The first part of a two-day, two-phase storm hit Greater Boston Tuesday, blanketing an already-snow-covered region, closing schools and canceling hundreds of flights.
"Later we'll see pockets of freezing drizzle and light flurries, but Round 1 is in the books," said WCVB-TV meteorologist David Brown just before 4 p.m. Tuesday.
A winter storm warning is in effect for most of Massachusetts through early Thursday morning — a period of more than 40 hours.
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Forecasters say 4 to 8 inches of snow fell in the Boston area throughout the day Tuesday, with less in southeastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod and the islands.
There will be a break in the storm late Tuesday night, with the storm's second phase arriving Wednesday morning. Wednesday's snow will likely be heavy during the morning commute and an additional 4 to 8 inches is forecast to fall throughout the day.
Early on Tuesday evening, Boston joined many other districts by canceling school for Wednesday.
Total accumulation should be about 8-16 inches for Greater Boston, with more in north-central Massachusetts and less along the south coast.
On Tuesday, road conditions were treacherous. Police reported dozens of spin-outs and weather-related crashes and the speed limit on the Mass Pike was lowered to 40 miles per hour.
Peter Judge, of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, said Tuesday's evening commute could be tough.
"If you can stick around work a little bit later, it might make your ride home that much easier, because less cars on the road and the roads are going to be in much better shape," Judge said. "As opposed to trying to sneak out a little bit early, I don't think you necessarily are going to have an advantage."
Boston's snow emergency parking ban went into effect at 9 a.m. Tuesday, and Mayor Thomas Menino asked residents to get their cars off streets to aid plowing efforts.
The storm, which is affecting much of the nation, is also hampering air travel. On Tuesday approximately 300 flights in and out of Logan were canceled. Jet Blue announced it is canceling all flights in and out of the airport after late Tuesday through 10 a.m. Thursday.
"It is absolutely empty," said WBUR's Fred Thys from Logan Tuesday. "On the boards you see that practically every flight out of here is canceled. And Ed Freni, the director of aviation for Massport, says that's the case at all the other terminals."
The MBTA also reported delays on the commuter rail and the Green C Line, as a train disabled at Cleveland Circle. The Mattapan Red Line was suspended and busing was initiated in its place.
Hundreds of schools canceled Tuesday, and hundreds planned early release.
WCVB-TV's Brown warns that Wednesday's weather could be worse.
"(Wednesday) definitely looks to be a mess with a combination of snow, sleet and, well south of Boston close to Providence, periods of freezing rain," he said.
MEMA's Judge says residents should prepare for possible power outages Wednesday.
"There's probably less than 100 outages around the state right now, whereas (Wednesday), we have this rain freezing to wires, freezing to branches, you know, that's going to be a concern," he said.
This program aired on February 1, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.