Wintry Mess to Start Holiday Weekend, More Possible on Christmas

Snow and freezing rain will slow travel for some

A messy storm is set to arrive in New England on Friday, and stick around into the first part of the weekend.

Logan Airport was busy Thursday night with holiday travelers trying to get out before potential snowfall.

Snow will spread into New England from west to east Friday morning, starting first in western Massachusetts, Vermont, and southwestern New Hampshire. The snow will then expand eastward towards Boston and the coastline into the lunch hour. The snow will continue to fall along and near the Massachusetts Turnpike, along with points to the north, into the evening commute.

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By late afternoon and evening areas south of there will start to change over to plain rain as warmer air moves up from the south.

That warm air will have a hard time making progress, however. It will surge over the top of stubborn cold air near the surface Friday night into Saturday in parts of north central Massachusetts and northern and western New England in particular. That means after the snow most places will see a period of freezing rain. That will create very slippery travel.

The ice is likely to be the bigger issue than the snow, which will only amount to 1 to 3 inches from the Boston area, back to Worcester and Hartford. Totals ramp up to 3 to 6 inches for parts of north central Massachusetts, southern New Hampshire, much of Maine, and much of Vermont. Totals 6 to 9 inches will fall in the highest terrain around the southern Green Mountains, the White Mountains, the mountains of Western Maine.

The freezing rain and ice will linger straight into Saturday across many of the colder communities of eastern Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, while plain rain falls farther south as temperatures climb into the 40s and even 50s in some cases.

New England is no stranger to piles of snow being dumped onto the region each winter. Take a look at some of the worst storms to hit in modern history.

This first storm will finally wrap up and depart Saturday night.

Christmas Eve on Sunday will then be quiet, and fine for travel. Highs will be in the 30s to near 40.

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Another system will try to spin up on Christmas morning, clipping New England with another round of precipitation. This looks to be a fast mover, so most of the impacts would be during the morning before seeing afternoon improvements.

Snow is most favored north and west of Boston, with a mix changing to snow closer to the coast. The exact track will be key in determining both what type of precipitation falls, and how much falls.

Regardless, a blast of cold arrives after Christmas. That cold air, with highs only in the teens and 20s, will last pretty much until the New Year.

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