Here's how the storm should unfold in SNE: Heavy snow inland, rain changing to snow in RI/E MA this evening, heavy at times thru midnight. It all winds down Thu AM. pic.twitter.com/Yrm0qRkhbd— NWS Boston (@NWSBoston) March 7, 2018
BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- The second nor'easter in less than a week is hitting New England, bringing heavy snowfall and strong winds--and the latest information shows that Boston could get more snow than initially thought.
"The updated information we have from the National Weather Service has that we're gonna get a few more inches, and the storm's a little colder than we initially thought," MEMA spokesperson Chris Besse told WBZ NewsRadio 1030. "So that will bring higher snowfall amounts east a little bit."
Gov. Charlie Baker warned earlier Wednesday that the storm would impact the evening commute.
"Because of the track of the storm, everyone should expect a long and challenging commute home this evening due to the rapid snowfall that will start mid-afternoon," Gov. Charlie Baker said at a press conference from the MEMA bunker in Framingham Wednesday morning.
While lower snow totals and a mix of rain are forecast for Eastern Massachusetts, folks still need to travel carefully, utilize public transportation, and plan ahead for a slow and difficult evening commute. #MAsnow pic.twitter.com/ixYVBZGCGj— Charlie Baker (@MassGovernor) March 7, 2018
Several watches and warnings were in effect Wednesday:
- A flood watch is in effect through Thursday afternoon
- A wind advisory is in effect from 1 p.m. Wednesday to 1 a.m. Thursday
- A winter storm warning is in effect for the Worcester Hills through 1 p.m. Thursday
Because of the ever-changing snow-rain line, the expected snow totals along the coast varied.
Greater Boston is expected to get anywhere between 4-8 inches of snow, with 8-12 expected north and west of the city and the possibility of a foot plus in areas west of 495.
Since some are asking, here are the 4 past snowfall forecasts for SNE going back to Monday PM. Note the adjustments in the highlighted area due to uncertainty in surface temps, which affect accumulation. Confidence is much higher inland! pic.twitter.com/0kVAUf0sud— NWS Boston (@NWSBoston) March 7, 2018
"We want people to keep a close eye on the forecast, because the National Weather Service is telling us a small change in the track position of the storm may have a significant impact on how much snow people get," MEMA spokesperson Chris Besse said.
At the storm's peak--between 2-3 p.m. and 8-9 p.m.--snow could fall at a rate of 2-3 inches per hour, according to MEMA.
"This will lead to whiteout conditions as far east as Boston and potentially across the western and northeastern part of the state," Gov. Baker said.
Gusts of 30-40 mph were expected, with gusts of 50-60 mph on the coast.
*STRONG WINDS* Peaking late this afternoon and evening. Strongest Cape/Islands. Not as strong as the weekend storm, but enough that vulnerable trees could still topple with local power outages: pic.twitter.com/WKlc0G63AP— NWS Boston (@NWSBoston) March 7, 2018
The strongest winds were expected Wednesday night into Thursday morning.
The winds were not expected to be as strong as those from last week's storm but, because of the combination with wet, heavy snow, disruption to power was expected.
Meanwhile, at 8 a.m., MEMA's outage map still showed more than 1,000 people out of power after the last storm.
The storm is also expected to cause "minor to moderate" coastal flooding situation along the coast, according to MEMA.
MEMA warned of coastal erosion during the Thursday morning high tide.
There was an expected storm surge of 2-2.5 feet, with waves of up to 15-20 feet.
Some areas still flooded from last week's storm were expected to stay that way until after Thursday morning.
"Because of that past coastal flooding that may have damaged some coastal structures or dunes or seawalls, there is a risk for coastal flooding again in this storm, even though it's not supposed to be as bad," Besse said.
MassDOT Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver warned that the heaviest snow was expected to be falling during the Wednesday evening commute. It could also extend to the Thursday morning commute.
All Commuter Rail lines will operate on a regular weekday schedule on Wednesday, 3/7.— MBTA Commuter Rail (@MBTA_CR) March 6, 2018
On Wednesday, 3/7, winter weather is forecasted for the greater Boston area. Preparations are underway and the Commuter Rail will provide regularly scheduled weekday service. pic.twitter.com/9kyFRckdU7
"We advise members of the public to stay off the roads if possible, consider working from home or postponing travel plans, and taking public transit if they must travel during this storm," Gulliver said in a release. "Those who are out on the roadways should give themselves extra time to reach their destinations, travel at reduced speeds, and leave plenty of space between themselves and other vehicles."
Gov. Baker said road travel was going to be increasingly difficult the further west residents are.
"For anyone who lives and works west of 128, I want to reiterate what our office put out last night: Beginning early this afternoon and lasting into the evening, driving will become treacherous and you need to plan ahead and be very careful," Gov. Baker said.
MassDOT also warned travelers flying out of Logan Airport to check massport.com for updated information on their flights.
Several flights were cancelled hours before the storm approached the area.
Keolis Public Affairs Director Torey Mazzola told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 that the MBTA Commuter Rail was in a strong position ahead of the storm, and that there were 450 people ready to be deployed.
"There are still some cleanup activities ongoing from the storm last week," Mazzola said. "We've largely recovered if not entirely."
The MBTA preemptively replaced the Red Line's Mattapan trolley service with buses during the storm.
Hear from MEMA's Chris Besse on the storm: