It’s time to get out the shovels and crank up the snowblowers.
A fast-moving storm swept through Massachusetts today, turning roads slippery during the afternoon commute and leaving some areas with as much as 10 inches of snow.
The storm, which has now left the state, dumped the most snow in Worcester County, 10 inches in Ashby and Lunenburg, and 9.2 inches in Fitchburg. Middlesex County also saw copious snow, with 9.5 inches in Littleton, 9.1 in Acton, and 9 in Westford, Pepperell and Tyngsborough. Close to Boston, 4.7 inches were recorded in Chelsea, the National Weather Service reported.
State Police and the state Transportation Department reported accidents on some major roads, including the Massachusetts Turnpike in Ludlow. The Turnpike’s speed limit was lowered to 40 miles per hour.
Nearly 2,700 crews were deployed by late afternoon by the Transportation Department to treat and plow roads where necessary.
The boston.com traffic information service showed traffic crawling on major arteries around the Boston area.
The MBTA reported that multiple buses were running on alternate snow routes and the E branch of the Green Line would terminate at Brigham Circle, where alternate bus service would be provided.
Snow emergencies were declared in Malden, Medford, and Lowell.
The good news is that the storm hit quickly and departed quickly. Schools are also on February break this week — and some families have gone on vacation — lessening the traffic load.
Temperatures were expected to drop into the mid-20s this evening as the storm leaves the region.
Forecasters warned that areas along the coast and Southeastern Massachusetts that transitioned to rain during today’s storm would experience a gradual refreeze overnight, turning puddles into skating rinks.
Another fast-moving system was expected to arrive Wednesday morning. The precipitation was expected to start as a brief period of snow, but most of it was expected to fall in the form of rain.
Highs Wednesday were expected to range from the mid-30s in the northwest interior to the mid-40s closer to the coast.
“Thursday is going to be the best day this week,” said weather service meteorologist Alan Dunham. Dry and sunny conditions will persist all day, with highs reaching into the mid-40s. There is a chance of light rain, but not until after 11 p.m. Some clouds will arrive in the evening as temperatures drop to 35 degrees.
Friday will be even warmer but wetter, with temperatures climbing to a spring-like 51 degrees and rain showers likely throughout the day. Cloudy skies will disperse slightly overnight as temperatures sink to 33 degrees.