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Snow storm expected to take aim at Cape, islands

The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning effective from midnight tonight until 2 p.m. Wednesday for Cape Cod and the islands. Much of the rest of Massachusetts is expected to be relatively unscathed.

The storm brewing offshore is expected to slam the coast with up to 10 inches of snow, high winds, and coastal flooding.

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Between 6 and 10 inches of snow will be accompanied by wind gusts that at times could reach hurricane force — 74 miles per hour — bringing down tree limbs and power lines. Some moderate coastal flooding is expected during Wednesday morning’s high tide.

“This is a dangerous storm and travel is not recommended,” forecasters said in the blizzard warning.

“People have been getting a little nervous and calling a lot yesterday and today,” said Tim Baker, owner of Cape Cod Tree Service. “When you get snow on top of trees it can cause a lot of damage, and we’ve been getting a lot more calls with people worried about trees falling over the [power] lines.”

Visibility on the roads could drop to less than a quarter-mile due to blowing and drifting snow, forecasters said.

The storm will be significantly weaker farther inland and to the north, with only 2 to 4 inches falling not far from the Cape and 1 to 2 inches expected in Boston.

“It will be snowing in Boston until about [9 a.m.] tomorrow, but the Cape and islands could see snow until mid- to late afternoon,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Bill Simpson.

The storm should clear out of the region by Wednesday evening, giving way to more spring-like conditions through the end of the week.

It has been a snowier than average winter. So far, 58.6 inches have been recorded in Boston, compared with the average of 40.8 inches, Simpson said.

Boston’s weather today started out sunny and dry, with clear skies and high temperatures near 37 degrees. Heavy clouds will arrive in the afternoon as temperatures drop to 28 degrees.

High temperatures should crest Wednesday in Boston at 36 degrees, with cloudy skies gradually clearing throughout the afternoon. Temperatures should drop into the lower 20s overnight.

Spring weather will return Thursday, with sunny skies and highs near 39 degrees. Some clouds will roll in during the evening as temperatures drop to 33 degrees.

Friday will see a bit of a warmup, with high temperatures climbing to 55 degrees. Some rain showers could start falling after 3 p.m. into the evening hours. Low temperatures will drop into the mid-40s overnight.

Catalina Gaitan can be reached at catalina.gaitan@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter at @catalina_gaitan.
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