Winter Strikes Back: Snow Forecast for Friday

BARNSTABLE – Winter is ready to rear its ugly head again with a mid-March snowstorm forecast for the region Friday.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for Cape Cod and the Islands, beginning overnight Friday and lasting until 4 p.m.

Meteorologist Lenore Correia with the National Weather Service in Taunton said the snow will move in during the overnight hours.

“Probably between 2 and 4 a.m., and it will continue into tomorrow afternoon (Friday), ending probably around 5 or 6 p.m.,” said Correia.

In total, 6 to 8 inches are expected from this storm, with 1 to 3 forecast in the overnight hours into Friday morning. The storm is expected to pick up in intensity during the Friday morning commute before moving out of the region Friday afternoon.

“Once you get to the northern Rhode Island border, it’s around 4 to 6 (inches) and northern Massachusetts it’s less than an inch,” Correia said.

A wind advisory is in effect until 4 p.m. Thursday on Cape Cod, with gusts up to 45 miles per hour expected.

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,” Correia said.

In advance of the storm, the Town of Harwich announced that all town buildings would be closed on Friday.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is urging drivers to use caution once the snow starts.

“The forecast is calling for snow to begin during the early morning hours on Friday and 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.
  • Visit www.mass511.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

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