BOSTON (WHDH) - An intense nor’easter packing the potential for blizzard conditions, more than a foot of snow in some areas, fierce winds and coastal flooding is expected to move through Massachusetts starting early Thursday morning.
Southeastern Massachusetts will likely see the heaviest snow and wind. Almost the entire state is under a winter storm warning, while some areas are under a blizzard warning.
The blizzard warning is in effect for Boston, the North Shore, South Shore, and South Coast on Thursday. It extends up along New Hampshire’s seacoast as well.
The majority of the Bay State is under a winter storm warning, including Worcester, the Merrimack Valley, Cape Cod and the Islands, and Western Massachusetts. The warning also covers Rhode Island and Connecticut.
“Bombogenesis” is expected to rapidly fuel the storm, which Chief Meteorologist Jeremy Reiner referred to as a “winter beast,” as it moves up the eastern seaboard.
Light snow will start to fly as early as 4 a.m. before the storm intensifies around 8 a.m. The heaviest snow is expected to end around 7 p.m., with the remaining snowfall ending at 9 p.m. Thunder snow is possible, along with 2-3 inches of snowfall per hour.
Travel is expected to be poor due to possible whiteout conditions. Blowing and drifting snow could reduce visibility to less than a 1/4 mile for several hours.
RELATED: Track the storm on interactive radar
Metro Boston and points along the North Shore and in the Merrimack Valley could see 8-12 inches of snow. Southeastern Massachusetts, the South Shore and coastal points on the North Shore may see over a foot of snow, with up to 16 inches being a possibility.
Parts of Worcester County could see 8-12 inches of snow. Western Massachusetts will likely get anywhere between 2-8 inches. The Cape and the Islands are expected to see between 2-8 inches, depending upon the area.
The storm is also equipped with dangerous winds, leading to the potential for power outages. Gusts of 50-65 mph are possible for the Cape and the Islands. Southeastern Massachusetts, Metro Boston and the North Shore could see 40-55 mph gusts, while the majority of Massachusetts will see 25-40 mph winds.
“We are in for some serious winds,” Meteorologist Bri Eggers said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a few isolated locations that tap into hurricane fore winds.”
RELATED: 7Weather Blog: Powerhouse Storm
A high wind warning has been issued for Nantucket until 1 a.m. Friday.
High tide will be a concern for coastal areas. Minor to moderate flooding will be possible between noon time and 2 p.m.
A coastal flood watch has been issued for Barnstable, Dukes, Eastern Essex, Eastern Norfolk, Eastern Plymouth, Nantucket and Suffolk counties until 3 p.m. Thursday.
Bitter, arctic air will move back into the region on Friday and linger throughout the weekend.
“The coldest air we’ve seen so far this winter, believe it or not, has yet to arrive. It will arrive this weekend,” said Meteorologist Chris Lambert.
Wind chills will dip between -20 degrees and -35 degrees on Friday night into Saturday morning.
For more, visit the 7Weather page.
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