BOSTON (AP) — All non-essential state workers are being sent home early today as a snowstorm bearing down on Massachusetts gathers in intensity.
Locally, Haverhill School Superintendent James Scully announced that all after-school activities are cancelled today.
Massachusetts State Secretary William Galvin, who is serving as acting governor while Gov. Deval Patrick wraps up a trade mission in Asia, is also asking private employers in the greater Boston area to consider releasing their employees early.
Galvin said additional MBTA service will be provided and the Southeast Expressway's HOV lane will be open at 1:30 p.m.
“Today’s storm poses a threat for gridlock during the evening commute,” Boston Mayor Tom Menino said.Some schools planned to close early.
The National Weather Service says Boston, the metro area and Central Massachusetts could get 4 to 8 inches of snow. Southeastern and Western Massachusetts could see from 3 to 5 or 6 inches of snow, while Cape Cod could get around 2 to 4 inches.
Parking bans are already in effect in some communities.
The latest storm was expected to make its way into southwestern New England and gradually track northeastward. Parts of Maine could see upward of 9 inches by the time the storm pushes off the coast tomorrow afternoon, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Tom Hawley in Gray, Maine.
"My feeling is it's wonderful," Tony Hartigan said as he walked quickly across Main Street in Concord, N.H. He wore no hat or gloves despite the bank thermometer over his shoulder that blinked 3 degrees. "It packs the ski resorts, it's pretty for Christmas and I spent last week in Florida so I didn't see it!"
Temperatures were below zero for many parts of the region this morning — including minus 27 in Berlin, N.H., and Saranac Lake, N.Y., — and 10 to 15 degrees below normal for this time of year. Temperatures will start to rise as the weekend approaches and could hit 60 in Boston by Sunday, Hawley said.