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March 11, 2014

Forecasters: Brace for another storm

A storm coming into the area early Wednesday from the Ohio River Valley could bring from 4-10 inches of snow to the area by the time it’s over Thursday morning, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Binghamton said.

The NWS has issued a winter storm watch from 7 a.m. Wednesday through 11 a.m. Thursday.

Despite the long winter, area schools interviewed said they still have snow days available if needed for this storm.

About 4-6 inches of snow could fall in the southern half of Delaware County, 6-8 inches in Oneonta and 8-10 inches in northern Otsego county, Weather Service meteorologist Joanne LaBounty said.

Because of the potential of warmer air moving into the area, the storm has been hard to predict, she said. But when the snow starts, it could be mixed with, or change to sleet, with all snow expected by Wednesday evening.

Temperatures will be around freezing during the day Wednesday, and drop into the single digits and lower teens by Thursday morning. Winds will be from the north at 15-25 miles per hour, with gusts of 35 miles per hour. Heavy snow may make for extremely hazardous traveling. Blowing and drifting snow will develop Wednesday night into Thursday with wind chills dropping to nearly 10 below zero.

But area schools interviewed Monday said they have enough snow days left for the storm.

Roxbury Central School Superintendent Thomas O’Brien said his district has two of its six remaining left. Like many other districts, if Roxbury’s days are not used, by contract they are given back as a vacation day, O’Brien said. If more days are used than were allotted, vacation time will be reduced, but at this point in the winter, O’Brien said, that probably won’t happen.

Margaretville Central School Superintendent Tony Albanese said his district has used three of the six emergency days built into the calendar, so “we are in decent shape.” At Cherry Valley-Springfield Central School, there is one day left from the five that were allotted, Superintendent Timothy Ryan said. Oneonta City School District has used three of its six emergency days, Superintendent Joseph Yelich said.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration office in Binghamton uses a multitude of models in forecasting that sometimes make it possible to make a decide a day in advance whether school should be open. If not, Yelich said, he will be working with city and town road crews and the school’s bus company to make a decision by 5:15 a.m. about whether there should be a snow day.

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