A winter storm that was already expected to bring over a foot of snow in some areas is now expected to have even more of an impact on the Greater Boston area.
Snow was quickly approaching on Thursday morning. The snow continued to fill in across the interior later in the morning, increasing in intensity by the afternoon across central and northern New England.
We were initially expecting up to 2 inches of snow from the Interstate 495 corridor east to Interstate 95, 3 to 6 inches across northern Massachusetts, 6 inches to a foot from the New Hampshire border north into southern New Hampshire and Vermont and up to 1-1/2 feet across central and northern New Hampshire and Maine.
But there has been a significant shift in the forecast, and the rain that was supposed to end between 8 p.m. and midnight will now switch to snow inside 495 all the way to Boston. Colder air will funnel in quickly, creating hazardous, near white-out conditions. This increases the likelihood of 3 to 4 inches of snow in this area, though Boston will still likely see only about an inch or so by the time the storm is done.
So far, only a few minor accidents have been reported, but speeds limits on the western part of the Massachusetts Turnpike and the southern portion of the Maine Turnpike have already been reduced due to the inclement weather. New Hampshire officials are urging motorists to stay off the roads after 6 p.m. if possible.
Though it's school vacation for most, a handful of schools have cancelled classes and several courts in Massachusetts are also closing early due to the snow.
By Thursday night, precipitation wanes across the region around midnight as the vigorous low pressure system exists north across Maine. Rain falling across interior southern New England may change over to snow on the backside of the storm as colder air is drawn in behind the departing low pressure system. Lows will bottom out in the mid to upper 20s for most locations.
High winds are also expected throughout the day with wind gusts up to 50 mph expected along the coast. Some power outages could occur overnight Thursday into Friday.
Friday features a few clouds and snow showers early before sunny skies move in for the remainder of the day. Gusty winds diminish late morning and highs will peak around 30 degrees north to the low 40s south.
Another weather system approaches from the Great Lakes on New Year's Eve. The first half of the day will feature partly cloudy skies before clouds build in during the afternoon. A fast-moving clipper system brings the threat of snow showers during the evening as it passes overhead. Highs will be in the mid 20s north and mid to upper 30s south.
The clipper moves away from the region by New Year's Day as high pressure noses into the region behind it. We're expecting mostly sunny skies with highs moderating into the 30s north and mid 40s south.
Looking ahead into the start of the work week, high pressure slides offshore toward the Canadian Maritimes on Monday as another weather system approaches from the southeast. By Tuesday, the system is right over the region, bringing cloudy skies and some precipitation with it. Highs on Monday and Tuesday will be in the 30s to the north and the 40s south.