Snowstorm to hit region Wednesday night

  • Predictions for total snowfall from the National Weather Service Boston/Norton. Forecasters caution that amounts are uncertain and could vary in either direction, depending on the storm’s track. NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BOSTON/NORTON

Staff Writer
Published: 12/15/2020 7:28:35 PM

NORTHAMPTON — Although it’s technically still fall, a winter snowstorm is expected to hit Massachusetts starting Wednesday night.

Bill Simpson, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Norton, said he expects that Northampton and the surrounding area will get between 6 and 10 inches of snow, “and possibly higher amounts when you get up in elevation.”

He cautioned those numbers could change.

“To pinpoint the exact amounts is a bit difficult,” Simpson said Tuesday. “It’s safe to say (it’s) a plowable event.”

The weather service issued a winter storm watch in parts of Hampshire and Hampden counties from Wednesday evening until Thursday afternoon.

The first flakes are predicted to fall before sunset on Wednesday and continue into Thursday morning, Simpson said.

“The good thing is it’s mostly an overnight event,” he said.

“Travel could be very difficult,” the weather service stated and could affect commuting on Thursday morning.

“If you can, plan extra time for wherever you’re going,” Simpson said. “We advise that you do that.”

Snowplows are waiting in Amherst, said Guilford Mooring, director of the Amherst Department of Public Works. He said that on Tuesday, the DPW was wrapping up construction projects before the storm.

In Holyoke, the DPW is planning to pre-treat the roads with salt on Wednesday, according to Michael McManus, superintendent of the Department of Public Works.

“We plan to have a parking ban and our crews will come in sometime tomorrow night to start snow removal,” McManus said.

“It’s always best if people obey the parking ban,” McManus said. “It helps us with our operations. And the police department is gearing up to enforce the parking ban.”

Northampton may declare a parking ban, but DPW director Donna LaScaleia said she would evaluate the weather forecast on Wednesday and then decide.

“We have a full inventory of salt so that we’re able to treat the roads and after the snowfall,” she said.

LaScaleia said that while she isn’t sure exactly how much snow Northampton will end up getting, “whatever we get we’ll be ready.”

Greta Jochem can be reached at gjochem@gazettenet.com.




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