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Winter weather hits Central New York

(WKTV) - We went more than 280 days without snow here in Central New York, but now winter is making its presence known.

Snow, sleet, and even a mix of all that greeted residents as they woke up to go to work Wednesday morning, but the wintry mix began to die down around Noon on Wednesday.

Driving conditions

However, it was rough going on the roads earlier in the morning. Drivers were taking their time into work, and the combination of the snow and freezing rain forced more than 50 school districts across the region to close, and others to be put on delay.

In Downtown Utica's Franklin Square, the roads may have been plowed, but it remained very windy, and slushy in certain areas. Drivers didn't have a problem making their way down Genesee Street, but they were doing so at a pretty slow pace - saying patience was key.

Traffic lights were seen swinging in the breeze as many people bundled up and moved slowly in and out of their vehicles, as well as on the streets.

"It's a wallapalooza," said one driver of the morning commute. "I had to mail a package - that's why I'm going out."

But once he gets home, he said he won't be staying there enjoying the comforts of warmth.

"I have to go for singing tonight."

"I have the Whitesboro-Remsen Run, so that will be a joy going over the hill," said another driver. "What's the strategy? Just drive slow - 40 miles per hour the whole way."

We're not alone...

Traffic was been snarled Wednesday morning from the upper midwest
through New England, as a fierce winter storm brought dangerous ice,
heavy snow and vicious winds to the region.

Blizzard warnings cover Eastern Nebraska and parts of Kansas and
Minnesota, while more than a foot of snow is expected in parts of
Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa.

The National Weather Service is warning of near whiteout driving conditions with wind gusts possibly hitting 50 miles an hour and piling snow into drifts up to 15 feet high.

In Wisconsin, as many as a dozen tractor-trailers have been
marooned near Madison on interstate ramps made impassable by heavy snow.

The storm brought rain and snow to the mountain west earlier in
the week, and bitter wind chills have moved in behind.

As it moves east, the storm's already reached the eastern half
of New York. The National Weather Service reports the Albany area,
the Catskills and parts of the Hudson Valley have up to 8 inches of
snow on the ground already Wednesday morning.

Local Forecast

Wednesday: Windy with blowing snow and some pockets of sleet and freezing drizzle. High 33.

Wednesday night: Snow showers. Low 27.

Thursday: Chance of snow showers. High 32. Low 16.

Friday: Snow showers likely. High 24. Low 15.

Saturday: Chance of snow showers. High 25. Low 15.

Sunday: Chance of snow. High 26. Low 13.

Monday: Partly sunny. High 22. Low 8.

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