Heavy snow arrives, all schools, some ferries cancelled

Updated 8:30 pm Tuesday, January 21, 2014

All public schools on Martha’s Vineyard are cancelled Wednesday as a fierce bout of winter weather moves across the Island.

The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning effective 7 pm Tuesday evening to 1 pm Wednesday afternoon.

The weather service forecasts 8 to 14 inches of snow, with higher amounts possible in a few locations.

Cancellations and changes:

Steamship Authority

The following ferry trips are cancelled:

M/V Island Home 8:30 pm Woods Hole to Vineyard Haven

M/V Island Home 9:30 pm Vineyard Haven to Woods Hole

Schools

All public schools cancelled Wednesday. The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School website reports that the exam schedule is as follows: Exams scheduled for Wednesday will be rescheduled to Monday, January 27th. Thursday exams, weather permitting, will be for classes meeting E & F periods. The site advises checking Edline for more details.

Edgartown

Town Hall, Council on Aging, and Edgartown Library, all closed Wednesday.

Tisbury

All non-essential town services are cancelled Wednesday, according to Aase Jones, assistant town administrator.

The selectmen’s meeting scheduled for 5 pm today is cancelled.

The Vineyard Haven Library will be closed Wednesday.

Oak Bluffs

East Chop Drive will be closed from Munroe Avenue to Brewster Avenue from 4pm, Tuesday until 4 pm, Wednesday.

Oak Bluffs town hall, Oak Bluffs Library and the Council on Aging will be closed Wednesday, according to acting fire chief John Rose.

West Tisbury

All town offices will be closed Wednesday morning, and will reopen Wednesday if the snow stops falling by 11 am. “If it is still snowing at 11 am we will remain closed for the day,” town administrator Jen Rand said in an email to The Times.

The West Tisbury board of selectmen’s meeting scheduled for Wednesday is postponed until next Wednesday, January 29.

Chilmark

The Chilmark selectmen’s meeting scheduled for 7 pm, Tuesday night has been moved to noon, Thursday, January 23.

YMCA

The Y plans to open at 12 pm on Wednesday, weather permitting.

At 7 pm Tuesday evening, all ferries were on schedule, but the Steamship Authority advises travelers that ferry service could be affected. “Based on the current forecast, the Steamship Authority anticipates possible service disruptions Tuesday evening into Wednesday,” according an advisory from the Steamship Authority.

Current Steamship Authority ferry operations

Steamship Authority information: 508-477-8600

A gale warning is posted for marine interests from Tuesday evening to Wednesday evening.

A blizzard warning means blowing snow with sustained winds or frequent gusts over 35 miles per hour, and visibility below 1/4 mile, for at least three hours are expected.

“Whiteout conditions will be possible, making travel very dangerous,” the forecasters wrote. “Be prepared to alter any travel plans.”

The predicted snow will not come from a traditional storm, but from the effect of very cold air flowing across the relatively warmer ocean waters, producing snow along the coastline. The weather phenomenon is more common near the Great Lakes, where the prevailing northeast winds often produce lake effect snow.