST Friday: There was a 19-car crash on I-295 South in Falmouth, Maine, north of Portland, according to WCSH-TV.12:15 p.m. EST Friday: According to Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency, Gov. Chafee declared a State of Emergency.11:32 a.m. EST Friday: According to CNN, Gov. Malloy of Connecticut declared a State of Emergency for the state ahead of the blizzard.11:10 a.m. EST Friday: It's still snowing heavily across western New York and as far south as Dubois, Pa. Heavy snow is working its way toward Connecticut.10:40 a.m. EST Friday: So far, 6 inches of snow have fallen just northwest of the city of Portland, Maine.10:00 a.m. EST Friday: The rain-snow line is hovering right around New York City, with mixed precip on the island. It is raining in Linden and at JFK but snowing in Central Park and Newark-- just a difference of about 10 miles.9:45 a.m. EST Friday: "Snow starting to fall here in Northern NJ/NYC," Paul Bassett, a photographer from N.J., tweeted.
N/A9:20 a.m. EST Friday: "Businesses in Kendall Square closed in anticipation of #bosnow," Catherine Cloutier, of Boston.com, tweeted. "No snow yet, just an eerie, deserted calm."
N/A9:05 a.m. EST Friday: The rain-snow line is running right across the southern New York City area.8:20 a.m. EST Friday: "Only boy in the world," Boston resident Charlie Maher shared on Facebook from the T during an empty Friday morning "rush hour."
N/A8:00 a.m. EST Friday: Almost 3,000 flights cancelled so far, as of 8 a.m. Here's a flight tracker for the latest information.7:50 a.m. EST Friday: AccuWeather Meteorologist Henry Margusity came into work today wearing his "Big Daddy" snowstorm sweatshirt. "My son wants to be a meteorologist. I told him this morning, you're going to study this one in school someday," Margusity said.7:20 a.m. EST Friday: Flights headed the Philadelphia airport are being delayed at their origin an average of an hour and a half due to low clouds.6:50 a.m. EST Friday: A foot of snow fell over the past 24 hours near Midland, Mich.5:15 a.m. EST Friday: Reports from Long Island and throughout Connecticut of gas stations out of gas and very long lines at other gas stations.4:10 a.m. EST Friday: Mount Pleasant, located in central Michigan, has reported 10.5 inches of snow. Just to the south in Alma, Mich., a total of 7.1 inches of snow has fallen.2:00 a.m. EST Friday: According to the National Weather Service in Blacksburg, Va., 5 inches of snow have fallen in Blue Ridge, Va. Meanwhile, reports of 2-4 inches of snow have fallen around Roanoke, Va.12:45 a.m. EST Friday: Many locations in Lake County, Ill., located north of Chicago, have reported around 8 inches of snow. Light snow is still falling.Copyright AccuWeather.com, Redistribution Prohibited