Friday’s storm is shaping up to be on par with some of the most legendary winter storms in New England history, according to meteorologists.
Wednesday afternoon forecasters, including the National Weather Service, said the storm would deliver more than just a lot of snow - it has the potential to be a blizzard. That had caused the weather service to issue a blizzard watch for Hamilton and Wenham as well as much of eastern Massachusetts. The watch means that “there is a potential for considerable falling and/or blowing snow with sustained winds or frequent gusts over 35 miles per hour and visibilities below a quarter mile for at least 3 hours.”
The watch is in effect from Friday morning through Saturday afternoon.
Forecasters warn that white out conditions are possible in the storm and that travel will be “very dangerous” by the evening commute on Friday, when the heaviest snow is expected to fall. It will start on Friday morning as light snow, the weather service said.
Friday night into Saturday morning “travel may become nearly impossible with blowing and drifting snow,” the weather service warned. At its peak, snow could fall at the rate of 2-3 inches per hour.
Total snow accumulation is forecasted to be between 12-24 inches in HAmilton and Wenham, plus winds will blow from the northeast at 25-25 miles per hour with gusts to 55 mph. Minor coastal flooding is also possible.