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Goodbye, storm; hello, cold -- temperatures to drop tonight

Posted by Metro Desk  February 8, 2011 05:16 PM

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National Weather Service


A map showing predicted snowfall totals from the current weather system.

Goodbye, storm. Hello, cold.

With the snow and rain heading out to sea, the sun peeked out from the clouds this afternoon, harbinger of a storm-free week ahead. But that doesn't mean the weather challenges are over: Temperatures are expected to plummet tonight and unusually cold weather is expected for the next few days.

Meanwhile, the roof problems that have beset the region this snow-plagued winter continued today as public safety officials raced to investigate potential colllapses in Newton and Wilmington.

Newton firefighters rushed to a building on Wells Avenue around 9:35 a.m, fire official Alex Gimenez said today.

Officials "noted that some sprinklers appear to be sagging, so they evacuated the building," he said. "And they are checking up on the roof to see if there is some damage."

The property is still under investigation, Gimenez said.

In Wilmington, problems were reported with the roof of a building belonging to Spaulding Brick Company Inc. on 5 Lopez Road, a fire dispatcher said.

No injuries have been reported, and Wilmington firefighters are still on scene.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, said this afternoon that 169 structural failures have been reported statewide, but there are still no reports of serious injuries.

No serious injuries have been reported in any of the incidents, the agency said.

The National Weather Service says that today's snowstorm dumped as much as 4 inches in the western part of the state and 2 or 3 inches in the central part of the state. But coastal areas were spared, with only 0.5 inches measured at Logan International Airport. Scattered snow showers were expected along the North Shore early tonight.

Across much of the region, strong gusty winds of up to 35 miles per hour are expected to combine with rapidly falling temperatures to produce below-zero wind chill values. The winds will end by midnight, but the real temperatures will fall to near zero in Northwestern and Central Massachusetts and the teens along the coast.

The winds will be particularly strong on the Cape and islands where 25-to-35-mile-per-hour winds are expected to gust up to 55 miles per hour. Forecasters warned of the possibility that tree limbs and power lines will be brought down.

Wednesday will be dry but cold, with daytime highs in the 20s for most areas, or about 10 to 15 degrees below normal. Cold and dry conditions are expected to persist through the end of the week.

The state Department of Transportation dispatched 1,257 pieces of equipment this morning to plow and treat state roads. During the morning commute, the MBTA struggled with problems on the commuter rail and some subway and bus lines.

Originally published on the blog MetroDesk.

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