By Melanie Lekocevic
Capital Region Independent Media
ALBANY — Heavy snowfall along with some mixed precipitation is headed for the Capital Region.
Gov. Kathy Hochul held a briefing Thursday to warn of the impending storm and urging New Yorkers to avoid travel if possible.
Snowfall is expected to begin early Friday morning, around 2 a.m., and is forecast to start out moderate to heavy, with snowfall rates likely to exceed one inch per hour shortly after snow begins to fall, according to the National Weather Service in Albany.
Total snowfall accumulations in the area could be as high as 8-12 inches before it winds down late Friday.
Areas to the south, including Dutchess County, are expected to see a bit less snow at around 6-8 inches.
After moderate to heavy snowfall in the Capital Region late Thursday or early Friday morning, the snow may mix with or potentially change to sleet or freezing rain Friday in time for the morning commute, according to the agency.
If that happens, it could leave a light glaze of ice. Either way, travel is likely to be treacherous, state officials warn.
The Capital Region is not alone — heavy snowfall of up to a foot of snow is forecast for most parts of the state including the North Country, Mohawk Valley, Central New York and Finger Lakes regions, according to Hochul, while the Mid-Hudson region can expect up to 6 inches.
The heavy snowfall comes after several days of unseasonably warm temperatures, but it looks like winter isn’t done with us yet, Hochul said.
“Despite the warm weather we experienced earlier in the week, winter is not quite ready to be over here in New York state and we are preparing for additional snow and ice expected to impact most of the state Friday,” Hochul said.
State agencies were preparing Thursday for an emergency response, and New Yorkers are urged to stay off the roads if possible once the storm hits to enable crews to clear them, she added.
“I have directed state agencies to prepare and deploy emergency response assets to areas where the greatest impacts from this storm are expected,” Hochul said. “I strongly urge New Yorkers to avoid driving, if possible, during Friday morning’s commute and pay attention to your local weather forecast for impacts throughout the day.”
Travel Friday morning is expected to be difficult, with heavy snow accumulation and reduced visibility. Precipitation is expected to continue through Friday afternoon before tapering off Friday night.
“Many parts of the state will experience up to a foot or more of snow over the next 24 hours,” said Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray. “Gov. Hochul and I want New Yorkers to stay home, if possible, on Friday. We encourage anyone in the path of this snowstorm to prepare emergency supplies now in case of a power outage or inability to travel. Let’s also remember to check on our vulnerable neighbors and loved ones to make sure they can get through the storm safely.”