We're watching three things this evening that are going to have major impacts in our area: flooding (this afternoon and evening), a flash freeze (tonight), and heavy snow/sleet (tonight/early Saturday).
Flooding is the bigggest concern this evening, with widespread reports of ice jams. Areas of concern include the following:
The Sauquiot Creek in Whitesboro
The Black River in Lowville
The West Canada Creek at Kast Bridge
The Steele Creek in Ilion (here's the scene from earlier today)
Heavy rain that continues this afternoon will cause additional problems for the evening commute. Flooding concerns will begin to wane late this evening as much colder weather arrives and puts an end to the rain and snow melt.
We go from flooding to a flash freeze tonight. Rain turns to snow from west to east as temperatures plummet this evening. The plunge begins around 5pm, with temperatures falling below freezing by 10pm. This happens a few hours sooner to the west and a few hours later to the east. The flash freeze will cause widespread icing across the entire region. There's tons of slush and water on the roads this evening and there isn't expected to be much of a break in precipitation. All outside surfaces are expected to turn icy.
Heavy snow arrives tonight. It starts out as a period of sleet with warm air aloft. Cold air advection will cause a transition of sleet to snow from west to east. The heaviest snow arrives late tonight and early tomorrow morning. Here's a look at the snowfall map:
The heaviest snow falls north and west in the colder air, with a significantly lower amount of snow in areas that experience more sleet.
When shoveling the snow tomorrow, keep in mind there will be a layer of ice beneath all of it.
Cold air will follow over the weekend as the snow comes to an end late Saturday morning. Back to the deep freeze!