MASSACHUSETTS — Heading over the river and through the woods of Massachusetts to grandmother’s house could mean running into the first bout of snow this season for those traveling home for the holiday this week — depending on where Grandma lives and when you are leaving.
While Tuesday night’s storm will bring wind-swept rain for much of the state, those hoping to get a head start on the traditional “busiest travel day of the year” on Wednesday might hit some weather more suited for the next big holiday with up to four inches of snow now forecast for the higher elevations of central and western Massachusetts, according to the National Weather Service.
“Fortunately, this is expected to occur after the Tuesday evening commute and before Wednesday morning’s,” the NWS said Monday morning. “However, wintry precipitation or even any wet weather has the potential to impact travel for one of the busiest travel days of the year.”
Parts of the Merrimack Valley and the Worcester area could receive up to an inch or more of snow, with higher amounts in the Fitchburg-Gardner area — increasing for those who travel Route 2 west and up into interior New Hampshire and Vermont.
Along the coast, the concern will be more than wind along with the rain than any frozen precipitation.
“Wind gusts of up to 50 mph Wednesday that could cause trip cancellations, especially for our Nantucket service,” the Steamship Authority said on Monday morning. “Please watch our website for further updates if you are traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday. Change and cancellation fees are waived for Wednesday travel.”
Gusts up to 40 miles per hour are forecast for Tuesday night into Wednesday with the chance of up to 60 mile-per-hour gusts on Cape Cod and the Islands.
“A second period of gusty but weaker post frontal winds then kicks in for the Wednesday night into Thursday period,” the NWS said. “Dry but breezy and cooler conditions are expected on Thanksgiving as northwest winds pull in colder air.”
Highs on the holiday itself should be in the 40s, with quiet weather and seasonable temperatures expected for the weekend.