Manchester has already issued a parking ban beginning midnight Thursday and ending at noon on Sunday.
The blizzard watch will be in effect from Friday afternoon and continue through to Saturday afternoon.
The storm system will bring with it heavy snow, sleet and damaging winds — with gusts blowing up in excess of 60 miles per hour.
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Total accumulations are expected to be 18 to 24 inches of snow.
The high winds and heavy snow is expected to make for, at times, white-out conditions, with visibility reduced to less than a quarter of a mile.
"The heavy snow will make for dangers driving conditions," the weather service meteorologists report in their alert. "In addition, the heavy snow and strong winds will result in blizzard conditions, bringing down some tree limbs and causing scattered power outages."
A winter storm watch that had been issued earlier this week has now been canceled, with the blizzard watch issued in its place.
Manchester General Manager Scott Shanley said the town is making preparations to deal with the storm, including the possibility of converting the Manchester Senior Center into an emergency shelter if the storm knocks out power for many in town.
"We've met today. We're going to meet again tomorrow morning," Shanley told Patch. "We've got all of our staffing lined up, our equipment, our contractors are all ready to go."
Manchester Public Schools, Howell Cheney Technical High School and Manchester Community College have already announced they will be closed on Friday due to the storm, with MCC closed all day Saturday as well.
At CL&P and United Illuminating, the state's two major utilities, are gearing up for the storm. Spokesmen at both companies said the major concern is the high winds the storm is expected to bring - gusts of up to 60 MPH - and the possibility that warm air pushing up from the south could mean a heavy, wetter snow in some regions.
"We've already held a few internal meetings and storm-team calls and we're reaching out to external resources," said Michael West, UI's spokesman. "All of our UI crews will be available" throughout the weekend, he added.
Mitch Gross, CL&P's spokesman said his utility has issued an "all hands on deck" alert to its workers, is holding meetings throughout the today with workers and expect to have "hundreds and hundreds" of workers on duty to deal with outages that could occur this weekend.
Gross, however, cautioned that crews will not be able to restore power during the storm or when the winds are high because of the dangers that could create.
"Our line workers and tree workers will be out there as long as it's safe," he added.
But, he said, the utility is also urging its customers to be ready for the storm. CL&P has storm preparedness tips on its website, as does the American Red Cross. You can view a PDF of the Red Cross's storm tips above.