Photo courtesy of the National Weather Service

The first significant winter storm of the season is expected to begin impacting the region late Thursday night. Snow is predicted to accumulate 5-8 inches for most of Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts before the storm pulls away Friday afternoon. Smaller amounts are expected on the Outer Cape and Islands.

Expect widespread cancellations and a difficult morning commute Friday when snow is expected to fall at a rate of 1 inch per hour.

Read the text of the alert from the National Weather Service below.

Western Norfolk MA-Southeast Middlesex MA-Suffolk MA-
Eastern Norfolk MA-Northern Bristol MA-Western Plymouth MA-
Eastern Plymouth MA-Southern Bristol MA-Southern Plymouth MA-
Northwest Providence RI-Southeast Providence RI-Western Kent RI-
Eastern Kent RI-Bristol RI-Washington RI-Newport RI-
Including the cities of Foxborough, Norwood, Cambridge, Boston,
Quincy, Taunton, Brockton, Plymouth, Fall River, New Bedford,
Mattapoisett, Foster, Smithfield, Providence, Coventry,
West Greenwich, East Greenwich, Warwick, West Warwick, Bristol,
Narragansett, Westerly, and Newport

* WHAT...Heavy snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 5 to 8

* WHERE...Portions of eastern and southeastern Massachusetts and
  all of Rhode Island except Block Island.

* WHEN...From 1 AM to 7 PM EST Friday.

* IMPACTS...Travel could be very difficult. The hazardous
  conditions could impact the morning or evening commute.

Ken Abrams

Lifestyle Editor Ken Abrams writes about music, the arts and more for What'sUpNewp. He is also a contributor to Providence Monthly, SO RI, Hey Rhody and The Bay magazines.
Ken DJ's "The Kingston Coffeehouse," a roots/folk/rock radio show every Tuesday, 6-9 PM on WRIU 90.3 FM. He is a former educator in the Scituate, RI school system where he taught Social Studies for over 30 years.
Ken is presently on the board of the Rhode Island Folk Festival and Newport Live (formerly Common Fence Music), a non-profit that brings diverse musical acts to the Newport area.