We're in the middle of a powerful winter storm that's impacting Central New York with heavy snow and wind. Widespread tree damage is being reported due to the heavy wet snow accumulation and we have numerous power outages. In addition, breezy conditions in the higher elevations are causing whiteout conditions. A rare blizzard warning is in effect for Otsego County this afternoon.
A blizzard warning is issued when three consecutive hours of 35mph or greater winds are combined with 1/4 mile or less visibility (whiteout conditions). It's difficult to get the wind component to verify during storms in our area, which is why blizzard warnings are rare. The hilltops in Otsego County could see these wind gusts today, but the rest of us will not see the strong wind.
As we move forward, the snow will *gradually* taper off throughout the course of the afternoon and evening. The bulk of the heavy accumulation is over for the majority of the area, but additional accumulation is expected. Based on the early reports, many areas will close in between 12-24" of accumulation. The high end of our forecast is likely going to verify, with 26" and counting in Worcester (Otsego County).
Expect poor driving conditions this evening, gradually improving in the lower elevations. Winds will gradually drop off tonight across the higher terrain.
Here's a look at snowfall accumulation across the region:
33 Cherry Valley
11.5 Curtis Corners
23.6 East Springfield
18 Forge Hollow
16 New Hartford
9 Old Forge
18 West Branch
14 West Laurens
17 West Winfield
36 Worcester Hill
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