A quick coating of snow before dawn on Thursday slowed down the morning commute across Western Massachusetts. Forecasts still call for a more intense period of snow later Thursday night as a nor'easter develops off the New England coast.
Much of the Springfield area only saw about an inch of fresh snowfall early Thursday morning. Light, on-and-off flurries will continue throughout much of the day, with snow gradually accumulating to about 2 to 4 inches by sunset.
Two systems spread out across the eastern U.S. will eventually interact as one, forming a true nor'easter off the coast Thursday evening. This is expected to provide the Springfield area with a few hours of steadier snowfall overnight before quickly coming to an end early Friday morning.
Snowfall totals are expected to be in the 8 to 10 inch range for much of the Pioneer Valley, with a foot of snow possible in some isolated spots mainly in the higher elevations.
Meanwhile, coastal areas south of Boston are under a blizzard warning as heavier snowfall, gustier winds, and worse visibilities are expected during their height of the storm Thursday night. A few towns south of downtown Boston could face up to 18 inches of snow through Friday morning.
This storm will also be defined by its long duration, with more than 24 hours in between the first snowflakes early Thursday morning and the last snowflakes later Friday morning.
MassDOT reported a crew of more than 1,200 clearing off roads throughout the state Thursday morning. The Mass Pike has reduced the speed limit to 40 mph.
Gov. Deval Patrick announced via Twitter a conference will be held at the State House at noon to discuss storm preparations throughout the Commonwealth.
The complete 7-day forecast can be found in the Weather section.
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