Elsewhere in Massachusetts, including eastern Essex, western Norfolk, and Suffolk counties, a winter storm warning is in place from 1 p.m. to 7 a.m. Sunday. Between 4 and 8 inches of snow are likely, according to the NWS.
From 7 a.m. to 7 a.m. Sunday, a storm warning is in effect for central Middlesex and western Essex counties, according to the NWS. Total snow accumulation of 6 to 12 inches is expected in these counties.
[430 AM] A rapidly intensifying storm system will produce gusty winds & heavy rain, changing to a period of heavy, wet #snow this afternoon into evening. Snowfall rates could reach 1-2 inches per hour, leading to difficult travel and possible power outages. #MAwx #RIwx #CTwx pic.twitter.com/9z3tDOrEDe
— NWS Boston (@NWSBoston) December 5, 2020
In eastern Franklin, eastern Hampshire, and eastern Hampden counties, a winter storm warning is in place from 7 a.m. to 7 a.m. Sunday. This part of the state, according to the NWS, can expect 5 to 10 inches of snow.
Worcester and northwest Middlesex counties are expected to see the greatest amount of snow, with the NWS projecting between 8 and 14 inches. A winter storm warning is in place from 7 a.m. to 7 a.m. Sunday in the region.
Winter weather advisories have also been issued for parts of Massachusetts. An advisory is in effect for western Franklin, western Hampshire, and western Hampden counties from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday. This area, according to the NWS, can expect between 2 and 4 inches of snow.
An advisory has also been issued for parts of eastern and southeastern Massachusetts from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday, including the towns of Taunton and Plymouth. Strong wind gusts — nearing 60 miles per hour — are expected in this area, with between 2 and 5 inches of snow projected.
Widespread rain is likely to occur across most of the region, forecasters said. Temperatures will generally range from the upper-30s to the mid-40s.
Snow amounts, forecasters said, will be the most significant in “counties through Worcester county into the Merrimack River valley.” These areas are likely to accumulate more than 6 inches of snow.
Throughout the afternoon and into the evening, snowfall rates could exceed 2 inches per hour, forecasters said. This could result in power outages and difficult travel conditions.
“It is not out of the question that there could even be thundersnow,” forecasters said.
Along the eastern Massachusetts coast, high winds exceeding 50 miles per hour are likely from Saturday afternoon into the late evening, forecasters said.
Forecasters said that if the air has mass had been closer to “seasonably cold,” then this storm would have been “a blockbuster snowfall event with widespread 1-2 feet of snow.” Instead, the storm will start off with rain that will become heavy at times during the morning hours.
In central Massachusetts, the rain should shift to heavy, wet snow during the middle to late morning hours, forecasters said. This change will first occur in the highest terrain of the region, and then impact the rest of the area.
Once this transition occurs, forecasters said to expect snowfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour. Approximately 8 to 14 inches of heavy, wet snow is expected in the central part of the state, causing forecasters to warn of “significant power outages and very difficult travel.”
In eastern Massachusetts, the transition from rain to snow is expected to begin during the middle to late afternoon. Northeastern Massachusetts — and possibly down into the Boston area — could “see moderate to heavy snow into the early evening,” forecasters said.
Heavy rain may “result in pockets of urban and poor drainage street flooding,” forecasters said.
Southeastern Massachusetts could see between 2 and 5 inches of snow, forecasters said. Due to the storm’s eastward shift, western Massachusetts will likely only see advisory “level snowfall with marginal temperatures.”
A high wind warning has also been issued for coastal Essex county as well as coastal Plymouth county, Cape Cod, and the Islands from 1 p.m. this afternoon to midnight. Wind gusts of up to 60 miles per hour are possible into Saturday evening, forecasters said.
Scattered power outages and some downed trees are possible due to the wind.
Forecasters advised that people avoid being outside “in forested areas and around trees and branches.”