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Nor’easter could dump at least 12 inches of snow overnight

Written by on April 4, 2024

While rain has fallen over much of the state going into the afternoon, heavy wet snow has already been reported at higher elevations like the Berkshires and Worcester Hills, the National Weather Service said. Rain should refreeze into sleet as temperatures continue to hover in the low to mid-40s, while temperatures stay in the low to mid-30s at higher elevations. The most severe winter weather impacts are expected at higher elevations, the weather service said on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Given the weight of more wet snow, forecasters warned of potential outages and downed trees.

These wetter conditions should change into snow in the hours between 3 and 5 p.m., forecasters said. Snow totals should vary across the state and will depend on elevation. The northern Berkshires could see between 6 and 12 inches of snow, while the southern Berkshires could take longer to cool below freezing, accumulating between 3 and 6 inches of snow. However, the northern Worcester Hills could see between 4 and 8 inches with the potential for 12 inches in localized areas, forecasters said.

Conditions along the eastern Massachusetts coast remain unclear, forecasters said. While colder temperatures are expected, the weather service has held off on issuing any winter weather advisories as models suggest a less than 50% chance of minor winter weather impacts. Boston, for example, could see little to no snow accumulation, the weather service said.

Overall, precipitation should remain as mostly rainfall with snow confined to higher elevations, forecasters said.

Precipitation continues on through Thursday, though forecasters do not expect any major accumulations across lower elevations, anticipating at least a half inch at higher elevations. In the afternoon, winds should diminish, though gusts between 15 and 25 mph are still possible.

“Light snow showers could linger into Friday morning as the center of the low slowly pulls away,” forecasters said. “Winds continue to diminish and overnight lows drop near or below freezing.”

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for the Berkshires and Worcester Hills areas affecting parts of several counties, including western Franklin, western Hampshire, northern Worcester and northern Middlesex counties.

The storm warning for the Berkshires will stay in effect until 2 p.m. on Friday, while the Worcester Hills storm warning will be in effect from 8 p.m. Wednesday until 8 p.m. on Friday, forecasters said.

The weather service also issued a high-wind warning for several parts of the state that could see 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 60 mph. One warning covers eastern Norfolk, Suffolk, eastern Essex, Barnstable and eastern Plymouth counties, while the other covers Dukes, Nantucket, southern Bristol and southern Plymouth counties. The former will be in effect until 2 p.m., the latter until 5 a.m.

“Damaging winds will blow down trees and power lines,” the warning said. “Power outages are expected. Travel will be difficult, especially for high-profile vehicles.”

Flooding could also be a concern. Forecasters warned that the Charles River at Dover could see minor flooding in Middlesex and Norfolk counties. Drivers should avoid flooded areas and not go past barricades.

Story by Ryan Mancini,

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