BOSTON (AP/CBS) – A powerful nor’easter rumbled across northern New England Thursday bringing a possible 20 inches of snow and all manner of nasty weather including heavy snow, sheets of rain, damaging winds and possibly thunderclaps.

The storm is projected to be the most powerful in the region in nearly two years. It’s slated to last through Friday, with much of the harshest weather coming in the evening and overnight.

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In New Hampshire, officials urged people not to drive after 6 p.m. Safety officials said 80 cars had crashed or gone off the road in the state since Thursday morning but that no serious injuries had been reported as of the late afternoon. Most of the crashes occurred in central New Hampshire.

Skiing at Pats Peak in Henniker, NH (WBZ-TV)

Skiing at Pats Peak in Henniker, NH (WBZ-TV)

Ski areas, meanwhile, cheered the dump of snow.

At Pats Peak in Henniker, New Hampshire, families were taking advantage of the snow day during school vacation week.

“It’s beautiful, it’s soft, the weather is decent, the kids are out of school it’s perfect timing,” said Mindy Maxwell Tsiopras.

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This new dose of natural snow is now combined with the man-made snow. The end result a good base for the coming weekend.

“Today with the actual natural snow falling, we’re looking forward to a great weekend with some natural snow powder day,” said Lori Rowell of Pats Peak. “Almost all our trails are open so there’s lots of options to enjoy.”

Mount Snow in Vermont said it has received more snow so far this year than it did in all of last season. Loon Mountain in New Hampshire has 51 trails open compared to just 17 at this time last winter.

On New Hampshire’s Mount Washington, the highest peak in the Northeast, officials say there is “considerable danger” of an avalanche due to the storm.

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