At least six inches of snow followed by sleet and freezing rain are expected in Hamilton and Wenham, starting on Saturday afternoon.
The storm will “create treacherous travel conditions Saturday night into early Sunday,” the weather service said.
The forecast prompted the National Weather Service to issue a winter storm watch early Friday. The watch runs from Saturday afternoon through Sunday morning.
In addition to the North Shore, the winter storm watch extends across most of Massachusetts, plus Connecticut, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.
The storm will start as heavy snow and then be “followed by sleet and
freezing rain,” the weather service said when it issued the winter storm watch.
The snow total will range from 6-12 inches “along with a trace to a tenth of an inch of ice.”
The winter storm watch was issued because of “the potential of accumulating snow of 6 or more inches in a 12 hour period or 8 or more inches in a 24 hour period.”
The storm will start to make travel “difficult and treacherous” starting late Saturday, the weather service said.
The snow will start Saturday afternoon and become steadier and heavier Saturday night into Sunday morning before tapering off Sunday afternoon,” the weather service said.
In addition to the snow, a northeast wind will blow at 15-25 miles per hour with gusts to 35 mph, with the strongest winds near the coast.
The snow and wind will drop visibility to a quarter mile or less during the heavy snow, the weather service said.
“Anyone traveling in the next 24 to 36 hours should monitor later forecasts and be prepared to modify travel plans should winter weather develop,” the weather service said in its winter storm watch.