A few things are certain about the impending snowstorm — and a lot aren’t.
Plows will hit the streets tomorrow and people will have to shovel. But just how much snow will fall and whether school children will be carrying shovels rather than textbooks remains to be seen.
Meteorologists yesterday were hedging their bets, offering early snowfall forecasts ranging from 6 to 12 inches.
They did agree it will be a long-duration storm, starting as early as late tonight and winding down Friday.
“In the Merrimack Valley, it will be light and fluffy snow; that’s good,” said Bill Simpson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Taunton. “We can say 8 to 12 inches — and the higher end is likely.”
All agreed it’s going to be cold, really, really cold. The mercury may not hit the freezing mark again until Sunday, if then.
Regardless, local road and school superintendents are ready for whatever comes.
Salem (N.H.) Public Works director Rick Russell said crews were preparing yesterday for the storm.
“We don’t want to be in here for the holiday,” he said. “So, by the end of the day, we should be ready to go.”
Neither the duration nor the amount of snow will be a factor in his crews’ cleanup efforts, Russell said.
“Whether it’s 3 inches or 30 inches, we’re going to be ready for it,” he said.
Those heading back to work after the holiday break should be OK tomorrow morning, according to one local meteorologist. It will be a different story tomorrow night and Friday morning.
“The Thursday morning commute doesn’t look bad, but the evening and Friday morning commutes could be slow,” Simpson said. “Plan for a slow commute.”
The highway crews will be ready to make the commute as safe as possible.