BOSTON — Light snow is bringing a touch of a white Christmas to much of New England.

But a more serious storm is in the works for later in the week.

Forecasters say the snow falling on Christmas Day should amount to little more than one or two inches in northern New England. But the National Weather Service has posted a winter storm watch for central and northern areas for the storm expected to begin late Wednesday and continue into Thursday.

Forecasters say some areas of New England could get six or more inches of snow, possibly mixing with sleet and freezing rain.

Portland and southern and coastal Maine are looking at as much as 10 inches of snow by Thursday’s end. The higher elevations in the western part of the state are looking at as much as 14 inches, according to the service.

Centeral and northern Maine could also receive as much as 14 inches of snow.

In Boston and southern New England, warmer temperatures are expected to turn the precipitation to rain on Thursday. Strong winds are also forecasts, with a Gale Warning being issued for Portland and other areas along the Maine and New Hampshire coastine.