A winter storm that dropped at least a foot of snow on the Capital Region was winding down Sunday afternoon, but weather experts warned dangerously cold temperatures are on the way.
Brian Montgomery, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Albany, said the storm had dropped around 15 inches of snow on the area as of Sunday Afternoon. In Schenectady, the highest snow accumulation was reported at 14.2 inches.
Eleven inches was the least amount of snow anyone in the area received, according to Montgomery.
But snow totals were difficult to measure accurately as of Sunday afternoon, Montgomery said, due to the accumulation of sleet on top of the freshly fallen snow.
"That's hard to measure, but overall, we've probably seen between 12 or 15 inches or so," he said.
Sunday's storm saw people preparing early for the weather.
In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo banned tractor-trailers and buses on most interstates for the duration of the storm, though he lifted that ban at 6 p.m. Sunday.
Locally, Code Blue homeless shelters were in operation in Saratoga Springs, Albany and Glens Falls to help get the homeless off the streets for the weather event.
While the snow had slowed in the Capital Region on Sunday afternoon, other areas weren't so lucky. Sleet and freezing rain in portions of eastern New York transitioned back to snow, while portions of the Mid-Hudson Valley and Connecticut continued to experience freezing rain, according to the National Weather Service.
More concerning than the snow is the approach of bitterly cold, windy weather that is expected to hit the area over the next few days, Montgomery said. Snow will blow and drift, causing additional hazards.
Monday, Montgomery said, will not be an ideal day for being outside, with "brutally cold" temperatures evolving. The highest temperatures are predicated to be in the single digits, while wind chills could dip to 30 below, he said.
"Tomorrow will not be a pleasant day," Montgomery said.
Representatives from the Saratoga and Schenectady County Sheriff's offices could not be reached for comment on the storm's impacts Sunday afternoon. Power largely stayed on in the area, with National Grid reporting fewer than five power outages across all service areas. All five of those outages were in Washington County, and service was expected to be back on by 5 p.m.
However, the utility was ready to accommodate more widespread outages.
"A National Grid field force of more than 1,500 line, tree and service workers is at the ready in the event the extensive snowfall across upstate New York impacts service to our customers," National Grid said in a statement on its website. "Please take precautions and remember to leave vents clear when shoveling snow."
The snow did impact air travel to and from Albany International Airport.
As of Sunday afternoon, most flights in and out of Albany, across all airlines, had been canceled.
Saratoga and Schenectady counties were under a winter storm warning until 4 p.m. Sunday.
Midweek, Montgomery said, should bring some relief to the area. On Tuesday, temperatures are expected to rise to 20 degrees, he said. On Wednesday, temperatures will rise even higher, possibly up to 40, he said.
But that relief will be short-lived, with the possibility of another storm late Wednesday. That system, Montgomery said, will not dump as much snow on the area as this storm, but New Yorkers should expect to see some freezing rain.
"Those temperatures should be more moderate, heading later into the week," Montgomery said. Over the next few days, he advised that people not go outside if they don't have to.
He also recommended people keep pets out of the snow for extended periods of time, check in on elderly neighbors and family members and pay attention to weather alerts sent out by various organizations, including the state.
More on the weekend snowstorm:
- Images: More photos from this weekend's storm, Jan. 20, 2019
- Schenectady firefighters battle fire, snow on Avenue A, Jan. 20, 2019
- Where are the Schenectady snow plows? Find out online, Jan. 20, 2019