The worst of the winter storm will peak over the next several hours. The two systems creating this blockbuster storm are merging together as one. A deepening 986-mb low pressure center off the Delmarva Peninsula will continue moving up the east coast, clashing with cold air settled over New England and keeping all of the precipitation as snow. This is a textbook example of a strong nor'easter.
The worst of this storm is expected between now and sunrise Saturday . Travel is not recommended, and may be impossible in some areas late this evening. Snowfall rates are expected to be at least one inch per hour tonight, creating whiteout conditions when factoring in the winds.
Snowfall totals are generally expected to be between 15 and 20 inches for the Pioneer Valley, all the way up and down the I-91 corridor from Springfield to Greenfield. Isolated higher amounts are possible in the Berkshires and our eastern towns bordering Worcester County.
The hardest hit places for this storm will be Worcester County and all the way east into Boston, where 2 to 3 feet of snow is expected. Hurricane-force winds are also expected to affect parts of the Cape, as well as the Connecticut and Rhode Island coasts. Here in western Massachusetts, wind gusts may reach 40 mph this evening, resulting in scattered power outages.
This storm will come to an end late Saturday morning. Fortunately, it will become sunny for the second-half of the weekend. Very little melting-refreezing is expected as temperatures mostly stay below freezing, which should help with the plowing of snow instead of much ice developing.
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