Experts warn that Snowmageddon 2015 will pound Boston with up to four inches of snow an hour.
The blizzard warning officially begins at 7 p.m. tonight and is not expected to be lifted until 1 a.m. Wednesday, the National Weather Service in Taunton said this morning.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has announced the MBTA will shut down at midnight Monday due to the blizzard. There will be no Tuesday service. Baker, facing the first blizzard of his tenure, has also directed non-emergency employees to stay off the roads. As of noon Monday, Baker has declared a state of emergency for Massachusetts.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has said there will be no school Tuesday or Wednesday for Boston.
Calling the incoming storm “crippling and potentially historic,” officials said the blizzard could dump as much as three feet of snow in eastern and central Massachusetts and fall at a rate of two to four inches an hour at times.
A foot to a foot-and-a-half of snow could fall in the nine-hour window between 1 a.m. and 10 a.m. Tuesday, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA). said.
White-out condition will make for zero visibility on the roadways.
“Travel will be impossible and life threatening across the entire region,” the service reported. “Those venturing outdoors may become lost or disoriented…so persons in the warning area are advised to stay indoors.”
Wind estimates varied. Sunday night, MEMA said winds could approach hurricane force, with winds reaching 75 mile per hour on the Cape and the islands, 50 to 60 mile per hour in Boston and 30-40 miles per hour in central and western Massachusetts. The National Weather Service, however, puts winds at 15 to 25 miles per hour around the state with gusts around 35 to 45 miles per hour.
Flooding is expected along northeast-facing shorelines. A storm surge topping three feet is expected, along with 20 to 25 foot offshore waves.
Temperatures will differ across Massachusetts, according to MEMA, with a corridor of heavy wet snow blanketing areas east of I-95 in the southeast part of the state, where temperatures will near 32 degrees.
The wet snow could weigh down power lines and officials are warning of power outages. In central and western Massachusetts, temperatures will be much colder, with wind chills of 0 to minus-5 degrees, which would make for fluffier snow.