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,” said Michael Verseckes, spokesman for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.
Roads became dangerously slick Sunday, when a flash-freeze dropped local temperatures by 13 degrees in two hours after an overnight snowstorm sputtered into early morning sleet and drizzle.
Slush on 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.
Bill Simpson, another 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 Monday would be mostly sunny with temperatures in the mid-20s. Tuesday is expected to be even colder, he said, with more snow expected.
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,” she said.
Verseckes 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 arrive Tuesday, which weather officials said will be heaviest in the afternoon.
“We’re pretty certain it will snow and it will be accumulating snow,” said meteorologist Benjamin Sipprell .
He said he expected the storm to drop 3 to 6 inches around the Boston area. However, he warned that the forecast could change. The first chance for snow to melt will be Thursday or Friday when temperatures should climb into the 40s and it may rain, Sipprell said.
No major accidents were reported Sunday, despite icing.
Kelly Smith said MBTA 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.
Slippery conditions led to the cancellations of some flights out of Logan International Airport as well as interstate buses.
At Logan, a number of flights were also delayed or diverted, according to Miraj A. Berry, a spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Port Authority, which operates the airport.
Berry said in an e-mail that there “has been some thinning of the schedule, but the airport is open and operational.”