Winter weather is fast approaching as forecasters warn of slippery conditions on roads Tuesday night, with the chance of snow on the horizon.
The National Weather Service said conditions in most parts of Massachusetts should stay dry until around 7 p.m. Heavy rains are expected to drench much of Western Massachusetts and Connecticut until some cold air creeps in to turn that rain in higher terrain like the Berkshires and Worcester Hills into wet snow.
This wet snow should carry on overnight while most areas should see rain between 7 and 10 p.m., and continue to see heavy rain going until Wednesday and daybreak, forecasters said. These conditions should move over toward the east between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m.
Areas in northern Western Massachusetts that could see snow can expect a chance for it to accumulate to around 1 inch to 4 inches at higher elevations, forecasters said. Some slight warming is expected to turn it into sleet and freezing rain for a brief period before all snow possibilities end between 2 and 5 a.m. Wednesday, according to a weather service post on X, formerly known as Twitter.
A winter weather advisory for the western parts of Franklin and Hampshire counties goes into effect from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Wednesday, with drivers told to “plan on slippery, slushy road conditions, especially the Route 2 corridor of (northern Western) Massachusetts and elevations above 1,500 feet.”
A wind advisory is also in effect for Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket counties from 4 a.m. to 4 pm. Wednesday. The strongest wind gusts will occur between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m., the weather service said.
Communities like Greenfield and Pittsfield could see between 1 and 2 inches of snowfall, with Fitchburg seeing a higher accumulation between 3 and 4 inches. Worcester is expected to see less than an inch of snow Tuesday night going into Wednesday afternoon.
Chilly rain on Wednesday “will definitely slow down the morning commute, which is hopefully lighter than normal given the holiday travel today and later Wednesday,” the weather service said. Rainfall totals should be somewhere between 1 and 2 inches, with the heaviest amounts likely seen in southern Eastern Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut.
Winds are also expected to pick up, with a chance for significant winds along the coast and around the Cape. These winds could be around 50 mph.
Some slight warming should raise temperatures on Wednesday, between the mid- and high 50s in southern Rhode Island, southern Eastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod, forecasters said. For the rest of the state, temperatures should linger in the mid-40s, while northern Western Massachusetts “may struggle to reach 40,” forecasters added.