Snowstorm's slushy aftermath: Schools delayed, travel slowed

Vijay Rayavarapu uses his snowblower outside his home Vijay Rayavarapu uses his snowblower outside his home in New City. (March 19, 2013) Photo Credit: Angela Gaul

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With the arrival of spring Wednesday, the lamb that March is supposed to go out like probably will want to keep his wool coat on this year.

Scores of schools announced delayed openings and commuters faced sloppy conditions Tuesday after a late-winter storm dumped 3-6 inches of wet snow on the Hudson Valley followed by rain.

"The precipitation has moved east over eastern Long Island and Connecticut," said Lauren Nash, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service.

Nash said the region could face isolated rain showers Tuesday as another front rotates through the area, but no accumulations were expected. Tuesday evening's commute should pose little challenge.

Temperatures are expected to reach the low- to mid-40s Tuesday. Overnight, the thermometer will cool to the mid-20s and freeze melting snow, causing hazardous driving conditions on untreated surfaces, she said.

As spring moves in at 7:02 a.m. Wednesday, expect clear skies but temperatures at or below freezing, with daytime highs in the high 30s to about 40, the weather service said.

SCHOOL BELLS RING LATE IN REGION

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Delayed schools openings were widespread in Westchester and the Hudson Valley Tuesday, including: Yonkers, Valhalla, Tuckahoe, Rye City, Putnam Valley, Arlington, Wappingers and Greenburgh-North Castle. They are calling for a two-hour delayed start.

In Orange County, Goshen, Warwick Valley and Minisink Valley schools were on a three-hour delay, according to district websites.

To the north, Kingston schools in Ulster County were closed.

Rockland Community College canceled all classes before 11 a.m. Classes after 11 are on a normal schedule. SUNY Orange also delayed its opening to 11 a.m.

Some classes were canceled at Dutchess Community College, according to the school's website.

Metro-North trains and New York City subways were reporting no delays related to the weather.

Westchester County Bee-Line buses were running on or close to schedule, an email from the county said.

Kennedy Airport reported normal service, while LaGuardia and Newark-Liberty airports are experiencing delays on incoming flights of up to one hour. Flights at Westchester County Airport in Harrison were mostly on time, although travelers were urged to check with their carriers.

A single-car accident about 7:30 a.m. in New Rochelle that had blocked the left lane on Hutchinson River Pkwy southbound at North Avenue/Exit 17 was cleared shortly thereafter, Westchester County police said.

IN ROCKLAND, A QUIET NIGHT ON ROADS

Rockland County roads seemed to come through the overnight storm without major problems, with Clarkstown police, Orangetown police and the Rockland Sheriff's Department reporting no accidents. "It looks like a lot of people were smart enough to stay off the roads last night," said Rockland Sheriff's Department Sgt. John Murphy.

There was, however, an accident at about 9 a.m. Tuesday on the southbound New York State Thruway at the Palisades Interstate Parkway (Exit 13) in Nanuet. Traffic was slowed to Exit 14 in Spring Valley.

State Police from Troop K, which covers Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess and Columbia counties, reported handling 41 auto accidents since 6 p.m. Monday, three of them involving injuries.

The Dutchess County Sheriff's Department said roads there were cleared by 9:30 a.m. and it had dealt with no major accidents overnight.

The Ulster County Sheriff's Department said it handled 12 crashes, two of them involving injuries, and three vehicles off the roadway during the storm.

There were no major power outages reported Tuesday morning.

Nash said the Hudson Valley would be dry later in the week except for a chance of scattered precipitation on Friday and Saturday, but that cold temperatures would continue to grip the area.

"That's the big story -- the temperatures being below normal," she said.

Normal high temperatures for this time of year are 48-52 with lows of 32-36. The forecast, however, calls for highs to linger around the lower 40s with overnight lows in the mid-20s through the weekend.

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