The Boston area may only see about an inch of snow, but a storm headed toward the area could drop nearly 2 feet today and Thursday in some areas of northern New England.
A National Weather Service advisory warned that areas in Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire could see accumulations of 14 to 23 inches between this afternoon and Thursday. Visibility could drop to less than a quarter-mile in some areas due to blowing and drifting snow, forecasters said.
In Massachusetts, the highest snowfall from the storm is expected in the western and northern edges of the state with up to 6 inches falling in the Berkshires. For the rest of the state, only a few inches are expected; along the coast, the precipitation will fall as rain.
But the storm still may cause trouble in the Bay State. Forecasters warned that roads could turn icy for the Thursday morning commute.
“The cold front is going to drop down and interact with the very warm air mass that’s happening right now,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Charlie Foley. “This will make any residual moisture or rain on the roadways and sidewalks freeze, and that could make it somewhat treacherous.”
Today started out dry and cloudy, with high temperatures climbing to the mid- to high 40s. Some light rain began falling in Boston at about 1 p.m. The rain is expected to intensify throughout the afternoon.
“I think by the afternoon commute today we’ll see widespread rain,” said Foley.
Rain will continue through the night as temperatures drop to 18 degrees in the Boston area, colder in inland Massachusetts. The rain is expected to change over to a wintry mix by morning.
High temperatures should crest only in the 20s Thursday, with blustery winds as fast as 39 miles per hour. The cold temperatures could cause residual rain to freeze on untreated roadways, creating potentially hazardous traveling conditions.
“The precipitation should end by Thursday afternoon, and we’ll start a transition into milder temperatures,” Foley said.
Mostly cloudy skies should gradually clear as low temperatures drop to 12 degrees overnight in Boston and the single digits in the interior. A biting wind will make it feel even colder.
Sunny skies will return Friday as high temperatures rise into the mid- to upper 30s. Some clouds will arrive in the evening, with lows dropping to the high 20s and lower 30s.
Dry and mostly sunny conditions will persist through this weekend and into early next week, forecasters said.