Flash freeze overnight makes for dangerous ice on roads & sidewalks

Boston 25 News Monday midday weather forecast

BOSTON — The first big winter storm of the season moved through Sunday bringing a mix of snow, ice and rain.

More than 8" of snow was reported in southern NH and the Merrimack Valley. On top of that we had close to 0.25" of ice in some neighborhoods causing scattered power outages and dangerous travel.

The Cape & Islands had nearly 4" of rain leading to coastal flooding and even a few isolated thunderstorms.

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By Monday morning, a flash freeze overnight solidified any remaining snow and water on the ground, making for icy roads and sidewalks. No matter where you go on MLK Day, it'll be cold and slippery, so use caution when going outside.

Temperatures were in the single digits by the early morning and below zero in Worcester. Wind gusts of up to 30 mph are possible and likely won't help with power restorations for those who were left in the dark after yesterday's storm. Wind chill values will drop to 5 to 20 BELOW ZERO and will stay there for most of MLK Day.

A WIND CHILL ADVISORY is in effect for the greater Boston area and points north and west tonight through Monday morning. A WIND CHILL WARNING is in effect for parts of northern Worcester County. Cover exposed skin, frostbite becomes a real danger in these conditions.

WATCH BOSTON 25 MORNING NEWS FOR FULL COVERAGE OF 2019's FIRST WINTER STORM 

The National Weather Service has been updating their snow totals from around the Commonwealth throughout the storm.

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Follow our Boston 25 Meteorologists on Twitter for updates: Kevin Lemanowicz | Shiri Spear | Vicki Graf | Jason Brewer

Northern communities Dracut and Lowell also received large amounts of snow, with both towns totaling eight or more inches each. Wakefield, Wayland and Oxford also had 7.5 inches of snow dumped on their respective communities.

Out west, Hampshire county seems to have been hit the hardest. Northhampton has accumulated 9.5 inches thus far, while Cummington Police reported 10 inches in their town.

Further south, Springfield has 6.1 inches of snow reported.

Back east, Franklin had a reported five inches of snow on the ground, as did Somerville and Walpole. Weymouth recorded 4.7 inches as well out of Norfolk County.

Logan Airport has a reported 1.6 inches of snow on the ground as numerous flights have been cancelled through Sunday morning.

The Steamship Authority has also announced a pair of cancellations for the ferry between Hyannis and Nantucket.

Power outages are also a problem in some parts of the Commonwealth. According to MEMA, there were more than 2,000 power outages across Massachusetts early Sunday morning. Weymouth had the most by a single community with 1,421. Foxboro also had a reported 430 outages.

Those numbers have changed since early Sunday morning. The state total stands just north of 2,000, however Quincy now has the most outages by any one town with 1,458.

Train travel has also been impacted by the overnight snow, with multiple delays being reported across the MBTA in both the subway system and the commuter rail.

The MBTA experienced both weather and non-weather related delays Sunday morning, making the commute for those looking to avoid icy roads even more difficult.

The latest data suggests a foot or more of snow north of Route 2 in northern MA, with up to 18” falling in ski country.

Boston 25 Meteorologist Shiri Spear says to expect a major winter storm and dangerous travel conditions Sunday.

Sleet and freezing rain will limit snow totals south of the Pike, but ice accumulation on trees and power lines and any untreated surfaces will be a big concern.

The latest snowfall forecast map for Sunday showed that the heaviest snow would be north of the Mass. Pike, with snow expected for most overnight.

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MassDOT Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver discussing upcoming storm and highway treatment efforts at media briefing.

Posted by Boston 25 News on Saturday, January 19, 2019

That snow will transition to freezing rain, sleet and rain as early as 4 a.m. Sunday from south to north, with a snowy, slushy and icy travel day Sunday afternoon.

Regardless of precipitation type and amount, the system will end with an area-wide last blast of snow and a flash freeze late Sunday -- making for messy driving conditions.

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The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency is planning for significant snowfall and preparing to respond across the state.

Statement from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency

  • The first storm was forecast to impact the state Friday morning;
  • The second, larger storm, is forecast for Saturday night and Sunday.  Forecast confidence remains low for the amount of snow, but areas to the north of the Massachusetts Turnpike and I-95 corridor may receive 1' to 2' of snow.  Southern parts of the state may see a transition from snow to rain, and an area in between may see periods of sleet and freezing rain with the potential for significant accumulations of ice.  Confidence in the track of the storm and its impacts should increase by later today.
  • The second storm will be followed by a flash freeze and frigid temperatures.  MEMA will disseminate the next Situational Awareness Statement this afternoon and will continue to issue Statements as the week proceeds and confidence in the track, timing and impacts increase, particularly with respect to the second storm.

From the National Weather Service

Saturday night - Sunday night:

Heavy snow changing to an icy mix and then to rain, mainly across the southeast, is expected, along with a risk for strong winds, inland and coastal flooding.  This storm is likely to be followed by a flash freeze beginning late day Sunday into Sunday night, with bitter cold air into Monday.

