A snowstorm that could bring up to two feet to some Eastern Massachusetts communities has hit New England, with blizzard conditions in the eastern third of the state and all of Rhode Island.
The “significant winter storm” arrived after midnight and is expected to stick around through Saturday night. It will bring heavy snowfall, near hurricane-force wind gusts, and power outages, according to the National Weather Service. The greatest snowfall amounts are expected across Eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
A blizzard warning is in effect through early Sunday morning. A winter storm warning was also issued for much of Central Massachusetts.
The NWS reported that winds gusted to more than 60 miles per hour on Cape Cod and Nantucket, with Provincetown recording a maximum gust of 76 miles per hour during the storm.
These maps show what forecasters are predicting so far.
Eastern portions of the state are expected to be hit the hardest. In Boston, Plymouth, and parts of Cape Cod at least 18 to 24 inches of snow is likely, forecasters said. Depending on the location of isolated snow bands, some areas could see up to 30 inches, with forecasters predicting that snow totals in certain spots will break records or come close.
From 7 p.m. on Friday through 7 a.m. on Sunday, forecasters anticipate 24.7 inches in Boston, while South Shore communities could see higher amounts of 26 inches or more. like Plymouth are expected to see the highest amounts, with 26.8 inches.
The predicted snowfall totals decrease as you move west across the state, with Central Massachusetts communities like Fitchburg possibly receiving 16 inches of snow and Western Massachusetts communities like Springfield set to get 11 inches or so.
Forecasters say the bulk of the storm is likely to occur between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
Between 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, both Boston and Plymouth may see another 8 to 12 inches. Forecasters said the heaviest snow will fall Saturday afternoon and evening in Eastern Massachusetts communities, where snow could fall at a rate of 2 to 4 inches per hour.
Snow is expected to stop falling on Saturday at various times depending on the location.
Amanda Kaufman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @amandakauf1. Shannon Larson can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @shannonlarson98.