NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

January 1, 2014

All eyes on winter storm

Weather service: 'Good probability' for 6 or more inches of snow

NEWBURYPORT — The holiday break will come to an end with a dose of winter weather, as town officials are busy preparing for a storm that could drop 6 inches of snow or more on the area from tomorrow into Friday.

“People should be planning for possibilities, but it’s not time to freak out just yet and go through preparing for the end of the world,” said Matthew Belk, senior meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Taunton. “It’s definitely something that should have your attention. We’re trying to watch for it right now.”

While it is still too early for the weather service to predict snow amount totals, Belk said locals should be prepared for some snow tomorrow night into Friday.

“The best example I can give is, we’re making chocolate chip cookies, all of the ingredients are on the table, you know what those ingredients are and what it’s eventually supposed to wind up as, but you haven’t actually made the cookie yet,” said Belk. “It’s too early to say with certainty, but there is a good probability for 6-plus inches of snow in the Newburyport area. There’s potential for more, there is potential for less.”

Belk also said there is a slight possibility of some snow falling tonight into tomorrow morning, but the brunt of the storm is looking to hit tomorrow night.

“You are talking about a storm that is 600 to 700 miles wide and if it moves 25 miles, it makes a difference,” Belk said. “That’s why we are not talking about snow probabilities just yet. You could throw numbers out there, but they would be likely to change.”

Salisbury Department of Public Works director Don Levesque said he has been through the drill plenty of times in the past and is ready for whatever hits his coastal town.

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