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Snow & Ice Forecast for Christmas Weekend
Staff Reports,
05:44PM / Thursday, December 21, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Another storm system is expected to hit the region over the Christmas weekend, bringing sleet and snow. 
 
The National Weather Service is forecasting a mixture of snow, ice, freezing rain, and rain starting Friday morning and extending into Saturday. It's starts with light snow Friday morning and that becomes heavier into the afternoon.
 
Preliminary snowfall projections indicate that up to 3-6 inches of snow could fall by Friday evening across northern Massachusetts along the New Hampshire and Vermont borders, with snowfall amounts falling off to the south and east. 
 
Greylock Snow Day has increased the probability of Friday being the first snow day of the year in North County, with lower expectations for South Berkshire schools. 
 
Generally, 1 to 2 inches of snow is expected along the Massachusetts Turnpike, and less than 1 inch south of the Pike. Snow will transition to freezing rain Friday afternoon or evening and freezing rain will continue into Saturday across the interior and possibly eastward into the Greater Boston area. 
 
According to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, there is a strong likelihood of total ice accretions of a 10th of an inch across all of the state except the southeast, which likely will not see any ice accumulation. However, in Berkshire County, Franklin County, and northern Hampden and Worcester counties, ice accumulations of a quarter to half an inch are possible. 
 
This event is still 24 hours away so changes to the forecast are likely. In particular, cold air at the surface is appearing more likely to persist into much of Saturday across the entire region. This would result in more ice accumulation with greater impacts on travel and an increased likelihood of downed tree limbs and power outages.
 
Ordinarily, MEMA does not distribute Situational Awareness Statements for winter weather unless anticipated conditions trigger warnings from the National Weather Service, or, as where, as here, travel may be particularly hazardous or significantly impacted, there may be significant impacts to pre-planned events, or there are other circumstances that warrant distribution of a Situational Awareness Statement.
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