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

BOSTON (CBS) – Friday is going be one of those April days when you are going to want to crawl back in bed and forget it ever happened.

Conditions are going to vary greatly from place to place.

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For coastal Massachusetts: A windy, wet nor’easter
For inland, eastern Mass: A cold rain to a sloppy rain/wet snow mix
For central and western Mass: especially those at significant elevation: A legit late season snow storm

This storm is the real deal, a slow moving powerhouse at upper levels of the atmosphere. If this were mid-winter or perhaps just a month earlier, we would be talking a LOT of snow in southern New England.

(WBZ-TV)

April snow is far from unusual, in fact Boston has had accumulating snowfall in April in 4 of the last 5 years and 6 of the last 10, including 0.7” on April 18th of last year (4.7” in Worcester). But given the stretch of mild, dry weather we have had since March, it just seems wrong.

On a positive note, we really need the precipitation. For the first time today, 20% of Massachusetts is now designated to be in “moderate drought”. We are running a deficit of about 5” on average for the year, not a good way to start the typically wet spring season here.

Let’s get to the details:

TIMELINE:

Several inches of heavy wet snow will accumulate in the higher elevations of central and western MA by early Friday morning.

Daytime Friday – The storm wobbles around eastern MA all day and temperatures above ground level will be perilously close to freezing…meaning we will likely see periods of rain (with lighter precip) and snow (when precip comes down heavier)…most folks, even in eastern MA will see some snow on Friday.

Friday night/early Saturday – Much lighter precipitation as the storm starts to die out on top of us…just left with scattered rain and snow showers, no additional accumulation.

Saturday daytime – We will be left with pockets of drizzle Saturday morning, especially close to the Coastline…otherwise a mainly cloudy, cool day but drying out.

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SNOW ACCUMULATION:

Coating to 1” Southeast New Hampshire (including Nashua and Manchester), 495 belt from Lowell to Marlboro and points 5-10 miles west of 495…this snow will come during Friday and likely be mixed with rain, meaning most will see scattered coatings or nearly nothing.

1” to 3” Most of the lower elevations in Worcester county including most of southern Worcester county

3” to 6”+ Highest elevations (mainly above 1,000ft) in northern Worcester county and most of the Berkshires, also Monadnock Region…this is where there is a high potential for some downed limbs and power outages from the heavy weight of the snow.

(WBZ-TV)

Rainfall amounts (or liquid water equivalent in snow areas) will generally range between 1.0” and 2.5”, a good soaking!

WINDS/COAST:

East-Northeast wind gusts between 30-to-50 mph are expected along the coastline.

These winds will pinwheel northward into the North Shore, New Hampshire and coastal Maine later on Friday as the center of the storm moves over eastern Mass.

Winds veer to the north-northwest Friday night into early Saturday, gusting 20-to-40 mph in eastern Mass. before slowly decreasing during the day Saturday

No big coastal flooding concerns given that the tides are astronomically low.

Stay tuned to WBZ-TV, CBSBoston.com and CBSN Boston for updates leading up to and throughout the storm.

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Follow Terry on Twitter @TerryWBZ