Thirty-five years after the legendary Blizzard of '78 brought New England to its knees, another storm of possible historic proportions is preparing to descend on the region.
The National Weather Service has issued a Blizzard Watch for Middlesex County and much of Massachusetts from Friday morning through Saturday afternoon.
According to NWS, much the state will be impacted by heavy snow with accumulation of 12 to 24 inches with the potential for blizzard conditions.
The NWS previously forecast 14 to 18 inches in the Stoneham area. That total has been increased to 18 to 24 inches in the latest forecast. (See photo.)
However, meteorologists acknowledge the storm could be far worse. Harvey Leonard, chief meteorologist of WCVB Ch. 5, posted on computer projection which calls for snowfall accumulation of more than 38 inches in the Greater Lawrence area.
Light snow is expected to begin by Friday morning and increase in intensity throughout the day with the heaviest snowfall occurring Friday night into Saturday morning. Snowfall rates of 2 to 3 inches per hour are possible during that time.
Residents should be aware that travel will be dangerous and may become nearly impossible due to blowing and drifting snow, 25 to 25 mph winds with gusts up to 55 mph and poor visibility. NWS urges residents to be prepared to alter travel plans.
Stay with Tewksbury Patch for more winter weather updates at they become available.