The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning that will last until 4 p.m.
Meteorologist Alan Dunham with the National Weather Service in Taunton said the snow will increase intensity throughout the morning before ending early Friday evening.
Total accumulation for Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard is expected to range from 4 to 8 inches.
Slightly higher amounts may fall on Nantucket.
“Snow today probably won’t really taper off until the early evening hours. We’re looking at upwards of 4 to 8 inches for Cape Cod and the two Islands,” said Dunham.
And don’t think Friday’s storm is the end of the line for winter. Forecasters are already watching the potential for a larger storm next Tuesday.
“It looks like it will be a bigger event, snow total-wise, we’re not really sure because it is quite far out at this point,” National Weather Service Meteorologist Lenore Correia said.
All public schools on the Cape and Islands were closed in advance of the storm and several other municipal activities had been called off.
By early afternoon, many areas of Cape Cod has already picked up 3 inches of snow.
Three inches were recorded in Yarmouth Port, West Tisbury, Marstons Mills and Harwich. Just over 2 inches had fallen in Oak Bluffs.
Rectrix Aviation cancelled all their flights between Hyannis and Nantucket early Friday afternoon.
Barnstable Municipal Airport Manager Bud Breault said they shut down all operators just after 1 p.m.
Temperatures will become bitterly cold Friday and Saturday night as another arctic air mass enters the region. Much of the Commonwealth will see sub-zero wind chills, with portions of the interior possibly falling as low as 10 to 20 degrees below zero.
The National Weather Service may issue Wind Chill Advisories for Friday or Saturday night.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is urging drivers to use caution on the roads.
“The forecast is calling for snow to begin during the early morning hourson Fridayand continue throughout the day, reducing visibility to one mile or less at times and creating potentially hazardous conditions especially during the morning and afternoon commutes,” said Highway Administrator Thomas J. Tinlin.
“We encourage every traveler to utilize the appropriate resources and monitor conditions, stay indoors or take public transportation if at all possible, and if you must go out to allow extra time to reach destinations.”
For updates on road and traffic conditions in Massachusetts, drivers can:
- Dial 511 and select a route to hear real-time conditions on I-90 and other roads.
- Visitmass511.com, a website which provides real-time traffic and incident advisory information, and allows users to subscribe to text and email alerts for traffic conditions.
- Follow MassDOT on Twitter @MassDOT to receive regular updates on road and traffic conditions and MassDOT’s efforts to treat major highways throughout the Commonwealth.
- Download MassDOT’s GoTime mobile app and view real-time traffic conditions before setting out on the road.
Other important winter driving tips include:
- Clear snow and ice from all windows and lights – even the hood and roof- before driving, (start with the tailpipe).
- Leave plenty of room for stopping.
- Remember the posted speed limits are for dry pavement.
- Use brakes carefully. Brake early. Brake correctly. It takes more time and distance to stop in adverse conditions.
- Bridge decks freeze first. Due to the difference in the exposure to air, the surface condition can be worse on a bridge than on the approach road.
- Exit ramps are an even greater challenge during the winter since they may have received less anti-icing material than the main line.
- Leave room for maintenance vehicles and plows – stay back at least 200 feet and don’t pass on the right.
- Most importantly please remember to slow down. Also, seat belts should be worn at all times – it’s the law.
More information on safe winter driving can be found at:http://www.massdot.state.ma.us/highway/departments/snowice/safewinterdrivingtips.aspx