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Much of Mass. could see a foot of snow on Wednesday

The storm that swept into Massachusetts on Friday left a path of destruction in Scituate.
The storm that swept into Massachusetts on Friday left a path of destruction in Scituate.

Ready or not, here comes another storm.

Gusty winds and wet snow are slated to arrive after the Wednesday morning commute, officials say.

The storm is expected to bring 6 to 12 inches of snow to Eastern Massachusetts, and 3 to 6 inches to Southeastern Massachusetts. Snowfall could reach 12-18 inches on the eastern slopes of the Berkshires and the Worcester Hills, officials said.

The officials cautioned that the storm has yet to form and is still two days away, so there’s some uncertainty in the forecasts.

Depending on the storm track, the heaviest snow could occur in Western and Central Massachusetts, or it could fall in Eastern Massachusetts, according to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.

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The National Weather Service said its computer models that predict the weather were disagreeing over the exact scenario for the storm. Future runs are expected to bring the forecast into better focus.

Winds are expected to gust to 30 to 40 miles per hour, and up to 50 on the Cape and Islands, blowing the strongest from Wednesday night into Thursday morning, MEMA said.

Hazardous travel conditions are expected because of the snow and the wind, with the Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning commutes both affected.

The “concern with this system is it’s March so we are dealing with a heavy wet snow,” the weather service said in a Web posting. That could mean more downed trees or branches and more power outages — after the last storm knocked out hundreds of thousands of customers, the forecasters said.

State officials said the snow could fall at a rate of as much as 1-2 inches per hour at the peak of the storm late Wednesday into Wednesday night.

The weather service issued winter storm watches. The storm is also expected to whip up 15- to 20-foot waves just offshore and a storm surge of 2.5 to 3 feet. Minor flooding and moderate beach erosion are expected for the early Thursday morning high tide, which will be about 3:30 a.m. to 4:30 a.m., along the state’s eastern coast, MEMA said.

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The state’s east coast, which has been battered since Friday, is still under a coastal flood advisory warning of minor coastal flooding and splashover through midafternoon Monday. Minor to moderate flooding is expected in Nantucket, the weather service said.