As a fast-moving coastal winter storm approached the Island Tuesday night, public schools and government announced they would close Wednesday.
A blizzard warning went into effect for the Cape and Islands early in the day, with heavy snow predicted by early evening. By nightfall snow was falling heavily. The National Weather Service station in Edgartown reported two inches of snow just after 6 p.m.
The blizzard warning is in effect until 1 p.m. Wednesday, with an expected snow accumulation between eight and 14 inches, the National Weather Service in Taunton said.
A low pressure system combining with arctic air began creating blizzard conditions and rapid accumulations of snow from the mid-Atlantic states through New York and New England throughout the day Tuesday. It is primarily a coastal storm and the Cape and Islands are expected to see the highest snow accumulations. Winds will be from the north and no flooding is predicted at the time of high tide, the weather service said.
The storm will be followed by a blast of arctic air, with temperatures in the teens and 20s and wind chill factors in the single digits.
A gale warning and freezing spray advisory is in effect from 7 p.m. Tuesday until Wednesday evening.
“The snow will pile up quickly,” the weather service said.
Storm-related cancellations also piled up Tuesday afternoon. Oak Bluffs fire chief John Rose said East Chop Drive will be closed between Munroe avenue and Brewster avenue from 4 p.m. Tuesday to 4 p.m. Wednesday.
The Oak Bluffs and Edgartown town halls, libraries and councils on aging will be closed on Wednesday. The Edgartown courthouse will be closed.
The Tisbury selectmen's meeting planned for Tuesday evening was cancelled, and the Chilmark selectmen's meeting was rescheduled for noon Thursday. The Dukes County Commission meeting scheduled for Wednesday has been cancelled as well. The West Tisbury town hall announced that it would close Wednesday if schools are closed. Early Tuesday evening Vineyard schools superintendent Dr. James H. Weiss announced no school on Wednesday.
Tisbury has issued a parking ban on public streets starting at 6 p.m.
After school activities were cancelled Tuesday, and the Boys’ and Girls’ Club will be closed. Martha’s Vineyard Community Services will be closed Wednesday.
The Steamship Authority said it anticipates possible service disruptions Tuesday evening into Wednesday.
People traveling on the ferry are advised to check the SSA website for further updates.
To change a reservation, call 1-508-477-8600, go to the website or visit one of the terminals.
Cape Air has a list of cancelled flights on its website.
The Vineyard Transit Authority said it is anticipating service delays Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, and will post updates on its website.