The snowstorm has started: What you need to know in Boston - Metro US

The snowstorm has started: What you need to know in Boston

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After an icy morning in Massachusetts on Wednesday, Bay Staters are being hit with even more extreme weather Thursday in the form of snow, with accumulations that could reach up to 20 inches by the time it’s all over.

Lucky for students, all Boston Public Schools are closed today, but if that doesn’t help you out, here’s what you need to know.

First, Boston has been bracing for a big winter storm, but it looks like it may be even worse than expected.

The National Weather Service sent out an alert Thursday morning saying that forecasters are predicting even higher snow totals and wind speeds.

Around Boston and generally all of Southern New England, we’re expecting 15 to 20 inches, with wind gusts as high as 55 to 65 mph at areas closer to the coast.

Snowfall should peak late morning to late afternoon, bringing down 2 to 4 inches of the white stuff per hour at times, with blizzard conditions. The snow should taper off by 9 p.m., but there could remain areas of blowing snow.

RELATED: Boston braces for biggest snowstorm of the season

If you decided to stay inside and work from home, be warned: The city is in an official snow emergency as of 10 a.m., meaning there’s a parking ban in place on major roadways.

To see where you can and can’t park, and to get a list of discounted garages you can keep your car in, visit boston.gov/snow.

As of midmorning, all MBTA train lines are up and running, including the commuter rail. MBTA officials have the so-called “Snowzilla,” their plow-equipped trains, at the ready.

You can keep an eye on the T service throughout the day at mbta.com/winter/.

State Police officers also out in full force with more than 400 troopers on the road for storm patrols.

At about 9 a.m., troopers responded to a jacknifed tractor trailer on the Massachsuetts Turnpike. The accident was in the westbound lane near Auburn; the trailer was empty, police said.

There is already some coastsal flooding in Boston. All lanes of Morrissey Boulevard, between Preeport and UMass, are closed due to the high tide, according to the National Weather Service.

The sky will begin to clear by around 9 p.m. on Thursday, but it will remain freezing out there, with a low of around 9 degrees. The windchill will make it feel more like -6.

Friday will be mostly sunny and cold, with a high near 24 degrees, and a chance of snow. Wind gusts as high as 38 mph will again push the mercury down into the negative digits. Snow accumulations could be about 1 to 2 inches.

Two weather systems will affect the region over the weekend, with a chance of snow on Saturday, and rain or snow on Sunday, meteorologists said.

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