By Jess Bidgood
Jan. 18, 2011
BOSTON — A winter storm is blanketing Massachusetts with snow, sleet and freezing rain, creating dangerous road conditions around the state as Tuesday evening's commute looms.
The unpredictable storm dropped snow on Boston until early Tuesday afternoon, while bringing rain to Massachusetts' coast.
"As the day goes on, warmer air is going to move into at least the Eastern part of the state, eventually changing at least the city of Boston into rain," said Kim Buttrick, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Taunton.
Moving West, Buttrick said, things are looking icier. "There is a threat for sleet and freezing to continue in Western and Central Massachusetts, up into Northeast Massachusetts," Buttrick said.
Luisa Paiewonsky, the highway administrator for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), said that will keep roads dicey well into Tuesday evening.
"The snow has changed over to freezing rain and that's created difficult conditions on the highways,"
Paiewonsky said. "We expect the evening's commute to be slow going."
By early Tuesday afternoon, MassDOT had already received reports of a number of spinouts and three reports of jack-knifed tractor trailers.
"We are strongly urging people to slow down and to make sure their speeds match the roadway conditions," Paiewonsky said.
A winter storm warning is in effect for the snow and ice accretion expected in Central and Western Massachusetts; there is a winter weather advisory affecting the Eastern part of the state, due to snow accumulation and light ice accretion.