Storm forecast calls for up to 24 inches of snow in Boston (UPDATED)
Get ready for some snow, Greater Boston.
The National Weather Service has issued a “blizzard watch” for much of Eastern Massachusetts ahead of a storm that is currently expected to bury the region in white.
Estimates were revised and as of 3:30 p.m., the weather service forecasted that the storm could dump between 18 and 24 inches of snow on Boston.
“Heavy snow and strong winds will bring the potential for blizzard conditions,” the NWS said in a winter weather message Wednesday afternoon. “Snowfall rates of 2 to 3 inches per hour possible. Travel may become nearly impossible with blowing and drifting snow.”
The “blizzard watch” is in effect from Friday morning through Saturday afternoon. Forecasts called for the snow to become heavy during Friday night and Saturday morning. Visibility could drop to less than one-quarter mile at times and wind gusts of up to 55 mph could blow across the region.
The NWS defines a blizzard watch as the potential for considerable falling and/or blowing snow, sustained winds or frequent gusts over 35 mph and visibility below one-quarter mile for at least three hours.
Boston EMS said the agency has alerted staff to pack extra clothing, boots, batteries, water and snacks for storm issues Friday and Saturday.
The forecasted blizzard comes on the same week of the 35-year anniversary of the Blizzard of ’78.
That storm, which hit the area on Feb. 6 and Feb. 7, left the region buried in as much as four feet of snow (a storm weeks earlier had already left significant snow on the ground). The storm was blamed for the deaths of dozens of people and made roads impassible for days.
The Globe has compiled a special page with pictures from that infamous storm.
Boston’s top snowstorm occurred over two days in the middle of February 2003, according to the National Weather Service. That storm left nearly 28 inches of snow on the ground in Boston. The Blizzard of ’78 comes in second with just over 27 inches.
As the snowfall totals grew throughout the day Wednesday, people began taking to Twitter to discuss the impending storm: