White Christmas in the forecast; traffic and airport running smoothly

With cinematic timing, snow is expected to arrive in the Boston area late Christmas Eve, realizing dreams of a white Christmas.

Forecasters said 1 to 3 inches of snow could fall on the region, with the heaviest snowfall in the Connecticut Valley region. The coast is likely to receive just a dusting.

Odds of a white Christmas in Boston are about 40 percent, forecasters say.

As shoppers rushed to complete their Christmas lists, traffic was lighter than usual. With the holiday falling on a Tuesday, travelers had the whole weekend to make their trip, staggering the rush.

Still, officials recommended that drivers leave early or late on Christmas Eve to avoid potential delays. As usual, major exchanges on the Massachusetts Turnpike, particularly where it meets routes 95 and 495, are prone to backups.


“There is often heavy accumulation there,’’ said Michael Verseckes, a spokesman for the state transportation department.

At Logan Airport, things were running smoothy, with travel down slightly from Thursday and Friday’s peak.

Officials reminded travelers that the Callahan Tunnel to the airport will be closed for maintenance overnight, from 9 p.m. Sunday to 5 a.m. Monday. Drivers should use the Ted Williams Tunnel or the Tobin Bridge.

On Friday night, a wall panel fell into the roadway, tying up traffic for several hours.

Saturday night, a truck that was too tall hit the tunnel ceiling, forcing the removal of several ceiling panels.

“There’s no structural damage to the tunnel itself,’’ Verseckes said.

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