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Nor’easter to blast Massachusetts with snow, rain, strong winds, coastal flooding: ‘Power outages are possible’

Some spots could get 8 inches of snow

Around 2 to 3 inches of rain is forecasted for the Boston-area. (National Weather Service map)
Around 2 to 3 inches of rain is forecasted for the Boston-area. (National Weather Service map)
Rick Sobey

A strong nor’easter with a gross combo of snow, rain, strong winds and coastal flooding is expected to pummel the region over the next couple of days.

Meteorologists were warning that the powerful storm could spark power outages in parts of Massachusetts, as utility companies gear up for the early April nor’easter.

For the parts of Massachusetts where snow is predicted, the best chance for accumulating snowfall will be Wednesday night. The snow will be wet and dense, potentially leading to downed trees and power outages.

“The snow concerns will be for the higher elevations,” Bryce Williams, meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s Boston office, told the Herald.

“The Worcester Hills and northern Massachusetts could see some plowable snow,” he added. “The highest elevations could get 6 to 8 inches of snow.”

The National Weather Service issued a “Winter Storm Watch” for northern Worcester and northern Middlesex counties, along with western Franklin and western Hampshire counties.

Heavy wet snow and sleet will be possible.

“Total snow and sleet accumulations of 2 to 4 inches, with up to 8 inches near the state border with New Hampshire,” NWS warned. “Winds could gust as high as 55 mph.

“Plan on slippery road conditions,” NWS added. “The hazardous conditions could impact the morning or evening commute. Gusty winds could bring down tree branches.”

Elsewhere in the Bay State, meteorologists are forecasting significant rainfall of 1.5 to 3 inches.

“Some rivers could see some minor flooding,” Williams said.

The strongest wind gusts are expected to occur from midday Wednesday to midday Thursday. Gusts in the 50 mph range are likely.

“Power outages are possible, especially where wet snow accumulates on power lines and trees,” Williams said.

National Grid and Eversource said they were preparing for the storm.

“National Grid is closely monitoring the weather forecast, and we have crews and personnel in place across Massachusetts ready to respond to any impacts this storm may bring,” said Tim Moore, VP of Electric Operations for New England. “We’ll be ready to restore service as quickly and safely as possible. If outages occur, our crews will work to restore the power systems as soon as it is safe to do so.”

Eversource also said the utility company was pre-positioning hundreds of crews and materials to respond to any storm damage.

Another threat from the nor’easter will be coastal flooding, especially around the time of the Thursday morning high tide on the eastern Massachusetts coast.

“There will be some nasty conditions, with 15 to 20 foot waves,” Williams said.

A “Coastal Flood Watch” will be in effect for the eastern Massachusetts coast, including Morrissey Boulevard in Boston.