A blizzard watch for parts of Massachusetts and Rhode Island said travel may become nearly impossible because of high winds and blowing snow.
A coastal flooding watch also is in effect for some shore communities in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Long Island.
Thanks to the ability to make their own snow, the region's larger ski resorts aren't as dependent on natural snowfall, though every bit helps.
"It's great when we get snow, but it's a tremendous help when down-country gets snow," he said. "When they have snow in their backyards, they're inspired."
Assuming the snow clears out by the weekend with no major problems, ski areas in Massachusetts also were excited by the prospect of the first major snowstorm they've seen since October 2011.
"We'll be here with bells on," said Christopher Kitchin, inside operations manager at Nashoba Valley Ski Area in Westford, Mass. "People are getting excited. They want to get out in the snow and go snow-tubing, skiing and snowboarding."