Metro

Snow likely to begin falling early Friday morning

The Boston area will likely see 1 to 2 inches of snow by 4 p.m. Friday.

John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

The Boston area will likely see 1 to 2 inches of snow by 4 p.m. Friday.

Snow and subzero wind chills are expected to hit Boston this weekend, following a windy Thursday that saw gusts reach 60 miles per hour and proved that winter is far from over.

The Boston area will likely see 1-2 inches of snow by late afternoon Friday, National Weather Service meteorologist Kevin Cadima said.

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As of 8 p.m. Thursday, there was a possibility the storm could shift course, either dropping up to 5 inches on Boston or nearly avoiding the city altogether, but was expected to begin around daybreak, he said.

“The snow amounts ramp up as you head south,” he said. “We’re most confident near the south coast.”

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The South Shore could end up with 8 inches to shovel, according to the National Weather Service. Cape Cod and the islands could have as much as 10 inches. A weather service snowfall forecast map showed much of the north and northwest portions of the state getting 1 inch or less.

A winter storm warning has been issued for the area, as well as a large portion of Rhode Island and southeastern Connecticut. The weather service has also issued a winter weather advisory for Worcester, Milford, Foxborough, Norwood, Quincy, Foster, and Smithfield, and parts of Rhode Island and Connecticut.

National Weather Service

State officials have warned that commutes could get messy.

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The height of the storm is expected to be between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m., National Weather Service meteorologist Lenore Correia said.

“The forecast is calling for snow to begin during the early morning hours on Friday and continue throughout the day, reducing visibility to one mile or less at times and creating potentially hazardous conditions especially during the morning and afternoon commutes,” Highway Administrator Thomas J. Tinlin said in a statement.

“We encourage every traveler to utilize the appropriate resources and monitor conditions, stay indoors or take public transportation if at all possible, and if you must go out to allow extra time to reach destinations,” he said.

The winds heralding the storm were already causing trouble Thursday morning. The weather service fielded a number of reports from Eastern Massachusetts of trees and wires down.

Wind speeds reached 66 miles per hour at the Blue Hill Observatory and 51 miles per hour in West Roxbury, according to the National Weather Service.

More than 4,400 power outages were reported across the state shortly before noon, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency reported.

The agency issued a wind advisory for areas east of Berkshire County that lasted until around 8 p.m. Thursday night.

Temperatures in Boston are expected to reach the mid-30s Friday and fall into the teens by Saturday morning, with wind chills making it feel less than zero.

Highs will reach about 20 on Saturday, and Saturday night the temperature will drop into the single digits, with more bitter wind chills. The National Weather Service could issue a wind chill advisory for Friday or Saturday night.

“Another significant storm” is expected to sweep into the area on Tuesday and Wednesday. The storm could drop 6 inches or more of snow across Southern New England, but according to Correia, it is too early to tell exactly what the storm may entail.

The last few weeks have given Boston a tantalizing taste of spring, but “it is still winter,” Correia stressed.

So far this winter Boston has seen 36.8 inches of snow, which is .4 inches below average for the full season.

Correspondent Maddie Kilgannon contributed. Amanda Hoover can be reached at amanda.hoover@globe.com
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