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Boston weather, metro north and west: Snow hits hardest for evening commute

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The two big weather stories today are the very cold temperatures and the arrival of snow that is expected to accumulate several inches before ending tonight.

The bottom fell out of the thermometer last night as we woke to icy temperatures in the single digits to around zero in a few spots. Although we had sunshine very early this morning skies have become overcast quickly as the first flakes approach the area.

Low pressure is moving off the coast south of New England this morning and is expected to quickly move northeastward and pass near Cape Cod this evening. The onset of snow should be late this morning in the metro Boston area, perhaps very early afternoon toward the New Hampshire border. Snow begins light and intermittent but then evolves into a steadier pace with a few bursts of moderate to heavy snow that could drop snow at an inch an hour for a brief time late this afternoon and early evening. As we mentioned yesterday the timing is such that the worst of the storm will continue through this evenings commute and thus will impact the ride home with snow covered roads slowing traffic.

As the low moves into the Gulf of Maine the precipitation shuts off locally, with central and northern Essex County being the last to see the snow come to an end. Snow should be mostly over a couple hours before midnight, although a lingering snow shower or two cannot be ruled out beyond that. The idea is that the worst of the storm is most likely going to be from 3 to 7 pm. The National Weather Service has just issued a Winter Storm Warning through 1 am Wednesday morning.

As for accumulations that really has not changed much for most of the area where generally 3 to 5 inches is expected, however northeast Massachusetts may get the jackpot out of this with upwards of 6 to 8 inches possible there. The snow probably does not shut down in Essex county, especially toward the Merrimack Valley, until midnight or so.

Temperatures stay in the 20s today, upper 20s on the coast and then only fall a few degrees tonight.

On Wednesday the low moves into eastern Canada and will throw strong northwest winds at us on the backside with gusts to 30 and 35 mph likely. This coupled with temperatures in the upper 20s to low 30s will make it feel more like mid teens to low 20s. Clouds will slowly erode in the morning setting up a partly cloudy afternoon.

The good news is that it becomes milder and stays dry on Thursday before another system approaches for late week and into the weekend with showers possible. Highs near 40 Thursday, then into the 40s Friday.

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