Powerful nor’easter has nearly the entire East Coast under high wind watches, warnings

March will roar in like a lion in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast on Friday and Saturday as a potent storm delivers a ferocious mix of howling winds, drenching rain, heavy snow and powerful waves.

Power outages, coastal flooding, damaging wind gusts and flight delays are all likely as the nor’easter explodes off the New England coast.

Winds are likely to be strong enough to lead to major airline delays from Chicago to Boston, and airlines are waiving change fees.

High wind warnings and watches are already in effect all the way from northern Georgia to southern Maine, a distance of some 900 miles.

The storm is expected to undergo explosive development known as bombogenesis, which is a rapid drop in atmospheric pressure of 24 millibars or more in a period of 24 hours or less, the Weather Channel said.

The storm will be the most powerful to hit the East since January’s bomb cyclone, AccuWeather said.

The worst of the wind and coastal flooding will hit from eastern Massachusetts to southern Maine, AccuWeather meteorologist Brett Anderson said. Hurricane-force wind gusts of 75 mph are possible, the National Weather Service said.

Meteorologist Ryan Maue of weather.us said “this ‘bomb cyclone’ wind field is larger than most Category 1 hurricanes, with winds to match.”

Up to two feet of heavy, wet snow will bury portions of New York and Pennsylvania. Strong winds are likely Friday afternoon and evening, with local whiteout conditions possible, the weather service said. Blizzard conditions are possible in portions of eastern Pennsylvania.