With the winter storm starting to affect this area Tuesday, the National Weather Service in Binghamton issued a winter weather advisory for the area through 7 a.m. Thursday. Accumulations of 4 to 6 inches of snow are possible. Previously a weather watch had covered most of the area.
The storm is moving as expected, meteorologist Joanne LaBounty said. The snow that started falling late Tuesday morning was expected to change over to sleet and freezing rain before changing over to all rain Tuesday evening.
Rain today will change back to snow and continue through Wednesday night, with more accumulations possible. Temperatures will rise into the lowers 30’s today before falling back below 20. This will cause a rapid freeze on any surface that remain wet and untreated, according to the Weather Service advisory release.
A winter weather advisory means that periods of snow, sleet or freezing rain will cause travel difficulties. Be prepared for slippery roads and limited visibility and use caution while driving.
The Associated Press reported Tuesday that the storm could disrupt the use of giant balloon figures at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.
The characters won't be used if sustained winds exceed 23 mph and gusts exceed 34 mph, according to city rules enacted after fierce winds in 1997 caused a Cat in the Hat balloon to topple a light pole and seriously injure a spectator.
Current forecasts call for sustained winds of 20 mph and gusts of 36 mph.
"At this time, it is too early to make any determinations on the flight of the giant balloons," said Macy's spokesman Orlando Veras. "On Thanksgiving morning, Macy's works closely with the NYPD, who, based on real time weather data and the official regulations determine if the balloons will fly and at what heights."
Balloons have been grounded only once in the parade's 87-year history, when bad weather kept them from flying in 1971.
Meanwhile, meteorologists warned that the storm, which has moved across the country, would almost certainly upset holiday travel plans on Wednesday for those hoping to visit loved ones in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Many travelers were moving to earlier flights, taking advantage of airlines' policies to waive their normal change fees.
Heavy rain and breezy conditions were in the forecast today from the Carolinas to the Northeast, with ice and snow a possibility in the Appalachians, western Pennsylvania and western New York.
The storm system, already blamed for at least 11 deaths, could also spawn isolated tornadoes in the Florida Panhandle. The Southeast is set to suffer soaking rain in the coming days, primarily in Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky.