The winter storm heading into the area Saturday afternoon into Sunday morning is now expected to bring up to a foot of snow and blizzard conditions to areas across Massachusetts. A winter storm warning is in effect for Massachusetts through 5 a.m. Sunday morning.
The National Weather Service says blizzard conditions will develop across the coastline. A blizzard warning is in effect for the North Shore, South Shore, Cape Cod and Islands.
In a press conference this afternoon Governor Deval Patrick asked residents in areas east of Worcester to stay off all roads during the height of storm between the hours of 5 p.m. Saturday night and 5 a.m. Sunday morning.
Massachusetts Emergency Management Officials say travel after 5 p.m. will be dangerous due to the heavy snowfall rates, strong winds and near whiteout conditions.
The snow is expected to be heavy and accumulations will be between 8 and 12 inches in most parts of the state.
The heaviest snow is expected to fall after 3 p.m. or 4 p.m. according to the current forecast, with the worst of the system hitting the area between 6 p.m. and 1 a.m. Snow is expected to end early Sunday morning.The National Weather Service says snow will be falling at a rate of 1-2 inches and hour and could include 3 inches an hour during the height of the storm.