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The Boston Globe


Ice patches expected for tomorrow’s morning commute

Workers cleared snow near Faneuil Hall.

Dina Rudick/Globe Staff

Workers cleared snow near Faneuil Hall.

Greater Boston residents should expect bitter cold and some patches of ice for their Monday morning commutes, but major roads should be clear despite continuing subfreezing temperatures that followed the region’s first major snowstorm of the season, authorities said Sunday.

“We ask people just to take an extra measure of caution and just to be mindful of any potential ice that may be on the roadway, and just to allow for extra time to get to your destination,” said Michael Verseckes, spokesman for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

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Roads became dangerously slick Sunday, when a flash freeze dropped local temperatures by 13 degrees in two hours after an overnight snowstorm that sputtered into early morning sleet and drizzle.

Slush on area roadways froze quickly as winds from the north followed the exiting storm system, dropping the temperature in Boston from 36 degrees at 9 a.m. to 23 degrees two hours later, according to Kim Buttrick, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Taunton.

“We knew there was going to be a freeze; it was just very dramatic,” Buttrick said. “It all happened within two hours.”

Bill Simpson, another National Weather Service meteorologist, said Saturday’s storm had deposited 4.2 inches of snow at Logan International Airport but up to half a foot in other parts of Boston.

Simpson said skies would clear overnight, as lows dipped into the teens, and that Monday would be mostly sunny with temperatures in the mid-20s. Tuesday is expected to be even colder, he said, with more snow expected by midafternoon.

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Dot Joyce, spokeswoman for Mayor Thomas M. Menino, said city workers were spending Sunday ensuring that Boston was ready for the return to school and work on Monday.

“All of our crews are out there, from the school department, public works, transportation, getting all the sidewalks and areas clear and salted down for tomorrow morning’s commute,” Joyce said. “We will be ready.”

She called upon city residents to do their part to make walkways safe for pedestrians.

“People should be reminded to shovel their sidewalks and salt them to help prevent slips and falls, as it’s not expected to get any warmer and the already melted snow will turn to ice,” she said.

Verseckes, the MassDOT spokesman, said about 530 salt trucks remained on state roads Sunday afternoon, down from as many as 2,300 trucks at the height of the storm. He said roads should be thoroughly treated by Monday morning but called on motorists to be cautious.

“Ice should be a concern,” he said. “People should be mindful of any kind of black ice, or any kind of standing water that may not have drained off.”

He said state officials were monitoring the snowstorm expected to arrived Tuesday.

No major accidents were reported Sunday, despite the icy conditions. As a precaution, Massachusetts State Police closed Memorial Drive under the Longfellow Bridge Sunday morning because of flooding, but the road was reopened before 2:30 p.m., according to a State Police spokeswoman.

The MBTA ran some buses on snow routes Sunday but cancelled plans to replace the Mattapan high-speed line with shuttle buses because less snow fell than expected, a spokeswoman said.

Kelly Smith, the MBTA spokeswoman, said snow routes were being cleared as road conditions allowed and were being checked at regular intervals. She said the T’s operations department was confident that routes would be clear in time for the Monday morning commute.

NStar experienced power outages Sunday in Brookline, Roslindale, Jamaica Plain, and Dorchester, but none were expected to last overnight, a spokeswoman said.

Slippery conditions led to the cancellations of some flights out of Logan Airport as well as interstate buses.

At Logan International Airport, a number of flights were delayed, diverted, or cancelled, according to Miraj A. Berry, a spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Port Authority, which owns Logan.

“[T]here has been some thinning of the schedule, but the airport is open and operational,” Berry said in an e-mail.

The Federal Aviation Administration said on its website Sunday afternoon that many departures and arrivals were delayed by 15 minutes or less.

Globe correspondents Laura Gomez and Haven Orecchio-Egresitz contributed to this report. Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.

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