The icy, below-freezing conditions that have chilled the northeast region this weekend will give way Sunday night to a storm with tropical origins that will dump heavy snow and rain on Massachusetts into Monday evening and bring whipping winds to coastal communities.
Western Massachusetts can expect a blast of snow overnight before temperatures tick up and the precipitation shifts to rain, said Kristie Smith, a meteorologist in the National Weather Service’s Norton office. Areas near Pittsfield and North Adams can expect upwards of 8 inches of snow.
East of Interstate 495, only a flurry of snow is anticipated to fall before conditions turn rainy and slushy, said Smith.
“There may be snow for just a little bit, maybe for an hour starting around 1 or 2 a.m., but it’s going to switch really fast in Boston over to rain,” said Smith. “Since it’s going to fall pretty quickly, any snow that accumulates is just going to wash right away,” said Smith.
The storm system that will impact New England tonight into Mon, has #tropical origins from the Yucatán Peninsula! Also, notice all the lightning flashes approaching western Cuba to south FL. This copious moisture will stream north up the eastern seaboard. #MAwx #RIwx #CTwx pic.twitter.com/avJBgJQLZX— NWS Boston (@NWSBoston) January 16, 2022
In Western Massachusetts, where the National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for Monday, slushy conditions could present a problem for morning commuters. The weather service also issued winter storm warnings for northern Worcester County and parts of northwestern Middlesex County
Sunday morning, temperatures were still well below freezing but were expected to climb overnight and reach the mid-40s in much of the state by Monday afternoon.
Swirling winds may cause some minor flooding on the coast, particularly in Cape Cod and Cape Ann, where gusts are expected to reach between 60 and 70 miles per hour. Boston could see gusts of up to 50 miles per hour, said Smith.
“It is an easterly wind, and part of that is that the storm will be coinciding with high tide,” said Smith. “So we are expecting some minor coastal flooding in flood-prone areas like Morrissey Boulevard.”
The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency advised residents on Twitter to brace for the possibility of power outages and to stock up on non-perishable food and emergency supplies.
The storm system is currently sweeping its way up the East Coast after dropping snow, sleet, and ice on the central US Friday and Saturday. Some airlines were preemptively grounding flights due to the conditions. Almost 90 percent of flights out of Charlotte International Airport in North Carolina were canceled Sunday, according to the flight-tracking website FlightAware.
Some flights may be delayed at Logan on Monday morning due to the heavy winds, said Jennifer Mehigan, a spokeswoman for MassPort. She said 21 flights scheduled for Monday had been canceled as of about 4 p.m. on Sunday, citing data from FlightAware.
“We recommend passengers check with their airline for the best information on their flight,” she said in an e-mail.
American Airlines, which accounted for 19 percent of the delays and 31 percent of the cancellations at Logan, said in a statement to CNN that the storm was expected to have a “significant impact” on the airline.
The storm, which the weather service said on Twitter Sunday originated in the Gulf of Mexico, may be only a temporary reprieve from the bitter cold Massachusetts residents have endured this weekend.
“Blustery and cold weather returns Tuesday followed by milder air Wednesday,” the weather service said.
[4 PM Sat Update] Here's the latest look at expected snowfall totals and wind gusts with the upcoming storm Sunday night - early Mon. Most locations will have changed over to rain by sunrise on Monday. There is potential for damaging winds near the coast. https://t.co/iTrYwAeB1d pic.twitter.com/fGifYbVG3b— NWS Boston (@NWSBoston) January 15, 2022
Globe correspondent Nick Stoico contributed to this report.