Track, temps alter storm outlook, but officials urge caution

By Michael P. Norton

Warmer temperatures along the coast and a changing storm track have lowered the projected snow totals in eastern Massachusetts, but Gov. Charlie Baker early Tuesday morning warned that high winds and periods of heavy snowfall will create "extremely difficult" driving conditions and advised drivers to stay off the roads if they can.

"The roads for the most part have people on them, but nothing like a typical commute," Baker said.

While he has not instituted a travel ban, Baker said, "If people can stay off the roads for the rest of the day, and give the crews the space and the time and the ability to clean up after all of this, that would be terrific."

New York, Connecticut, and western Massachusetts are experiencing significant snowfall and the snow is moving east, Baker said at an 8 a.m. briefing with transportation and public safety officials in Framingham.

"This storm is still coming. It's still real," Highway Administrator Thomas Tinlin said.

The latest estimates Baker said, call for 8 to 12 inches of snow in Boston and 10 to 24 inches elsewhere in the state.

Meteorologists are predicting six inches or less of snow in parts of the South Shore, southeastern Massachusetts, the Cape and the islands.

Winds are expected to reach 40 to 50 miles per hour and 50 to 70 miles per hour along the coast, which may lead to power outages when combined with the effect of heavy snow, the governor said.

Non-emergency state workers were not required to report to work Tuesday and state offices are closed.

"We full expect everybody will be back at work on full strength tomorrow," Baker said.