What the forecast means for your weekend plans

A breakdown of what to expect when driving around Boston, flying out of Logan, or taking the train.

A woman walks on Maverick Street in the East Boston neighborhood of Boston, Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018.
A woman walks on Maverick Street in East Boston in 2018. –AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

The Boston region’s first significant snowstorm of the season is a little more than a day away. Because the forecast has been a “kitchen sink” of snow, sleet, rain, and ice, you may be wondering: How does this storm impact my long weekend?

We caught up with meteorologists and transit officials about what to expect if you have plans this weekend. (And if you don’t, no worries: The Pats are on and these books are worth a read, too.)

Here’s what they had to say.

If you’re planning to drive:

“The main thing we want to tell people is it’s a weekend if you don’t have to go out on the roads, it’s best to stay home,” said Joe DelliCarpini, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service Boston.


Saturday during daylight hours is smooth sailing. When the sun sets, however, it’s time to start getting — and staying — indoors.

Harvey Leonard, chief meteorologist at WCVB Channel 5, said a light dusting around sunset will transition to accumulating snowfall around 9, 10, or 11 p.m.

“And then the snow is going to come down hard late Saturday night,” he said. “It may accumulate one to two inches per hour for several hours.”

DelliCarpini said to expect “hazardous travel” from Saturday night through Sunday.

“We do think conditions will be icy on the roads in and around Boston Sunday morning as the snow changes to a sleet and freezing rain mix …” he said. “The problem with [Sunday] afternoon is it’s going to turn sharply colder — temperatures going from the 30s in Boston down into the teens by late in the day — so any standing slush or water is going to freeze very quickly, so that will also create hazardous travel conditions.”

The roads may be cleaned up quickly, according to Leonard, given the storm’s weekend arrival.

“It’s a holiday weekend, there’s the Patriots on, it’s football Sunday. And on Monday, there’s no school and most businesses are closed,” he said. “I think it will give crews a chance to clean up the roads.”

A pedestrian crosses Batterymarch Street at Milk Street in March 2018. —Craig F. Walker / The Boston Globe, File

If you’re flying into or out of Logan Airport:


The Massachusetts Port Authority posted a weather advisory on its website, noting that “flights may be impacted over the weekend.” Massport directed flyers to check with their airline for flight status, delays, or cancellations.

“I really think that Logan will probably have problems,” Leonard said, noting that the storm’s effects on other cities, such as New York, Philadelphia, and potentially Washington D.C., could also be the cause of delays.

“Logan Airport is likely affected to some extent, especially early in the morning on Sunday,” said meteorologist David Epstein. “Many airlines end up not bringing planes into Logan in the first place, so the equipment isn’t even here to take off. Obviously I can’t predict where all the planes are going to be, but this isn’t the type of storm that’s going to take Logan down for an extended period of time.”

If you’re planning on taking the T, Commuter Rail, or Amtrak:

As of Friday afternoon, MBTA officials plan for trains to operate as usual throughout the storm.

“While regularly scheduled service is expected on all modes, the MBTA and Keolis closely monitor weather forecasts to assess expected and real-time conditions related to scheduled service and operations,” officials said in a statement. “Customers should stay as up-to-date as possible by checking all available communication channels.”

Keolis officials are preparing the Commuter Rail lines for the storm.

“Our goal is to minimize the storm’s impact on service to ensure passengers who need to travel can use the Commuter Rail as an alternative to driving in these conditions,” David Scorey, Keolis CEO and general manager said in a statement.


He added that passengers can check MBTA.com/winter for the latest information.

Amtrak has announced some cancellations or modified schedules for trains coming in or leaving Boston on Saturday and Sunday, including on the Northeast Regional, Acela Express, and Lake Shore Limited routes.

In a statement, Amtrak told riders to check the status for their particular train on the company’s website. Amtrak Northeast also updates service changes on Twitter.