A city truck plows during a previous snowstorm. Plows will be out Thursday dealing with expected snowfall of up to 12 inches, city officials say. (Photo: Department of Public Works)

With up to a foot of snow predicted for Thursday, the city has called a snow emergency – closing services and putting a parking ban into effect as of 7 a.m. to facilitate plowing.

At 8:10 p.m., it was announced public schools would be closed, and the city’s Snow Center website flipped its municipal offices and libraries into the “closed” categories as well.

Thursday’s storm is the biggest so far this season, with the National Weather Service saying it was likely Cambridge would be seeing 8 to 12 inches of snow – and potentially as much as 13. The service said to expect at least 5 inches. It is all but certain to push this year’s snowfall past the total for the winter of 2015-16.

The season has seen 16.8 inches of snow so far; last year’s total was 25.4 inches, a result of the second-warmest winter on record (after the winter of 2001-02); the year before, 2014, was the “snowpocalypse” that delivered a daunting 110.6 inches.

The parking ban means vehicles left on streets with “No Parking during a Snow Emergency” signs will be ticketed and towed until the ban is lifted. Residents losing street parking get a free alternative at some garage facilities (cars would be accepted beginning at 8 p.m. Wednesday). A list and map of prohibited streets off-street parking options is on Snow Center.

Property owners are reminded that ice needs to be removed within six hours from the time it forms, by city law. Snow needs to be removed within 12 hours after it stops falling during the day, and before 1 p.m. if it snowed during the night.

Power outages can be reported to Eversource at (800) 592-2000.

The public is encouraged to follow updates on the city’s website, on Twitter at @CambMA and on Facebook at CambridgeMA.Gov. The city will be using the hash tag #CambMASnow on Twitter to help the public follow the conversation. Members of the public can also call (617) 349-4800 or (617) 349-4700 for information and sign up for parking ban notifications here. The Police Department’s non-emergency line is (617) 349-3300.