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Southern New England can expect its first significant snow Friday morning

Snow will start in the predawn hours on Friday.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff/file

During the morning commute on Friday, snow will be flying across the area, travel will be slow, and the plows will be out as Southern New England is very likely to experience its first snowstorm of the season. It’s coming a little later than usual, but we’ve never had a winter where it hasn’t snowed at least 6 inches and it’s not going to be this one.

Forecast radar shows a burst of heavy snow likely on Friday mostly before noon.Tropical Tidbits

If you have to prepare for the snow, today is a great day to do it with the high near 40, light winds, and mostly sunny skies. For those of you who will be plowing, this is a great opportunity to give the trucks or snow blowers an extra check and if you haven’t yet put the plow blade on, it’s time.


The snow will start flying in the predawn hours of Friday. There’s going to be a burst of heavy snow sometime between about 6 and 10 a.m. Snow rates could be anywhere from 1 to 2 inches per hour with the possibility of a few areas exceeding 6 inches. The map below shows the chance of the heavy snow just after sunrise Friday.

These bands can move really quickly, putting down higher amounts for one town while sparing another. The most likely place for that early band is going to be in eastern areas of the state including Boston. However, I’ve noted that it could end up in the city slightly north or even a little farther south. It’s unlikely that areas west of Worcester are going to get into the banding. Most if not all of the accumulating snow should be over by about 1 p.m. Friday. We could even see some breaks of sunshine by the time the sun sets around 4:30 p.m.

Expected snow totals by Friday afternoon.Dave Epstein, Globe correspondent

A large number of school closings have already been announced Friday due to the snow. With the COVID numbers so high, it’s also not a bad thing to have a day off.


Temperatures will be quite cold during the storm, leading to fluffier snow for Greater Boston. As you move closer to Cape Cod, readings will be above freezing and there will be a mix with rain at times. This is especially true on the outer part of the Cape and the Islands, where the snow will be heavier and wetter. If temperatures remain cold enough, it’s not out of the question that my prediction for lighter snow over the outer Cape could be low. Those of you traveling in that area should expect changing conditions during the morning.

Low pressure is forecast to be off the Southern New England coastline around 9 a.m. on Friday, with temperatures below freezing in Greater Boston.NOAA

It will be breezy at times with a few higher gusts during the storm, but nothing that will create power outages or large drifts. The wind certainly won’t last very long as the storm is moving quite quickly. This means that most of the accumulation is done by late morning and we will see the back edge rapidly heading for the coastline at that time.

Temperatures on Saturday.NOAA

Skies will clear Friday night leading us to a mostly sunny Saturday and with all the snow on the ground, temperatures will struggle toward freezing. It will be a bit milder by Sunday before a 24-hour blast of Arctic air arrives Monday night.

It’s taken a while, but winter is here.