By The Advocate
Just when you thought it was safe to believe in Puxatawney Phil, the Pennsylvania ground hog who just so happened to see his shadow last week giving us hope that we escaped Old Man Winter’s icy grasp for an early spring. But hold on – we’re not out of the proverbial woods just yet.
The National Weather Service has issued Winter Storm Watches for all of Massachusetts except the southeastern part of the state in anticipation of a major winter storm that will move through the area on Friday evening into Saturday. The storm may bring heavy snow, forecast is for 10-14” of snow for much of the state, with lesser amounts in the southeast; high wind gusts reaching up to 60 MPH or higher near the coast; and minor to moderate coastal flooding.
The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) will continue to monitor the forecast and disseminate updated situational awareness statements as needed to municipalities.
According to the National Weather Service, computer models continue to trend towards developing a major winter storm for Southern New England Friday into Saturday. However we have moderate confidence that 6 inches or more of snowfall may occur within this storm.
The snow is expected to start early Friday morning, become strongest Friday evening, and then taper off Saturday. The snow could mix with or change to rain across south coastal parts of Rhode Island and Massachusetts during Friday afternoon before changing back to snow by evening. Snowfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour are possible.
Aside for the prediction of six or more inches of heavy snow, the potential for Northeast winds gusting to 60 mph or higher along and near the coasts Friday night and Saturday morning. Greatest risk for this wind would be along Cape Ann as well as Cape Cod and the Islands.
There is the potential for minor to moderate coastal flooding. Greatest risk would be along the Massachusetts eastern coast during the Friday night high tide and across northern facing beaches during the Saturday morning high tide.
Travel will become difficult, especially for the morning and evening commutes on Friday lasting through early Saturday.
Additional information is available at the NWS websites: www.weather.gov/boston