A winter storm had been in effect and was upgraded to a blizzard warning at about 4 p.m. on Thursday. The blizzard warning will run until 11 a.m. on Friday.
The blizzard warning includes Salem and other parts of coastal Essex County on the North Shore.
“Heavy snow and dangerously low wind chills” will cause “considerable blowing and drifting snow with blizzard conditions” on Thursday night and Friday morning, the National Weather Service said when it issued the blizzard warning on Thursday afternoon.
A blizzard warning means that sustained winds and frequent gusts over 35 miles per hour will combine with “considerable” falling and blowing snow.
The weather service warn “those venturing outdoors may become lost or disoriented” and recommends people stay inside.
A total of 10-14 inches of snow is expected by the time the storm is over on Friday. There is also the possibility of “locally higher amounts,” the weather service said.
The heaviest snow will happen on Thursday night into Friday morning, with snow falling at the rate of 1-2 inches per hour at times.
“Conditions will rapidly deteriorate tonight as snow becomes heavier and the winds increase,” the weather service said in its blizzard warning alert. “This will result in blizzard conditions at times (Thursday) night into Friday morning; Whiteout conditions are possible and travel may become impossible at times.”
Additionally, there will be “dangerously low wind chills” on Friday morning with north to northwest winds blowing at 15-25 miles per hour with gusts to 45 mph.