A winter weather advisor is in effect until 1 AM Thursday for Niagara, Orleans, Monroe, Northern Erie, and Genesee counties. Icy roads have led to numerous accidents already today.
National Weather Service Meteorologist James Mitchell said the farther north you go, the longer the frozen rain is going to last.
“We have that out there until at least after the evening commute well into this evening because there is still going to be slick spots,” he said. “Even if it turns over to rain, we’re not going to jump up in to the 40’s. It’s going to be a very gradual move in to the mid 30’s maybe at best. Maybe some upper 30’s as you get toward south of the Buffalo area”
Mitchell said warmer temperatures are not necessarily an indication conditions will be better.
“Obviously you can have anywhere that’s untreated, the ground is cold. So even if we get above freezing, it’s going to take a while for the ice to melt anywhere that has accumulated,” he said.
Mitchell said it’s imperative drivers in northern parts of Western New York slow down during their afternoon commutes.
“Salt truck doesn’t mean the salt got everywhere. It takes one little patch,” he said. “Maybe the salt ran out. Maybe it shut off. Maybe something happened and that’s all it takes. So you got to be cautious all the time when you’re driving in any conditions like this”
Mitchell said much of the freezing rain has stuck around I-90. Potential power outages and tree damage are possible due to the ice.
Power outages as of right now
Erie County: 626 customers. Expected back up at 5:30 PM.
Livingston County: 317 customers. Expected back up at 5:45 PM.
Niagara County: 86 customers. Expected back up at 4:45 PM.
Ontario County: 3,457 customers. Expected back up at 5 PM.
Erie: 842 customers.
Niagara: 377 customers.