The season's first major snowfall for western Massachusetts left a blanket of white across the region on Thursday morning. While the morning commute was hazardous, the precipitation changed over to rain and eventually tapered off throughout the rest of the day.
Drivers should still watch out for black ice and refreezing surfaces Thursday evening, as temperatures are forecasted to drop well below freezing through the overnight hours. Thursday morning's temperatures during the height of the storm steadied near 34 degrees in Springfield. Those temperatures are expected to drop to the lower 20s by Friday morning.
The mixture of moderate-to-heavy snow, sleet, and rain has left a slushy mess on the roadways. All of the water still left on the roadways has the potential to refreeze given the forecasted temperatures, which may keep road crews and emergency management on alert through the night.
A few reported snowfall totals from the National Weather Service for Thursday's winter storm include: Heath 15.0", Charlemont 11.0", Greenfield 10.5", Northampton 6.2", Holyoke 6.0", Palmer 4.0", and West Springfield 4.0". A complete list can be found on the CBS3 Pinpoint Weather Blog.
General accumulations were between 9 and 12 inches for Franklin County along Rte. 2, with about 5 to 7 inches along the Interstate 91 corridor into Northampton. These totals continued to drop for towns further south. The greater Springfield area averaged between 3" and 5" of snow before the sleet and rain began mixing in, thus limiting the accumulations compared to the north.
Another quick round of snow may clip the region on Saturday afternoon, providing minor accumulations to the Springfield area. Temperatures drastically fall for New Year's Day, with the first couple of days of 2013 potentially facing high temperatures only in the 20s and low temperatures in the single-digits.
The complete forecast can be found on the CBS3 Pinpoint Weather page here.
Copyright 2012 WSHM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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