A winter storm watch was expanded to include more of the New York, New Jersey region on Thursday as confidence increased for a strong storm system.

The region should expect moderate to heavy snowfall along with strong winds from Friday night through Saturday. A winter storm warning was also issued for parts of southern New Jersey.

A cold front is expected to arrive on Friday morning, which may spark a few snow showers during the day on Friday. However, the main event is slated to arrive Friday night into Saturday. The frontal boundary will reinforce the extremely cold air setting the stage for snow to accumulate quickly.

Right now, there is confidence that a low-pressure system will develop in the mid-Atlantic and head north. The counterclockwise flow around it will combine the frigid temps to the north and moisture from the Atlantic to make this an all-snow event.

The amount of snow will be determined by where the center of low-pressure tracks. The GFS model indicates that the system will be far enough offshore with little no accumulation across the tri-state.

The New York City Department of Sanitation issued a snow alert for 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday morning; it’s the department’s “higher-level” winter weather message. More than a foot of snow is possible, the department warned.

Up to 15 inches of snow are possible on Long Island, according to forecasts from the National Weather Service. The area could see blizzard-like conditions.

In New York City, northeastern New Jersey and much of the Lower Hudson Valley, less snow is expected. Up to 10 inches are forecast.

If the eastern-most storm scenario occurs, most of the region could see no snow, with some areas seeing just a few inches. But the potential for this has decreased in the recent models.

Travel will be hazardous. Expect airport delays and cancellations due to strong winds and snow. Tree limbs and power lines could be downed by the storm.

Minor to locally moderate coastal flood impacts and beach erosion will also be a concern, especially during times of high tide.

There’s still some uncertainty in the models in relation to the duration of moderate and heavy snow banding late Friday night into Saturday. A clearer picture is expected to develop over the next 36 hours.

Dry weather returns on Sunday along with bone-chilling temperatures. Winds may continue to be gusty, especially during the morning causing the additional blowing and drifting snow. The risk will diminish as the winds ease during the latter part of the day.

 You can expect milder weather by Wednesday along with a chance for showers. As always, stay tuned for updates.