While winter doesn’t technically begin until Dec. 21, the first snowflakes of the season are expected to arrive late Thursday into early Friday in some parts of the state.
A cold front pushing east from Canada is forecast to bring rain to much of the state, with the chance of a few inches of snow strongest in northern New Hampshire, especially at higher elevations.
Residents of southern parts of the state who haven’t finished raking their leaves or put snow tires on their cars yet will probably have more time, according to meteorologist William Watson at the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine.
The southern part of the state, including the coast, is likely to receive an inch or less.
Precipitation will likely start as rain Thursday afternoon, then transition to a wintry mix, ending around sunrise on Friday, according to Watson. A change to snow in northern areas is likely after midnight.
Cold temperatures behind the storm will lead to potential black ice into Friday morning.
At the state Department of Transportation patrol shed in Lancaster, crews were busy gearing up for the storm and readying their equipment to keep the roads clear.
Ryan Knapp, a staff meteorologist at the Mount Washington Weather Observatory, said by the time things wind down, some of the highest peaks will have accumulated upwards of six inches in some areas.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac’s long range forecast for November 8-12 calls for snow showers, then sunny and mild. Their annual weather summary calls for the snowiest periods to come in mid-November, mid-to late December, and early and late January.