The Latest On The Winter Storm


DATE: January 18, 2019
TIME: 10:00 AM

SUBJECT: Multi-Impact Winter Storm Event Saturday/Sunday (Update #1)
The National Weather Service is predicting that a significant winter storm will impact the New England region with snow, sleet, freezing rain, strong winds, minor to moderate coastal flooding along the east coast, and bitter cold starting Saturday night and continuing into Sunday evening.


Snow is forecast to begin falling statewide early Saturday evening. Snow will be heavy and wet and may fall at a rate of 2 inches per hour or more for several hours. South of Route 2, snow may change to sleet and freezing rain between midnight and 8 AM Sunday. The bulk of the freezing rain and ice accretion is expected south of the Mass Pike.


Precipitation may change to a period of all rain along and southeast of the Boston - Providence corridor for a time. If this occurs, rapidly falling temperatures on Sunday may result in a flash freeze. Mixed precipitation will transition back to a period of snow before ending sometime Sunday afternoon or early evening.


Up to 6” of snow may accumulate before snow transitions to sleet/freezing rain/rain in most areas of the state.  Areas to the north of the Turnpike have the highest risk of receiving more than 6” of snow, with higher amounts expected in northern Massachusetts.  The highest potential for over a foot of snow is north of Route 2 in Massachusetts, and parts of northern Berkshire County could see as much as two feet of snow.


In addition, ice accretion of 0.1 to 0.3 inches are possible, mainly to the south of the Mass Pike, with localized amounts of up to 0.5 inches possible along the Boston – Providence corridor.


35-50 MPH wind gusts are possible along the coast on Sunday, with gusts up to 30-35 MPH possible inland.

Minor to moderate coastal flooding is possible on east-facing shorelines around the time of the Sunday morning high tide (approximately 10 AM).


Note that this storm is still over 24 hours away and significant changes in the forecast are still possible. Going forward, MEMA will issue Situational Awareness Statements twice daily, with the next one scheduled for this afternoon.


•    Heavy snowfall, sleet, and freezing rain will lead to extremely difficult travel conditions Saturday night through Sunday. Rapidly dropping temperatures Sunday afternoon and evening may cause wet surfaces to freeze, further impeding travel.

•    Heavy wet snow combined with ice accumulations from sleet and freezing rain and strong winds may lead to downed tree limbs, power lines, and power outages. At present, the Boston-Providence corridor, where ice accumulations may reach 0.5”, is the area of greatest concern.

•    Some beach erosion may occur and vulnerable shore roads may be inundated around the time of the Sunday morning high tide. Isolated structural damage may be possible.


Watches, Warnings, Advisories
Coastal Flood Watch 
Issued: January 18 at 4:50AM EST 
Expiring: January 20 at 12:00PM EST

Areas affected: Barnstable; Eastern Essex; Eastern Norfolk; Eastern Plymouth; Nantucket; Suffolk

Winter Storm Watch 
Issued: January 18 at 4:17AM EST 
Expiring: January 20 at 7:00PM EST

Areas affected: Central Middlesex County; Eastern Essex; Eastern Franklin; Eastern Hampden; Eastern Hampshire; Eastern Norfolk; Eastern Plymouth; Northern Bristol; Northern Worcester; Northwest Middlesex County; Southeast Middlesex; Southern Worcester; Suffolk; Western Essex; Western Franklin; Western Hampden; Western Hampshire; Western Norfolk; Western Plymouth

Winter Storm Watch 
Issued: January 18 at 4:17AM EST 
Expiring: January 20 at 7:00PM EST

Areas affected: Southern Bristol; Southern Plymouth

Winter Storm Warning 
Issued: January 18 at 3:31AM EST 
Expiring: January 20 at 4:00PM EST

Areas affected: Northern Berkshire; Southern Berkshire




MEMA Operations
The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) is operating at Level 1 (Steady State Monitoring). MEMA will continue to monitor the situation and will disseminate additional Situational Awareness Statements as necessary.

MEMA is currently developing plans to increase the activation level of the State Emergency Operations Center to Level 2 (Partial Activation) before the onset of significant impacts, and to remain activated throughout the storm and any resulting response and recovery operations. Details on the timing of the activation, and on the Emergency Support Function agencies that will staff the SEOC, will be finalized later today.
Preparedness and Safety Information
•    Safety and preparedness tips for extreme cold:
•    Winter storm preparedness and safety information:
•    Safe winter driving tips:
•    Winter safety tips for pets:
•    Power outage preparedness and safety information:
Stay Informed:
Utilize Massachusetts Alerts to receive emergency notifications and information from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service.  Massachusetts Alerts is a free app that is available for Android and iPhones. To learn more about Massachusetts Alerts, and for information on how to download the free app onto your smartphone, visit:
Utilize MEMA’s real-time power outage viewer to stay informed about current power outages in your community and region, and across the state, including information from utility companies about restoration times:
Utilize MEMA’s live weather radar and forecasting tools:
Online Resources:
For additional information and resources, visit:
Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency at
MEMA's Facebook page:
MEMA Twitter: @MassEMA
Federal Emergency Management Agency at
National Weather Service/Norton at
National Weather Service/Albany, NY at
National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center:
National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center:
Mass211 at

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