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Niko expected to hit Boston with 12+ inches of snow

February 9, 2017 GMT

Winter storm Niko is likely to dump up to 15 inches of snow before the storm moves on between 8 and 10 p.m., AccuWeather senior meteorologist Paul Walker said, forecasting plunging temperatures will boost accumulations on the ground.

“We’re still in for a good thumping of snow,” said Walker. “We saw the warmest it’s going to be at 5 a.m., when it was 38 degrees. Temperatures are going to be falling throughout the day. It will be down in the teens by rush hour, but the winds are going to make it feel like single digits.”

As of 10 a.m., the storm had already dumped 8 inches of snow on Orange, but less than an inch in Lexington.

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Walker said the Hub has probably picked up an inch or two.

“That’s just the beginning of what we’re going to see,” he said, noting that the heaviest snowfall “won’t be a constant thing,” but rather, will occur in bursts.

The National Weather Service says much of the state will remain under a winter storm warning until 8 p.m., with 12 to 18 inches of blowing, drifting snow likely to fall at rates this afternoon of up to 3 inches per hour. Blizzard conditions will prevail on the South Shore, Cape Cod and the islands, where in addition to snow wind gusts of up to 65 mph could batter coastal communities.

The state Department of Transportation, which expected to have 4,000 pieces of snow removal equipment deployed at the height of the storm, is reporting wet- to slush-covered roadways, and is advising motorists avoid travel if possible.

Transportation officials say they have 250,000 tons of salt and 500,000 gallons of liquid deicer stockpiled for the storm.

The speed limit on the Massachusetts Turnpike from Boston to New York has been reduced to 40 mph, hundreds of school districts have closed, Boston emergency parking restrictions are in effect, trash collection is canceled in the city and non-essential state workers were told to stay home.

The MBTA continues to operate on a regular schedule. Logan International Airport remains open, but many flights have been cancelled. As always, the state Port Authority advises travelers to check ahead.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency opened its bunker in Framingham this morning, and the governor will give a briefing on the storm at noon.

In Boston, hundreds of public works trucks had already hit the road before dawn to treat streets.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh said this morning residents will not be permitted to “save” their shoveled-out on-street parking spaces until tomorrow at the earliest.

“There’s no saving spaces this morning,” Walsh said in a Fox 25 interview. “You can start saving spaces when you shovel out your car tomorrow.”

He urged Bostonians to take public transportation if possible, despite the slow start tot he storm.

“We’re expecting a big storm in the city,” he said. “Leave your car at home and take public transportation if you can.”

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