Morning Forecast Puts Snow Totals Closer to 3 Feet

The winter storm is expected to build up steam after noon today, with the heaviest snowfall occurring during the Friday evening commute into Saturday.

Boston residents waking Friday morning expecting to see a blanket of snow will be surprised to see that the streets remain clear, with just the occasional flurry drifting down.

But weather forecasters maintain: The storm is coming. And when it does, it may be bigger than previously expected.

A National Weather Service blizzard warning update posted early Friday morning states that the "historic winter storm and blizzard" could drop up to 3 feet of snow on the area, rather than the 1-2 feet expected yesterday. The alert covers the Boston area as well as much of eastern and southern Massachusetts, southeastern New Hampshire and all of Rhode Island.

The NWS alert calls for "heavy snow ... blowing and drifting at times" with quarter-mile visibilities and wind gusts up to 60 miles per hour. Accumulation is expected to top 2 feet.

Light snow will develop by this morning, becoming heavy late in the day into the evening commute," according to the National Weather Service. "The heaviest snow, especially focused along the I-95 corridor, will fall tonight into Saturday."

Temperatures will be in the upper 20s throughout the storm.

The National Weather Service further advises people to avoid using roads during the storm's peak, when "whiteout conditions are anticipated as roads become snow covered."

The strong winds and heavy snow may cause damage to trees and structures and could result in scattered power outages, the NWS alert states.

For updates and other information about the Feb. 8-9 winter storm, see Charlestown Patch's storm center.

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