HARRISBURG, Pa. —
But some areas, including resorts and ski towns in Northern New England, welcomed the snow and were eager to see the winter season get started.
"We have been watching (the forecast) since people first started talking about it on Monday or Tuesday," said Ethan Austin, spokesman for the Sugarloaf Ski Resort in Carrabassett Valley, Maine. "Right now it's setting up pretty well for us, so we're pretty psyched."
Meteorologist Paul Head with the National Weather Service in State College, Pa., said winds will pick up into Sunday, presenting hazardous blowing snow for motorists.
Temperatures in Connecticut dropped into the teens as snow began to fall there Saturday, and officials worried about road conditions since a saltwater solution normally applied before storms would freeze. But they were grateful the bad weather wouldn't affect workday commutes.
"The timing is pretty good coming on a weekend," said Kevin Nursick, spokesman at the state Department of Transportation.
Not so for retailers, facing the prospect of a snow-dampened shopping weekend less than two weeks before Christmas.
Kathy Grannis, a spokeswoman for the National Retail Federation, said consumers likely will shop online. And the weekend before Christmas gives retailers and shoppers another opportunity after this weekend.
"If a big storm hits around the 21st, 22nd, it will be a completely different story," Grannis said.
Caroline Pretyman, a spokeswoman for Northeast Utilities, which serves electric and gas customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, said extra crews would be available beginning overnight Saturday to respond to outages.
In southern New England, light snow began falling by midday Saturday. It was expected to become heavy overnight and continue into early Sunday. Forecasters predicted that that the precipitation would then change into sleet and rain across most of the interior, with rainfall on the coast.