States across the Northeast are preparing for a snowstorm that could disrupt Monday morning commutes.
The storm dropped several inches of snow on the Midwest and is expected to layer 5 to 8 inches on much of the Northeast, with parts of New England possibly receiving up to 14 inches.
Winter Storm Warnings and Winter Weather Advisories are in effect for most of Massachusetts.
There are no other major risks associated with this storm (no coastal flooding, no wind). However, there is a risk for isolated power outages from northern Connecticut and into northwest Rhode Island and interior Massachusetts if higher snow amounts develop.
Boston Logan Airport says flights may be impacted due to the expected winter weather. Passengers are urged to check in with their airlines before heading to the airport.
The Massachusetts Department of Transporation's snow and ice operations will be deployed throughout the state as necessary. In the most severe storms, MassDOT’s Highway Division is able to utilize up to 700 personnel to perform snow and ice removal operations on more than 15,000 lane miles of roadway throughout the Commonwealth. This winter, MassDOT has approximately 3,900 pieces of state and vendor equipment available for snow and ice operations and this includes over 1,400 plow and spreader combos, 2,100 plows, and 460 front-end loaders.
Snowfall is expected to be heaviest between 1 a.m. on Sunday and 6 a.m. on Monday, which could create challenging travel conditions during overnight hours and for the Monday morning commute.
Travelers are encouraged to consider working from home or adjusting their work hours so that they travel later in the morning.
“Given the potential for this storm to affect tomorrow morning’s commute, we are asking customers to monitor the weather forecast, and stay connected with the T,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “With the current snowfall predictions, we’re also asking customers to plan ahead, allow for extra travel time, and if possible adjust work hours on Monday.”
In Boston, schools will be closed Monday. Many other schools in the Northeast have canceled classes, as well.
Members of the public are advised to delay and minimize travel, if possible.
Governor Charlie Baker announced an 11 a.m. delayed start time for all non-emergency state executive branch employees due to the winter weather.
Travel will be significantly impacted overnight due to heavy snow conditions. Drivers are asked to exercise extreme caution, to not crowd the plows, and to stay behind snow removal equipment on the roadways. Everyone is encouraged to avoid driving during periods of snowfall.
The MBTA expects to operate normal weekday schedules for Commuter Rail and subway service.
Keolis Commuter Services, the MBTA’s commuter rail operating partner, is preparing passenger areas, equipment and track infrastructure in anticipatinon of the snow.
“Our goal is to minimize the storm’s impact on the commuter rail network and for our passengers who rely on this service,” said David Scorey, CEO and General Manager, Keolis. “Passengers who plan to travel tomorrow should give themselves extra time to get to train stations and please use caution when boarding trains."
Beginning with the start of service on Monday, the MBTA will only be running 40-foot buses, with the exception of the Silver Line bus fleet. This is to ensure buses can safely traverse narrow streets, sharp corners, and steep hills that may be affected by snow and ice. Depending on the storm's intensity, buses may operate on snow routes.
Because this storm is not expected to bring high winds, at this time, the T expects no impact to ferry service.
Everyone is urged to plan ahead, drive cautiously, use public transportation when possible and check with the MBTA for updates.
“We are advising everyone to avoid driving during the peak Monday morning commute if possible and to use public transportation instead. Those who must be on the roadways on Monday morning should plan to leave plenty of extra time for their trip,” said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “This is a significant winter storm that will bring several inches of snowfall by Monday morning, and members of the public will need to plan ahead so that they leave home at the best time and utilize the most appropriate mode of travel to reach their destinations.”
In the interest of public safety, people are asked to clear home and auto exhaust vents to prevent carbon monoxide exposure and avoid downed utility wires. People are also asked to assist in keeping sidewalks, fire hydrants and storms drains in your neighborhoods clear.
The Interstate 93 north HOV lane will not open Monday due to the snow.
Drivers are reminded to clear snow and ice from all windows and lights, even the hood and roof, before driving. Leavy plenty of room for stopping and remember that posted speed limits are intended for dry pavement conditions. Use brakes carefully and early. Don't forget to slow down and wear your seat belt.
In some areas, like Worcester, a winter parking ban is in effect meaning no parking on any of the main roads, bus routes or streets in the downtown area. However, parking garages like the Worcester Common Garage have been opened up for free overnight parking until 10 a.m. Monday.
City officials want the roads clear so the plows can move snow out in time for the Monday morning commute.
If your car is found on one of the main roads, you will get a ticket and a tow.