updated 1/2/2010 2:17:34 PM ET 2010-01-02T19:17:34

An ocean storm is backing into northern New England and forecasters say it'll likely stick around through the weekend.

It's expected to bringing bursts of heavy snow to Maine and the mountains of Vermont and New Hampshire, with accumulations up to a foot and a half in places.

Meteorologist David Glenn says most storms approach the area from the south, but because this one is coming in from the east it'll likely hang around longer.

Light snow has been falling across much of region and is expected to increase in intensity throughout the day as are the winds. Forecasts call for gusts up to 45 mph tonight that could create drifting snow, while coastal areas are seeing higher tides than normal and could get some flooding.

Ski resort operators are sounding happy, after a rainy start to the holiday season.

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