Gov. Charlie Baker says people should use their "best judgment" in preparing for a winter storm that is heading for Massachusetts.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for much of the state on Tuesday for a storm that forecasters expect will begin as snow before transitioning to a wintry mix of sleet and rain.
Baker told reporters that current projections show the storm moving into the Boston area at about 3 p.m. and for it to "snow very hard for a pretty long period of time."
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The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency said there is "very high confidence in a significant impact to the Tuesday PM commute."
Many school districts have already announced early dismissals or cancellation of after-school activities on Tuesday.
Among the cities and towns that will close school is Worcester, where Glenda Burgos had a feeling her kindergartner, Sayeed, would be home.
"As soon as I heard there was going to be a storm, I went to the store," she said.
"It's a little premature, but Worcester closes all the time, at any sort of sign of bad weather," said another parent, Christopher Bailey.
Worcester will have a parking ban in effect beginning at 10 a.m.
The storm could make for a treacherous afternoon commute. Snowfall rates of between one to two inches an hour are possible at times, and driving conditions are expected to become hazardous in western Massachusetts around 10 a.m., central Massachusetts around 1 p.m. and in the Boston area and eastern Massachusetts around 3 p.m.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is advising residents to minimize travel, use public transportation and consider working from home or leaving work early on Tuesday if possible.
“We are asking people throughout the Commonwealth to make smart, safe decisions on Tuesday such as taking advantage of public transportation, working from home if possible and leaving early for their afternoon commute,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “Everyone should check a weather forecast and travel conditions before heading out to avoid hazardous driving conditions, as there will be varying types of precipitation in all regions of Massachusetts, including snow, sleet, and freezing rain throughout the daytime and evening hours."
Baker said the MBTA plans to add trains beginning at noon to help people get home safely if they decide to leave work early. MBTA ferries are expected to operate regularly scheduled service on Tuesday and Wednesday.