After a pretty quiet December, January and February, of course now comes a wicked powerful nor’easter in mid-March.
The strongest snowstorm of the year will likely be a real feast-or-famine situation across the Bay State, with close to 2 feet of heavy snow getting dumped on some spots while others might not even record an inch.
But wherever you live in Massachusetts, this whopper of a storm is going to bring potentially damaging wind gusts that could spark power outages.
Heavy wet snow weighing down on trees and power lines could also lead to power outages — with the highest risk for snow load issues in central Massachusetts and the Berkshires.
“The biggest snow totals will be in the higher elevations of northern Worcester County and in the slopes of the Berkshires, where they could see 18 inches,” said Alan Dunham, meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s Boston office. “Locally, some spots could see up to 22 inches.”
Boston could record up to 4 inches of snow when all is said and done by Wednesday.
After the initial soaking rain in the city, the precipitation will changeover to snow when temps dip Tuesday afternoon. Farther inland, the changeover to snow will happen earlier in the day.
The South Shore and the Cape is expected to end up with the least amount of snow.
“There could be areas along the Cape with not more than 2 inches of snow, and areas north of Worcester and in the Berkshires with 18-plus inches,” said AccuWeather senior meteorologist Dave Dombek.
“Whether you’re in a zone with a few inches of snow or more than a foot, this is the type of storm where — at the height of it — visibilities will be very low,” he added. “There could be blizzard-like conditions at times, with wind-driven snow that’s plastered up against the side of buildings and road signs. It will look really nasty out there.”
Wind gusts could hit 55 mph in the Boston-area, while gusts could approach 70 mph along the Cape and in Gloucester.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is warning the public of challenging driving conditions and poor visibility.
“@MassDOT crews are ready for the incoming nor’easter,” MassDOT Safety tweeted. “When driving in the snow, please remember to leave plenty of space between you and other vehicles, especially the plows!”
Gov. Maura Healey has directed that non-emergency state employees in Executive Branch agencies to work from home on Tuesday due to the storm.
The State Emergency Operations Center will activate beginning at 8 a.m.
“Representatives from @MassStatePolice, @MassDOT, @MassDCR, @RedCrossMA, and MA DPU will be present in the bunker to coordinate requests for support from any of our local/state partners,” MEMA tweeted.
Utility companies have been preparing for potential widespread power outages. National Grid will have more than 3,000 personnel ready to respond.
“National Grid has been monitoring the forecasts closely for multiple days,” said Tanya Moniz-Witten, VP for Electric Operations for New England. “We have secured additional crews and personnel across Massachusetts who are ready to respond as quickly and safely as possible to any impact this storm may bring.”
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