Be aware, the snowfall totals for the weekend storm are likely to evolve over the next couple of days. Note the rather large range in accumulation between the best and worst case scenarios. These are being provided now as a first look. Sleet accumulation has been added into the "snow" total accumulation.

Overall confidence is high for a moderate to high impact storm, but confidence in exact details and timing remains low at this time. We will continue to update into this weekend.

In Worcester, a parking ban will be in place starting at 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon, with no set time for it to end yet. The city has five municipal lots open for those needing a place to park.

MEMA Operations
The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) at MEMA Headquarters in Framingham is currently operating at Level 1 (Steady State Monitoring).  MEMA will continue to monitor the forecast and will disseminate Situational Awareness Statements as necessary.

Parking Bans:

The City of

Worcester

announced a multi-day parking ban via its official Twitter. The ban goes into effect on Saturday at 4 p.m. and will go through Monday at 10 a.m.

The city says that ticketing and towing will be strictly enforced. Municipal parking garages will be open and free of charge during the entirety of the parking ban.

Revere

will also have a parking ban in effect as of 8 p.m. on Saturday evening, according to the local police department's official Twitter. Revere PD released a full

[ list ]

of streets where parking will be not allowed, along with a list of tips and what to do if your car is towed.

The Mayor of

Amesbury

a snow emergency in the city effective Saturday at 5 p.m. through Monday at 5 a.m. The snow emergency means that parking on public roadways in Amesbury is prohibited during that time frame. Residents can park in designated public areas.

The Director of Public Works for the City of

Nashua, N.H.

has declared a snow emergency starting Saturday night at midnight through Sunday at 12 p.m. During the snow emergency, there is no on-street parking allowed or municipal surface lot parking allowed. The city's overnight parking program is also suspended, but free parking will be available in the Elm Street and High Street garages.

Salem

Police have announced that their city will have a parking ban in effect at 8 p.m. on Saturday for everywhere except for downtown, where a separate parking ban will begin at 10 p.m. that night.

Brockton

Mayor Bill Carpenter tweeted out that he has declared a snow emergency in the city effective at 6 p.m. on Saturday. During a snow emergency, street parking is prohibited in Brockton.

Waltham

that they too would be issuing a parking ban and declaring a snow emergency beginning at 9 p.m. on Saturday night. The lone exceptions to the city's ban are Main Street and Moody Street, where parking bans begin at midnight.

People can park in school lots, but they must remove their cars within two hours of the ban being lifted or risk ticketing or towing. Municipal lots are also available for parking; residents will have 24 hours to move their cars from there after the ban has been lifted.

The police department in

Gloucester

posted on their official Facebook page that a snow emergency parking ban will go into effect in the city at 6 p.m. on Saturday and will last until noon on Sunday. Parking will be available at all municipal and school lots, but residents will have to remove their cars from the off-street lots by the time the parking ban lifts on Sunday.

Natick also declared a parking snow emergency from 6 p.m. Saturday through 9 a.m. Monday morning. The Natick Police Department shared the message on Twitter, saying all vehicles needed to be removed from the public way, or they'd risk being towed.

Stay Informed:
Utilize Massachusetts Alerts to receive emergency notifications and information from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service.  Massachusetts Alerts is a free app that is available for Android and iPhones. Click to learn more about Massachusetts Alerts, and for information on how to download the free app onto your smartphone.

Utilize MEMA's real-time power outage viewer to stay informed about current power outages in your community and region, and across the state, including information from utility companies about restoration times.

Utilize MEMA's live weather radar and forecasting tools.

Online Resources:

For additional information and resources, visit:
Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency at www.mass.gov/mema
MEMA's Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/MassachusettsEMA
MEMA Twitter: @MassEMA
Federal Emergency Management Agency at www.fema.gov
National Weather Service/Taunton at www.weather.gov/boston
National Weather Service/Albany, NY at www.weather.gov/albany
National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center: http://www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov
National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center:  http://www.spc.noaa.gov/
Mass211 at www.mass211.org

Winter driving tips from MassDOT: 

  • Clear snow and ice from all windows and lights, even the hood and roof, before driving, (start with the tailpipe).
  • Leave plenty of room for stopping.
  • Remember that the posted speed limits are for dry pavement.
  • Use brakes carefully. Brake early. Brake correctly. It takes more time and distance to stop in adverse conditions.
  • Bridge decks freeze first. Due to the difference in the exposure to air, the surface condition can be worse on a bridge than on the approach road.
  • Exit ramps are an even greater challenge during the winter since they may have received less anti-icing material than the main line.
  • Leave room for maintenance vehicles and plows – stay back at least 200 feet and don't pass on the right.
  • Seat belts should be worn at all times – it's the law.
  • Most importantly please remember to slow down.