Two hour delay for schools, snow changes to sleet and rain

Vineyard Haven rain
Snow changed to sleet and rain shortly after dawn on Main Street in Vineyard Haven. — Photo by Steve Myrick

Updated 9:05 am, Wednesday February 5, 2014

The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School and all town elementary schools will open on a two hour delay this morning, as another winter storm moves into New England.  The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory, in effect until 6 pm Wednesday evening. About an inch of snow fell before dawn, but by 7 am, the precipitation was mostly a mixture of sleet and rain.

Roads were slippery.

“The midnight shift is reporting heavy snowfall and snow covered roadways. Please use extra caution while driving,” Oak Bluffs police wrote in a Twitter message sent at 5:40 am.

The forecast calls for a short but messy period of snow, sleet and rain this morning. but the changeover happened earlier than predicted on the Island.

“Snow is beginning to overspread the region this morning and is expected to become heavy by 6 or 7 am, with snowfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour,” weather service forecasters wrote in the advisory, issued at 3:27 am. “Snow will change to sleet and then to rain between 8 am and 10 am before tapering off to drizzle during the afternoon. Light snow or flurries may develop later in the day.”

The Steamship Authority posted a weather advisory, asking travelers to check its website for updates on ferry schedules Wednesday. At 5:45 am, all ferries were on schedule.

Public libraries in Edgartown and Oak Bluffs will delay opening until 11 am this morning. Edgartown town hall will delay opening two hours.

All Family Center programming at Martha’s Vineyard Community Services is cancelled.

Peter Pan Bus Lines cancelled most of its New England routes for Wednesday, including service from Woods Hole.

Cape Air cancelled flights in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York.

Governor Deval Patrick asked non-essential state workers to stay home today. All state courts are closed because of the weather.

The weather service advised those traveling off-Island Wednesday to consider alternate plans.

Forecasts for Boston and eastern Massachusetts communities call for 8 to 10 inches of snow from the fast moving storm, while the Worcester area is expected to get 10-14 inches of snow.