Following a small accumulation of snow overnight Thursday into Friday, the National Weather Service is expecting a more significant storm to make its way to New England during the day Saturday.
A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for Saturday from 2 to 6 p.m., and it is forecasted that during that time, snow will overspread Southern New England, including Westwood, with the majority of snowfall to take place from mid-morning to early afternoon.
"Snow will accumulate quickly as the ground is already cold," the advisory stated. "Untreated surfaces will become slippery quickly."
Anywhere from three to six inches of snow could fall across much of the state and region, including Westwood, according to an additional Hazardous Weather Outlook from the NWS.
"There is a high probability of accumulating snow Saturday across the entire region," the Hazardous Outlook stated. "The greatest risk for heavy snowfall is over Connecticut, Rhode Island and Southeast Massachusetts, where three to six inches are possible."
There is less of a risk of heavy snowfall farther north, across Northern Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire, where one to three inches are expected to fall.
In preparation of 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.