Forecasters: Up to 10 inches of snow could fall in coming storm; coast could take a beating

A snowfall forecast map issued by the National Weather Service in Taunton. The westernmost part of the state is covered by the Albany, N.Y., office. which is predicting up to 6 inches in Berkshire County.
A snowfall forecast map issued by the National Weather Service in Taunton. The westernmost part of the state is covered by the Albany, N.Y., office. which is predicting up to 6 inches in Berkshire County.Credit:

So much for winter being over.

Up to 10 inches of snow could fall in some areas of Eastern and Central Massachusetts from a storm that will arrive Wednesday night and persist into Friday morning, National Weather Service forecasters said this afternoon.

At the same time, forecasters warned of potentially dangerous flooding along the coast that could rival, in some areas, the impacts of the Blizzard of 2013.

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The forecasters issued winter storm watches from Worcester County to the coast, saying six to 10 inches of snow could fall. Smaller amounts are predicted right along the coast, as well as on Cape Cod and the islands, according to a weather service snowfall forecast map.

The forecasters said the heavy, wet snow could be whipped, in some areas, by strong winds of 20 to 30 miles per hour, gusting up to 50, making driving difficult and potentially bringing down tree limbs and power wires.

The watch is in effect from late Wednesday night through Friday morning. The forecasters said the storm would be a long one, with snow becoming heavier early Thursday morning and into the day Thursday. It’s expected to gradually taper off by Friday.

The forecasters said that “confidence grows that this storm will have a moderate to high impact on Southern New England.”

Forecasters also issued a coastal flood watch for the east- and northeast-facing shorelines, in effect from late Wednesday night through Friday morning.

The flooding will hit at Thursday morning high tide, Thursday evening high tide, and Friday morning high tide, the forecasters said. The worst impacts are expected during the Thursday morning and Friday morning high tides.

Water from the storm surge and large waves will “set up a potentially dangerous coastal flood event that could for some areas rival the impacts felt with the Feb. 9 storm tide,” forecasters said in the watch.

The flooding could flood some areas with 2 to 4 feet of water Thursday and Friday mornings, especially in vulnerable locations. Large waves may damage structures and some evacuations may be necessary. Severe beach erosion is also likely, forecasters said.

“I can guarantee you that many beaches will look quite different this summer after all of these coastal storms,” writes David Epstein, a meteorologist who blogs for boston.com.

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