Snow, sleet make commute treacherous

A driver removes snow from his car at A driver removes snow from his car at the stoplight at Renaissance Square at Main Street in downtown White Plains after an overnight snowfall. (Jan. 16, 2013) Photo Credit: Xavier Mascarenas

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Driving wet snow and sleet pelted the Hudson Valley Wednesday morning, making roads treacherous, forcing school delays and closures and extending commuting times.

Kingston declared a snow emergency, closing Washington Avenue from Linderman Avenue to Greenkill Avenue and banning parking on city streets.

Temperatures hovered near or below freezing in the early morning hours, but the mercury was expected to climb later in the day and help melt the ice off the roadways, according to the National Weather Service.

"We have a few inches of snow on the ground in the Hudson Valley and we're expecting totals ranging from an inch in southern Westchester to as much as 4 inches in parts of Orange County," said Dan Hofmann, meteorologist at the National Weather Service. "There could be over one-quarter inch of ice for the south central parts of the Hudson Valley."

Hofmann warned that slippery conditions made roads hazardous.

"Definitely allow extra time and extra distance on the roads," he said. "It takes a lot longer to stop on icy roads."

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Despite the wintry conditions, Metro-North reported on-time service across the Hudson, Harlem and New Haven lines.

About 30 schools across the Hudson Valley closed for the day and scores more delayed their opening.

Traffic delays were reported on the westbound Cross County Parkway and on the Hutchinson River Parkway. A 35 mph speed restriction was in place on Tappan Zee Bridge traffic and a disabled vehicle snarled inbound traffic at midspan around 7:30 a.m.

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Traffic accidents littered the roadways from Briarcliff Manor to Brewster.

The New York State Department of Transportation website reported several accidents on I-87 southbound and northbound in the Spring Valley area.

The weather stalled flights at Westchester County Airport by about an hour in the early morning. As the rain eased, however, delays abated.

Hofmann said that the precipitation would wind down by midmorning, though scattered showers and snow would continue intermittently.

"It will taper down, but not quite shut off," he said.

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News12 reported accumulations of 4.1 inches in Washingtonville, 3.5 inches in Harriman, 3.2 inches in Armonk, 2.5 inches in Mount Kisco and 1 inch in Scarsdale.

Temperatures are forecast to rise to the middle to upper 30s Wednesday afternoon.

Once the precipitation clears, dry weather is expected for the Hudson Valley through the weekend.

The forecast for Thursday calls for clouds with a high of 38. Friday will see a mix of sun and clouds with highs in the mid-30s.

The sun will peek through on Saturday and Sunday. Highs will be in the upper 30s and lower 40s.

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