Punxsutawney Phil didn't see his shadow on Groundhog Day, which traditionally means that the United States can expect an early start to spring. For the past week or so, the warm weather up and down the East Coast appeared to indicate as much.
But the storm that will hit the East Coast Friday indicates winter isn’t over just yet. Some areas of Massachusetts are going to get as much as 10 inches of snow. Boston is expected to get between six and eight inches. New York City and Washington, D.C., will see around one to three inches, but the snow isn’t expected to stick around, as temperatures are expected to climb back above freezing.
The storm started off as rain on Thursday night. But when colder air began to seep in, the rain became wet snow.
Because the early stages of the storm will affect morning commutes during rush hour, Massachusetts’s Transportation Department rolled out nearly 1,200 pieces of snow clearing and road treatment equipment on Friday morning. Boston had more than 400 snow plows and other equipment on the roads. School has been cancelled throughout Massachusetts, including in Boston, Worcester, and Springfield.
This will be the first major storm to strike Boston since last year's record 108.6 inches of snow buried the city. Bostonians are keeping a wary eye on the beleaguered Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, which saw widespread public transit failures last year as blizzard after blizzard pummeled the city.
But Massachusetts isn’t the only state affected by the storm. New York and Philadelphia will also have sluggishly slow commutes this morning thanks to the accumulating snow, and Atlantic City, N.J., and Providence, R.I., will also see heavy snowfall. Roads are expected to get slippery thanks to the storm.
If this snow storm has some commuters longing for the warmer days of spring, meteorologists say the Northeast can start expecting warm weather by mid-March.
"There could be a last surge of winter before we see the transition into spring," AccuWeather Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok said. "For the Northeast, there's still an opportunity for some snow, although there's a higher chance that we'll see a cold snap rather than a big snowstorm."
This report contains material from The Associated Press.