The first batch of snow is falling New Year’s Eve afternoon, making for poor driving conditions in the Midcoast.

While weather forecasts for the weekend were changing, the outlook appeared to be gray, with snow.

According to the National Weather Service of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, light snow was to fall Thursday night, and motorists were urged to exercise caution. A total of 1 to 3 inches of snow was expected to fall along the Midcoast.

A winter storm watch is in effect for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 1, 2 and 3, with the potential for heavy snow and gusty winds. Weather watchers are keeping their eyes on a complex storm, as low pressure is expected to develop off the southern New England coast and track toward the northeast. The storm will head east, and then may shift back toward the coastline Saturday night, bringing even more snow.

According to NOAA, snowfall could amount to 6 inches or more, possibly mixing with rain along the immediate coast on Friday, Jan. 1. If the storm moves back toward the coast Saturday night, more snow could fall.

The following was the forecast for Belfast as of Thursday, Dec. 31 at 4:30 p.m.

Late afternoon: Snow showers likely. Cloudy, with a high near 31. Light southeast wind. Chance of precipitation is 70 percent. Total daytime snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

Tonight: Snow showers. Patchy fog after 7pm. Low around 28. East wind between 5 and 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100 percent. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

New Year’s Day: Snow showers. Patchy fog. High near 33. Northeast wind between 9 and 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100 percent. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.

Friday night: Snow. Low around 21. Northeast wind between 13 and 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90 percent.

Saturday: Snow. High near 29. North wind between 15 and 18 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100 percent.

Saturday night: Occasional snow. Low around 27. Blustery. Chance of precipitation is 80 percent.

Sunday: Snow showers likely. Cloudy, with a high near 34. Chance of precipitation is 60 percent.

Sunday night: A chance of snow showers. Cloudy, with a low around 26. Chance of precipitation is 40 percent.
Monday: A chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 33. Chance of precipitation is 30 percent.

Monday night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 22.

Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 31.

Tuesday night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 18.

Wednesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 32.

Wednesday night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 13.

Thursday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 28.