Welcome back, winter: Ice storm could slow travel, cause power outages

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Nearly one-third of an inch of ice is possible in spots across Western New York from freezing rain early Wednesday, the National Weather Service said.

It posted a winter weather advisory for northern Erie County as well as Niagara, Orleans and Genesee counties from 7 a.m. Wednesday to 1 a.m. Thursday.

“The most significant icing will occur Wednesday morning and afternoon,” the weather service said. “Power outages and tree damage are likely due to the ice.”

The weather service said travel could be hazardous Wednesday.

“A period of freezing rain looks increasingly likely Wednesday,” the weather service said. “Consensus model precipitation amounts suggesting totals amounts under a quarter inch. Storm total ice between the 0.1 inch to 0.2 inch range.”

It added: “This will make for icy road conditions.”

The heaviest ice accretion is likely to be found to the north across Niagara County on Wednesday. (Image courtesy of the National Weather Service)

The ice storm is also forecast to impact the southern half of the region, but likely not as long because of warming temperatures, the weather service said.

A winter weather advisory in the southern half of Western New York runs through 4 p.m. Wednesday.

A few hundredths of an inch to about 0.1 inch is expected in southern Erie County along with Wyoming County and the western Southern Tier.

“The hazardous conditions could impact later portions of the morning commute” in those areas,” the weather service said.

As warmer air pushes into the southern portions of the region, it should help transition precipitation over to all rain by about noon, forecasters said.

“The area from the Thruway northward will remain colder longer and will have the better chances to see the higher end glazing amounts,” the weather service said.

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