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Update at 3:30 p.m.: Epstein's updated snowfall projections:
Here's Epstein's earlier forecast (from Thursday morning):
BOSTON — Our winter storm is still on target and snow will accumulate 6 to 12 inches statewide, with amounts of 12 to 16 inches in areas within a few miles of the coast. Even Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket will see a significant snowstorm.
Wind and cold will be an important part of this storm. The winds will be strong enough so a blizzard warning has been issued for the south coast and Cape Cod. When you hear the word blizzard mentioned with this storm, it can scare people. A blizzard is a condition, not an amount of snow. It means the visibility, how far you can see, reduces to a quarter mile or less because of either snow blowing around off the ground or snow coming out of the clouds because of winds of 35 miles per hour or more.
If this occurs at all, you have blizzard conditions, if it lasts for 3 hours or more, you have an official blizzard. A blizzard is certainly serious, but doesn't indicate anything about snow totals. The weather service has issued a blizzard warning for the expectation of blizzard conditions Thursday night and early Friday.
The storm will also bring minor to moderate coastal flooding. The tides the next couple of days are running higher than average, so it won't take a lot of additional water to see splash over, road closures and beach erosion.
Roads are going to continue to be highly variable today. When the snow stops and road crews have a chance to treat them, travel will be quite easy. In any ocean effect snow and other bands today, there could be a few inches and this will of course make travel more difficult. The afternoon commute will be highly dependent on how much snow falls in various areas during the day and this won't be consistent.
Tonight the snow will pick up intensity and could fall at rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour. The combination of wind, falling and blowing snow will make travel nearly impossible along the immediate coastline.
The storm winds down tomorrow morning from west to east and by afternoon all areas should see cloudy skies and even some breaks of sunshine developing.
The cold is going to be notable overnight and Friday. Temperatures will fall into the single numbers and with the wind, subzero wind chills will be evident from overnight through at least the first half of Friday.
The weekend will be milder with highs Saturday getting back to the mid 20s and into the mid 30s to near 40 on Sunday. Rain and milder air will help melt much of the snow on Monday.
Thursday: Snow of various intensities. At times the snow will completely stop at times especially west of route 128. Snow will resume in coverage during the late afternoon and evening. Highs in the upper teens and 20s.
Thursday night: Snow, with areas of blowing snow. Low around 6. Wind chill values as low as -11. Winds will be gusting as high as 40 miles per hour at the coast. Less wind inland.
Friday: Snow with areas of blowing snow in the morning. Very cold and windy. Windchills 10 to 20 below zero. Skies will partially clear by sunset. Highs 5-14.
Friday night: Mostly clear, with a low -9 to 0. Wind chill values as low as -18.
Saturday: Mostly sunny, with a high in the mid 20s.
Saturday night: Partly cloudy, not nearly as cold, lows in the teens.
Sunday: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 40.
Sunday night: A chance of rain. Patchy fog. Temperatures remain above freezing all night.
Monday: Rain likely and mild. Breezy. Highs in the mid 40s to lower 50s Cape Cod.
Follow updates from David Epstein on Twitter @growingwisdom.
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