The region’s first winter storm is expected to wrap up early Sunday afternoon, but then temperatures are expected to drop precipitously overnight.
“Eastern Greene and Western Columbia counties are still experiencing some snow and sleet,” meteorologist Ray O’Keefe with National Weather Service in Albany said late Sunday morning. “It is the last hoorah – the storm should end by early afternoon.”
The ongoing precipitation may only add up to one additional inch of accumulation, O’Keefe said.
“Our reports show a range of six to 10 inches across Greene and Columbia counties,” O’Keefe said, adding that the latest report came in at about 10 a.m.
Highs for the day will be in the upper teens and low 20s, O’Keefe added.
“The temperature will drop overnight with the valley being around zero and higher elevations below zero,” he said.
A wind chill warning has been issued for the mountaintop area and a wind chill advisory has been issued for the valley, both from 6 p.m. Sunday to 6 p.m. Monday, O’Keefe said.
“With the wind chill, the temperature will be -35 in the mountains and -20 in the valley,” he said. “It is life threatening. Your skin can freeze in 10 minutes if it is -35 to -40 out.”
O’Keefe recommends anyone who goes outside during this extreme cold period should be thoroughly covered, especially the face.
“It can have a real impact on human and animal health,” he said. “If you let your dog out, let them out and right back in.”
Residents with uninsulated pipes may also be affected during the subzero temperatures, O’Keefe said.
Central Hudson Gas & Electric has reported no power outages in the Twin Counties, Central Hudson spokesman John Maserjian said late Sunday morning.
The company is working to repair 300 storm-related outages, primarily in Ulster county, Maserjian said.
State police released a statement Friday encouraging residents to stay off the roads.
“New York State Police is asking people to avoid unnecessary travel this weekend due to the snowstorm predicted to slam the area with a foot of snow or more,” according to the statement. “Drivers who must travel are being urged to use caution, leave with extra time, and to take it slow. They say to use your best judgement — if it looks too dangerous to travel, don’t risk it.”
Drivers should be prepared, police said, by getting the latest weather forecast before traveling, have essential items such as gloves, blankets, food, a first-aid kit, jumper cables and a shovel in their vehicles.
Police also provided the following tips to safe driving in winter conditions:
*Fully clear vehicles of snow and ice before driving;
*Have a full tank of gas;
*Top off fluids in vehicles;
*Have a spare tire and jack;
*Use headlights when windshield wipers are on; and,
*Do not use cruise control while driving, as it decreases reaction time to braking.