First winter storm of the season bearing down on Hudson Valley

(Photo by Dion Ogust)

After bringing snow and wind to the west and plains, Winter Storm Harper is set to hit the Hudson Valley and New England Saturday afternoon.

Local predictions call for precipitation totals of 6-12″ in the valleys and 12-20″ in the mountains beginning around 4 p.m. Saturday, and extending into Sunday afternoon. Wind gusts of 25-30 mph are forecast for Sunday afternoon. Precipitation will be a mix of snow and sleet, making driving particularly hazardous. Very cold temperatures on Sunday and high winds will result in snow drifts and ice.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for the region, effective from 4 p.m Saturday to 4 p.m. Sunday. The heaviest rate of snowfall, 1-3 inches, will be Saturday night, when road conditions will make travel “impossible” according to NWS.

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For more a in-depth breakdown of the storm, check out Hudson Valley Weather, the local independent weather site. Now in “storm mode,” the guys will be posting updates throughout the weekend. If your curious about how two weather buffs were able to gather such a following, check out our profile.

While we’re on the topic of winter reading, here are some other local stories that make for good storm reading:

Central Hudson, noting that ice and high winds often lead to power outages due to falling tree limbs, issued some recommendations for customers, which we’ll post below:

  • Pay attention to weather advisories, storm outage updates and/or shelter information;
  • Charge electronic devices in order to connect with https://StormCentral.CenHud.com;
  • Keep handy a flashlight and fresh batteries;
  • Have a battery-powered radio to remain informed of restoration efforts;
  • Confirm adequate packaged or canned foods that require no refrigeration or cooking;
  • Avoid opening a refrigerator unnecessarily during outages, so that food lasts longer;
  • Have a non-electric can opener;
  • Keep an emergency supply of bottled water on hand for drinking and washing;
  • Fill bathtubs with water as added reserves;
  • To save energy, lower thermostat settings if possible, seal cracks and leaks around windows and doors and draw heavy curtains to keep cold air out; and
  • Close fireplace flues when not in use to keep warm indoor air from leaving through the chimney.

 

Haering also urged customers to keep safety in mind, particularly during power interruptions and colder temperatures:

  • Stay at least 30 feet away from downed power lines, and remember that lines may be entangled and hidden in fallen trees. Assume all downed lines are live;
  • Clear snow and ice from natural gas meters, regulators and other natural gas equipment.
  • Remove accumulated snow and ice from exhaust and combustion air vents and chimneys to prevent a potentially lethal buildup of carbon monoxide gas.
  • Never use outdoor gas or charcoal grills indoors, as they pose a fire hazard and over time can give off carbon monoxide gas;
  • Install and/or test carbon monoxide detectors and ensure they are in working order;
  • Beware of fallen trees and limbs, and use caution or traveling;
  • Avoid the use of candles for illumination due to fire hazards;
  • Follow the manufacturer’s safety instructions on the use of emergency generators, and be sure to shut off the main breaker when in use and operate the units outdoors;
  • Operate cars and motor vehicles outdoors only, and never inside the garage; and
  • Avoid travel along roadways as hazardous conditions may cause driving accidents, including those involving utility poles which may cause power interruptions.

 

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