The National Weather Service has updated its weekend forecast with a Winter Weather Advisory for Needham and much of Massachusetts, Northern Connecticut and Rhode Island.
According to the advisory, snow is expected to arrive between 2:00 a.m. Saturday morning and 6:00 p.m. Saturday night. The region could see accumulations of three to six inches of snow.
"Snow will overspread Southern New England after midnight from west to east," according to the NWS advisory. "The majority of the snow is expected to fall from mid-morning into the early afternoon. Snow is expected to diminish late in the afternoon into the evening."
The NWS expects snow to accumulate quickly on an already cold ground and noted that "untreated surfaces will become slippery quickly."
The snow storm will also bring winds of 10 to 15 miles per hour, with gusts up to 20 mph, and could produce limited visibility of one quarter to one half mile at times, according to the NWS advisory.
With a small accumulation of snow overnight Thursday into Friday, the NWS on Friday morning issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook, adding the Winter Weather Advisory to the forecast later in the day.
In preparation for the wintry weather this weekend, the Massachusetts State Police has issued a list of safety tips for driving during the snowy weather.
- Take Note of the Local Forecast: Be sure to check back with Patch through the weekend, as well as the National Weather Service for forecast information to keep up to date with current traffic and road conditions on Massachusetts highways.
- Vehicle Preparation: With a forecast of inclement weather, motorists should ensure that their vehicles are well maintained and properly equipped for winter driving. Be sure to check the fluid levels of your vehicles, particularly washer fluid and anti-freeze, to make sure that they are at adequate levels. Tires should be inspected to ensure that they are properly inflated and have sufficient tread depth. Be sure to equip your vehicles with a snow shovel, ice scraper, jumper cables, flares, a flashlight and some warm clothing and blankets. Motorists should also carry a charged cellular phone.
- Reduce Speed: Anticipate delays. Most snow- and ice-related crashes are caused by spin-outs and vehicles sliding off the road, because they are traveling at speeds too great for the road and weather conditions. Posted speed limits are set for driving under optimal, dry conditions. If road and weather conditions are adverse, motorists should operate at a speed well below the posted limit.
- Leave Extra Space Between Vehicles: Under optimal driving conditions, try to leave at least one car length for every 10 miles per hour between you and the vehicle in front of you. If the road and weather conditions are adverse, that distance should be significantly increased in order to afford for increased stopping distances.
- Keep to the right except to pass: Avoid driving in the left travel lanes. In mixed weather conditions, water can collect and pool in areas next to guardrails, jersey barriers and bridge abutments. Driving into these large puddles can cause a vehicle to lose control and hydroplane into a potential car crash.
- Black Ice: Transparent ice may form on the roadway. If you notice ice forming on any objects, assume that it is forming on the road surface as well. Bridges are usually the first surfaces to freeze. Drive slowly and, if possible, avoid driving on iced-over surfaces.
- Buckle Up: Ensuring everyone in your vehicle is properly restrained is the single most effective thing that motorists can do to keep themselves and their loved ones safe on the roads.
- Dial 9-1-1 in Roadway Emergencies: In any weather conditions, motorists who become disabled or encounter an emergency on the roadways should dial 9-1-1 on their cellular phones to immediately be connected to a State Police Communications Center. Motorists should always be aware of their location, noting the route they are traveling on and the number of the exit they most recently passed.