I am pulling out all of the stops on the major, high impact winter storm, which is expected from late tonight through Saturday and into Saturday night. This is going to be quite the storm for a lot of us due to the combination of heavy snow, blizzard conditions and very cold temperatures. Before the actual storm, expect some intermittent light snow this afternoon due to the Arctic cold front pushing through. This is NOT the actual storm. Any snow accumulations this afternoon will be from a dusting to maybe an inch. The actual snow with the storm is expected to begin across Western and Central Mass between about 10 and 11 pm for areas near and south of the Mass Pike and between about 11 pm and midnight across areas north of the Mass Pike. It will then snow at a light to moderate rate throughout the rest of the night tonight into the first part of Saturday morning. Then the worst part of the storm is expected to arrive. The worst part of the storm looks to be from about 7 to 8 am Saturday morning through all day Saturday into early Saturday evening until about 8 pm Saturday evening. During this time, we will see heavy snow to very heavy snow with snow rates of at least 1 to 2 inches per hour over Western Mass and at least 2 to 3 inches per hour (with 4 inch per hour rates possible at times), north winds gusting up to 45 mph at times, significant amounts of blowing and drifting snow and blizzard conditions at times. These heavy snowfall rates, especially across Central Mass where 4 inch per hour rates are possible at times) will make roads impassable. This could cause travel bans in some areas and will likely mean DOT and DPW crews will be focusing on the main roads firsts leaving some residential neighborhoods impassable for a while. I don’t like to tell people what to do when it comes to whether to travel or not. This is one time that I am doing this – I am strongly urging everyone to not travel throughout the day on Saturday given the severe winter weather conditions that are expected. With that, I know some of you have critical or essential travel and for you, use EXTREME caution on the roads and have an emergency kit in your vehicle, just in case. The north winds, which will be sustained at 15 to 25 mph with gusts to 45 mph, will combine with temperatures which will fall through the teens all day long to produce wind chill temperatures of around Zero during the morning and around 5 below zero during the afternoon. Bottom line is that this will be a very cold storm, which is actually a little unusual for Southern New England. My Latest Snowfall Forecast Map On This Storm Is Attached To This Post. It looks like the snow will finally come to an end just before midnight on Saturday night. Frequent storm updates will be posted as needed, especially during the worst part of the storm on Saturday.