A snowstorm is coming to the Hudson Valley on Friday, and it could be a doozy.
The snow will start early with deceptively light flurries, forecasts predict, but by midafternoon the lower Hudson Valley will see a wintry mix of sleet and rain while communities farther north in Dutchess and Ulster counties will see sheets of snow.
"Getting to work may not be a big problem," News12 meteorologist Joe Rao said. "Coming home will be problematic."
Snow gradually will replace the sleet and rain by later afternoon as the winds pick up. Weather models predict winds around 30 mph and gusts of up to 55 mph.
That means big snow drifts, and big differences in perceived snowfall, with 6-12 inches predicted throughout the Hudson Valley, Rao said. The snow is expected to continue overnight and last through Saturday morning before the storm system finally passes over the region.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch, warning of low visibility and a layer of ice that could develop underneath the snow as temperatures plummet overnight. Driving conditions will be dangerous, and locals should avoid taking to the roads by late Friday afternoon, the NWS said.
A coastal flood watch is also in effect, with 3- to 5-foot waves possible on the western Long Island Sound. The NWS warns of "conditions favorable to flooding," resulting in closed roads and flooded basements.
After Friday's snowfall, the weekend is expected to be clear, with high temperatures of 28 degrees Saturday and 34 degrees Sunday.
A warming trend is expected to arrive Monday and Tuesday, with highs in the 40s. Showers on Monday could wash away some of the snow accumulations.