Areas in Central New York and Mohawk Valley Could See Up to Four Inches of Snow Warmer Temperatures and Rain Early Next Week May Lead to Localized Flooding
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today urged New Yorkers to use extra caution while traveling as a storm system moves across the state tonight, bringing several inches of snow to upstate New York. Most areas along I-90 and northern New York should expect to see between one and three inches of snow, while areas in Central New York and the Mohawk Valley could see higher totals.
"This storm has the potential to drop enough snow to make roadways slick and driving more dangerous," Governor Cuomo said. "I urge New Yorkers who are traveling this evening to play it safe by slowing down on the roads and erring on the side of caution."
Following a dry weekend, warmer temperatures and rain are currently forecast for the state, which could cause localized flooding due to the volume of snow that has already accumulated. New Yorkers should practice safe driving, keep a close eye on updated weather forecasts, and obey all local emergency orders.
Localized amounts of up to four inches of snow are possible in portions of the Mohawk Valley and Central New York regions, as well as across the hills in eastern Rensselaer County. Behind the system tonight, scattered snow showers are possible with an additional inch of snowfall primarily along I-90 and areas to the north, with between two to four inches in portions of Central New York expected. Lingering snow showers in the Lake Effect Regions will end by Saturday morning.
The National Weather Service has issued a Special Weather Statement warning New Yorkers about slippery road conditions in impacted areas. For more information, visit the National Weather Service website.
Department of Transportation
The State Department of Transportation is ready to respond with 3,578 supervisors and operators available. Regional crews are currently engaged in snow and ice preparations. Statewide resources are as follows:
- 1576 large plow trucks
- 182 medium duty plows
- 52 tow plows
- 332 large loaders
- 35 snowblowers
The Thruway Authority has 682 supervisors and operators ready to deploy 230 Large Snow Plows, 106 Medium Snow Plows, 11 Tow Plows and 63 Loaders across the state with more than 109,000 tons of road salt on hand. Variable Message Signs, Highway Advisory Radio and social media are being utilized to alert motorists of winter weather conditions on the Thruway. The Thruway Authority is also encouraging motorists to download its mobile app which is available for free on iPhone and Android devices. The app provides motorists direct access to real-time traffic and navigation assistance while on the go. Motorists can also sign up for TRANSalert e-mails which provide the latest traffic conditions along the Thruway here.
Division of State Police
The New York State Police has instructed troopers to closely monitor conditions in the affected areas. All four-wheel drive vehicles are in-service and all specialty vehicles, including snowmobiles and utility vehicles, are staged and ready for deployment.
Department of Environmental Conservation
DEC Environmental Conservation Police Officers, Forest Rangers, Emergency Management staff, and regional staff are on alert and monitoring the developing situation and actively patrolling areas and infrastructure likely to be impacted by severe weather. All available assets, including snowmobiles and utility vehicles, are positioned to assist with any emergency response.
Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
Park Police and park personnel are on alert and closely monitoring weather conditions and impacts. Park visitors should check parks.ny.gov or call ahead for the latest updates regarding park hours, openings and closings.
The leading cause of death and injuries during winter storms is transportation accidents. Before getting behind the wheel, make sure that your vehicle is clear of ice and snow as good vision is key to good driving. Plan your stops and keep more distance between cars. Be extra alert and remember that snowdrifts can hide smaller children. Always match your speed to the road and weather conditions.
It is important for motorists on all roads to note that snowplows travel at speeds up to 35 mph, which in many cases is lower than the posted speed limit, to ensure that salt being dispersed stays in the driving lanes and does not scatter off the roadways. Oftentimes on interstate highways, snowplows will operate side by side, as this is the most efficient and safe way to clear several lanes at one time.
Motorists and pedestrians should also keep in mind that snowplow drivers have limited lines of sight, and that the size and weight of snowplows can make it very difficult to maneuver and stop quickly. Snow blowing from behind the plow can severely reduce visibility or cause whiteout conditions. Motorists should not attempt to pass snowplows or follow too closely. The safest place for motorists to drive is well behind the snowplows where the roadway is clear and salted.
Some of the most important tips for safe driving in winter weather include:
- When winter storms strike, do not drive unless necessary.
- Use caution on bridges as ice can form quicker than on roads.
- Wet leaves on roadways can cause slippery conditions, making it important to drive at slower speeds when approaching patches of them.
- Make sure your car is stocked with blankets, a shovel, flashlight and extra batteries, extra warm clothing, set of tire chains, battery booster cables, quick energy foods and brightly-colored cloth to use as a distress flag.
- Keep your gas tank full to prevent gasoline freeze-up.
- If you have a cell phone or two-way radio available for your use, keep the battery charged and keep it with you whenever traveling. If you should become stranded, you will be able to call for help, advising rescuers of your location.
- Make sure someone knows your travel plans.
- While driving, keep vehicles clear of ice and snow.
- Plan stops and keep distance between cars. Always match your speed to the road and weather conditions.
- It's important to note that snowplows travel at speeds up to 35 mph, which in many cases is lower than the posted speed limit, to ensure that salt being dispersed stays in the driving lanes and does not scatter off the roadways. Oftentimes on interstate highways, snowplows will operate side by side, as this is the most efficient and safe way to clear several lanes at one time.
- Motorists and pedestrians should also keep in mind that snowplow drivers have limited lines of sight, and the size and weight of snowplows can make it very difficult to maneuver and stop quickly. Snow blowing from behind the plow can severely reduce visibility or cause whiteout conditions. Motorists should not attempt to pass snowplows or follow too closely. The safest place for motorists to drive is well behind the snowplows where the roadway is clear and salted.
Flood Safety Preparation Tips
- Learn the safest route from your home or business to high, safe ground should you have to leave in a hurry.
- Practice your Family Escape Plan and identify a meeting place if family members become separated.
- Keep an itemized list of all valuables including furnishings, clothing and other personal property - keep the list in a safe place.
- Stockpile emergency supplies of canned food, medicine and first aid supplies and drinking water.
- Store drinking water in clean, closed containers.
- Review your plan on what you will do with your pets.
- Have a portable radio, flashlights, batteries and emergency cooking equipment.
- Keep your automobile fueled. If electric power is cut off, gasoline stations may not be able to pump fuel for several days.
- Have a small disaster supply kit in the trunk of your car.
- Keep materials like sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting and lumber handy for emergency water-proofing.
For more winter weather and flood safety information, please visit the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services website at http://www.dhses.ny.gov/oem/safety-info.