By Terry Eliasen, Meteorologist, WBZ-TV Exec. Weather Producer

BOSTON (CBS) – Were you hoping for a miss? Dreaming that you may wake up, flip on WBZ-TV and see Danielle Niles saying, “It’s out to sea!” Let me assure you THAT was only a dream.  The storm arrived on schedule overnight and if you are planning on hitting the roads Monday morning, leave yourself extra time and prepare for a slow-go. And as you are sitting in traffic on snow-covered roads, think happy thoughts – it is spring after all!

Let’s take you through the rest of the storm:

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TIME LINE:

Most of the accumulation is over by 9 a.m.

The snow tapers off in central Massachusetts between 8 and 9 a.m., in eastern Mass. between 9 and 10 a.m. and over Cape Cod and the Islands between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

SNOW AMOUNTS

The most popular snow amounts will likely be between 3 and 6 inches.  There will be lots of reports of 4 and 5 inches when all is said and done.

There may be a few “jackpot” areas that see 6 inches or a bit more, perhaps up to 8 inches.

So, therefore, we have painted a large swath of eastern Mass. in the 4-to-8 inch range, again more towns near 4 or 5 inches than 7 or 8 inches.

(WBZ-TV graphic)

(WBZ-TV graphic)

Lower amounts will occur over portions of Cape Cod and the Islands where temperatures are a bit warmer and rain was mixing in early on. We’re expecting around 4 or 5 inches near the canal tapering off to a few slushy inches at the end of the storm on the outer Cape.

NO WIND OR COASTAL ISSUES

Thankfully this storm is all about the snow.

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Very little wind inland and even at the coastline the winds won’t be overly impressive. Some gusts 15-to-30 mph at the immediate coast and as high as 40 on the outer Cape and Nantucket.

Tides are astronomically low, so no coastal flooding is expected.

WHAT’S NEXT?

The forecast doesn’t get much easier from here. New England will be on the edge of a very sharp temperature boundary for most of the week. Highs will rise into the 50’s Wednesday but from there things get complicated.

(WBZ-TV graphic)

(WBZ-TV graphic)

On Wednesday evening, a front will push south from Canada and get hung up somewhere in our area. Thursday looks MUCH colder. Highs will be stuck in the 30’s and 40’s with the chance of some light wintry precipitation at times. A warm front will try to push back by Friday but cold air in New England in early spring can be tough to dislodge.

While parts of southernmost New England should sneak back into the 50’s Friday, many areas north of the Massachusetts Turnpike could be left spinning their wheels in the 30’s and low 40’s. Rain is also likely for most of the day on Friday.

LAST SNOW STORM?

And the question everyone is asking – will this be the last big snow accumulation?

(WBZ-TV graphic)

(WBZ-TV graphic)

I wish I could deliver the good news, but I think we need a few more weeks before we can stick the fork in Old Man Winter. There are no significant snow storms in the immediate future, but it has certainly happened before into early April.

(WBZ-TV graphic)

(WBZ-TV graphic)

The Red Sox home opener at Fenway is just 3 weeks from today and 4 weeks from today it’s the Boston Marathon – think spring!

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Follow Terry on Twitter @TerryWBZ