Winter storm expected to bring up to foot of snow, fierce winds on Thursday

BOSTON (WHDH) - A winter storm packing up to a foot of snow and fierce winds is expected to move through Massachusetts starting early Thursday morning.

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Eastern Massachusetts will see the heaviest snow and wind, but many areas are under a winter storm watch. Middlesex, Norfolk, Bristol, Plymouth, Suffolk, Essex, Barnstable and Dukes counties are all under a watch until 1 a.m. on Friday.

The “powerhouse” storm is developing off Florida and will move up the coast, according to Meteorologist Chris Lambert. It’s expected to clip Massachusetts on Thursday as it passes Nantucket, bringing significant snow to many areas.

“It’s a classic Nor’easter track for a major winter storm here in southern New England,” Meteorologist Jeremy Reiner said.

Light snow will start to fly as early as 6 a.m. before the storm intensifies around 10 a.m. and continues on until 7 p.m. Travel is expected to be poor due to possible whiteout conditions.

Depending upon the track of the storm, Metro Boston, southeastern Massachusetts and points along the North Shore and in the Merrimack Valley could see 8-12 inches of snow.

Worcester County could see 4-8 inches of snow. Western Massachusetts will likely see 2-4 inches. Cape Cod and the Islands will see 2-4 inches of snow.

Damaging wind gusts could knock out power on Cape Cod and the Islands. Gusts of more than 55 mph will be possible. Southeastern areas, metro Boston and coastal areas to the north could have wind gusts as high as 45 mph. Winds for points inland will could hit 35 mph.

A high wind watch has been issued for Middlesex, Norfolk, Bristol, Plymouth, Suffolk, Essex, Barnstable, Nantucket and Dukes counties until 1 a.m. on 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, Essex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Nantucket and Suffolk counties until 3 p.m. on 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,” Lambert said in his forecast.

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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