Storm Could Snarl Mass. Thanksgiving Travel

BOSTON — The usual Thanksgiving travel headaches could be exacerbated by a snowstorm headed toward the state.

The National Weather Service is predicting that a mixture of rain and snow Wednesday morning will transition to all snow in western, central and interior eastern parts of the state by Wednesday afternoon and continue through Wednesday night.

Areas under a winter storm watch through Thursday morning are shown in blue. (Updated as of 6:30 p.m. Monday)
Areas under a winter storm watch through Thursday morning are shown in blue. (Updated 6:30 p.m. Monday)

As a result, a winter storm watch has been issued for parts of Franklin, Worcester, Hampshire, Hampden, Essex and Middlesex counties from 7 a.m. Wednesday through 10 a.m. Thursday.

"Travel will be more difficult as the evening progresses Wednesday night," WBUR meteorologist David Epstein wrote in his Monday morning forecast. "By evening, several inches of snow will have accumulated and traveling west on the Massachusetts Turnpike and southwest on Route 84 into Connecticut will likely become more difficult.

"If you have the opportunity to leave a day early you might consider it," Epstein added.

Last week — before the forecast of snow — AAA Southern New England said it expects more than a million Massachusetts residents to hit the road for the holiday. That would be the highest number since 2005, per AAA.

The uptick in anticipated drivers was linked, in part, to lower gas prices, which are below $3 a gallon in Massachusetts for the first time since 2010.

Officials were also expecting a 1 percent increase in air travelers at Logan Airport, compared with the previous Thanksgiving, and Amtrak said it was adding 39 Acela trains in preparation for a busy holiday.

This article was originally published on November 24, 2014.



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