Storm brings snow, rain, sleet, and wind

Wild nor’easter forecast to move out to sea today

A pedestrian battled her way along the Green Line tracks on Commonwealth Avenue near the Agganis Area.
Essdras M Suarez/Globe Staff
A pedestrian battled her way along the Green Line tracks on Commonwealth Avenue near the Agganis Area.

A storm that brought a wild day of fluctuating wintry weather was expected to blow out to sea Friday morning after dumping snow, sleet, and rain on the state, causing scattered power outages, closing some schools, and slowing traffic during the evening commute.

Joanne Rathe/Globe Staff
A driver stepped out of car in a traffic tie-up on Route 128 in Peabody.

The nor’easter’s impact was not felt evenly across Massachusetts on Thursday. Residents on Cape Cod experienced temperatures in the upper 40s and a steady drizzle; Eastern Massachusetts inhabitants saw alternating bands of heavy snow, freezing drizzle, and rain; and in Western Massachusetts, the storm dumped more than a foot of snow.

Meteorologists at the National Weather Center in Taunton blamed a warm air mass off the coast for the weather roller coaster.


As of Thursday night, the town of Southwick had received the highest reported snow accumulation in the state, at 13 inches. Southwick, Ludlow, and other towns along the Route 91 corridor, where snow turned temporarily to sleet and rain Thursday night, were expected to receive up to 6 additional inches of snow overnight because of falling temperatures, the weather service said.

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Despite the rain and dropping temperature, Stephanie Dunten, a meteorologist with the weather service, said roads should not be particularly icy on Friday.

“There could be some slick spots, but this is not a hard freeze,” she said. “It’s more of a gradual freezing because of the warm temperatures.”

Despite the wintry conditions, the storm caused only scattered power outages, according to some utilities.

NStar reported that about 1,700 customers had lost power, while National Grid had only 300 customers without power Thursday evening. Both utilities said they expected to restore power to all their customers Thursday night.


“The weather really wasn’t a huge factor for us,” said National Grid spokeswoman Deborah Drew. “We planned for the worst and hoped for the best and the system has fared very well.”

Lane Turner/Globe Staff
A cyclist braved Tremont Street in Boston.

Drew said the company was keeping an eye on forecasts predicting moderate wind gusts Friday, but did not expect many additional outages.

Frank Poirot, a spokesman for Western Massachusetts Electric Co., said only a dozen of the company’s customers lost power, and that it restored service to all of them.

State Police increased patrols on roads in the afternoon, when the snowfall was at its heaviest, said spokesman David Procopio.

Late Thursday morning on Route 112 in Huntington, two ATV riders suffered serious injuries in a crash with a snow plow, Procopio said. There were also two accidents in which tractor-trailers jack-knifed, but no one was seriously hurt, he said.


Beginning at 5 a.m., the Boston Public Works Department sent out more than 500 pieces of snow equipment to clear and sand city roads, officials said, prioritizing areas around schools, bus routes, hills, and bridges. Traffic moved slowly on some roads, and several cars became stuck on snowy side streets, but were quickly towed out of the way, officials said.

Boston did not declare a snow emergency, meaning the semi-official 48-hour grace period on space savers was not in effect, said Emilee Ellison, a spokeswoman for Mayor Martin J. Walsh.

While MBTA subway lines functioned with few delays, commuters on T buses faced delays caused by poor driving conditions and accidents that blocked roadways. Commuter rail lines also saw minor delays.

Those traveling by air fared the worst, as 30 percent of flights in and out of Logan Airport were canceled Thursday, said Matthew Brelis, a MassPort spokesman.

Dan Adams can be reached at Find him on Twitter at @DanielAdams86. Haven Orecchio-Egresitz can be reached at