The storm headed our way Wednesday night is now forecasted to drop several inches of snow, a drastic turnaround in a forecast for a storm that that had been predicted to be a “near miss” or rainstorm.
The National Weather Service issued a winter storm watch at 3:58 p.m. on Tuesday for portions of the North Shore that runs from Thursday morning through Friday morning, meaning that there is the potential for 6 or more inches of snow in a 12 hour period or 8 or more inches of snow in a 24 hour period. The watch includes much of the North Shore and southern New Hampshire except for Danvers and the immediate coastline. Instead, just a few inches are expected right along the coast.
But the winter storm watch is in effect for inland areas including Middleton, Topsfield and Wenham. That could mean a much diferent storm in Danversport, for example, than inland areas of Danvers near St. John's Prep or Essex Aggie.
The storm is expected to deliver heavy, wet snow combined with gusty winds. The wind will blow from the north at 15-25 miles per hour with gusts to 35 mph during the storm, the weather service said. The heavy snow combined with strong winds will “increase the likelihood for power outages,” according to the weather service.
The forecast, as of Tuesday afternoon, is calling for 6-10 inches of snow to fall in areas where the snow does not mix with or change to rain. The heaviest snowfall is expected through the day on Thursday. The storm is expected to last into Friday morning.
“In heavier bands of snow, visibility may dip to a half mile or less at times,” the weather service warned. “Anyone traveling in the next 24 to 36 hours should monitor later forecasts and be prepared to modify travel plans should winter weather develop.”