The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued an updated forecast for moderate to heavy snowfall across much of the Commonwealth, strong winds, minor riverine flooding, and urban area flooding.
The Thursday evening commute, especially in the southwestern portion of the Commonwealth, will be impacted with snowfall rates of 1 – 2 inches per hour.
Winter Storm Warnings have been issued for much of wester, central and northeastern MA.
A High Wind Warning has been issued for the Cape and Islands.
Precipitation is expected to start in southwestern Massachusetts by 5 p.m. this evening, spreading to the northeast, arriving in Worcester by 7p.m., Boston by 8 p.m., and northeastern MA by 9 p.m.
Snow will be moderate to heavy at times, with snowfall rates of 1-2 inches per hour possible, reducing visibility to ½ mile and accumulating quickly.
Accumulations of 4-8 inches in western and central MA, 4-6 inches along the 495 belt, and 1-2 inches along the 95 belt are expected.
The Cape and Islands are expected to receive little to no accumulation.
Snow will transition to sleet, freezing rain and then rain from south to north through the evening and overnight.
Higher elevations may not transition to rain, but rather remain a wintry mix.
There is still some uncertainty on the exact timing of the precipitation change from snow to sleet / freezing rain to rain, with a potential shift by 1-3 hours possible.
The timing of changeover will impact the overall snowfall accumulations – less if the transition occurs faster, and more if the transition occurs later.
Whether the wintry-mix precipitation falls as mostly sleet rather than freezing rain will also impact ice accretion totals.
Areas that transition to rain may receive up to an inch of rainfall.
Areas with sleet and freezing rain could see 0.10 inch of icing – and potentially 0.25 inch in higher elevations. Minor river flooding on the Charles (at Dover), the Sudbury (at Saxonville), and the Taunton (near Bridgewater) is expected Saturday into Sunday.
Wind gusts of up to 40-50 MPH along the eastern Massachusetts coast and the Cape and Islands are possible, developing around midnight and lasting into Friday morning. Winds will gust to 20 – 25 mph inland.
• Snow, sleet, and freezing rain will result in hazardous travel conditions across Massachusetts this afternoon and tonight, especially on untreated bridges, overpasses, and secondary roads. This evening’s commute is likely to be impacted.
• Accumulations of 4-8 inches in western and central MA, 4-6 inches along the 495 belt, and 1-2 inches along the 95 belt are expected. The Cape and Islands are expected to receive little to no accumulation.
• Ice accumulations of 0.10” – and up to 0.25” in higher elevations – in western and central MA.
• Areas where strong winds occur may see some tree damage and isolated power outages.
• Additional minor river flooding is possible starting Friday and continuing into the weekend as wintry precipitation melts, combines with rainfall, and flows into already elevated rivers.