A nor'easter will kick up winds and rain in the region today, with sleet and snow likely west of Boston and in the higher elevations.
The powerful front has recently been given the name "Winter Storm Athena."
According to WHDH meteorologist Chris Lambert, the precipitation should start between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., which would impact the afternoon commute. Atmospheric conditions may convert falling rain into snow in Boston, though that would mean merely a dusting on grass before quickly melting away. The actual rain/snow line is harder to predict.
"I don't expect much, if any accumulation in the Boston area, maybe a slushy coating around Rte. 128 on grassy surfaces as rain and snow battle it out for a few hours in the early evening," wrote Lambert on the 7 Weather Blog. "The snow will lose that battle to rain, although that process takes longer outside 495."
The National Weather Service has issued wind and coastal flood advisories ahead of the storm, calling for sustained winds of 20-25 MPH and gusts of 50 MPH. While not as strong as the winds from Sandy, the gusts are enough to cause damage.
National Grid prepared for potential outages, damage
The nor'easter comes on the heels of Hurricane Sandy, which roughed up the Merrimack Valley Oct. 28-29.
National Grid is anticipating more power outages this week due to the Nor'easter and has already started preparations.
"While this storm is not expected to be of the magnitude we experienced during Hurricane Sandy, it still could cause damage to our system in New England," said Kathy Lyford, vice president of Electric Operations in New England. "We are developing plans so that we are ready to respond to service interruptions, but we also want out customers to be aware, monitor the weather and take precautions so that they remain safe during the storm."
Tewksbury Patch will continue to provide updates on the latest weather conditions and power outages as information becomes available.