Blizzard Expected To Arrive Sunday Afternoon, Up to 20 Inches of Snow Forecasted
A blizzard warning for Hamilton and Wenham was issued on Christmas Day at 4:51 p.m., predicting 15-20 inches of snow, dangerous winds and near-zero visibility from Sunday afternoon into Monday afternoon.
The first Nor'easter of the season is headed towards Hamilton and Wenham beginning on Sunday afternoon.
The storm is forecasted to drop 15-20 inches of snow accompanied by dangerous winds and blinding conditions, according to the National Weather Service. Motorists and pedestrians are urged to stay indoors until the worst of the blizzard blows out of the region on Monday afternoon.
The National Weather Service station in Taunton issued a blizzard warning at 4:51 p.m. on Saturday, ratcheting up an earlier winter storm watch for southern New England, including all of Essex County. The latest alert is in effect from noon on Sunday through 6 p.m. on Monday, as meteorologists predict the storm will intensify Monday morning with blizzard conditions in eastern Massachusetts.
"Extremely dangerous travel conditions will develop by Sunday evening. Strong winds will combine with the snow to create blinding conditions with near-zero visibility at times Sunday night," the National Weather Service said in its Christmas afternoon forecast. "Visibilities will become poor with whiteout conditions at times. Those venturing outdoors may become lost or disoriented. So persons in the warning area are advised to stay indoors."
Widespread power outages are also expected during the height of the storm Sunday night from both strong winds knocking down power lines and the weight of the heavy snow. People with heart conditions are discouraged from shoveling. Wind gusts could hit 50 to 60 mph.
Light snowfall may start early in the afternoon on Sunday, accumulating up to four inches, with heavy snow predicted to fall through the night at two to four inches per hour, as winds pick up to 35-38 mph and dump a total of 10-16 inches.
The NWS says the snow will taper to flurries early Monday afternoon as the storm blows out of the region, but strong winds will last through the day, especially along the coast. A low of 12 degrees is predicted for Monday night.
For more information about the storm and its impact on Hamilton and Wenham, check back at Hamilton-Wenham Patch.