A cross country skier cuts a trail on Jan. 16 as they make their way through Ives Park in Potsdam. Christopher Lenney/Watertown Daily Times

The National Weather Service in Burlington, Vt., has issued a winter storm warning for St. Lawrence, Franklin, Clinton and Essex counties. The warning will stay in effect until 10 p.m. Friday.

Heavy snowfall and mixed precipitation are expected, the weather service stated, with the total snow accumulation reaching between 10 and 20 inches. The ice accumulation may reach up to one tenth of an inch.

“Snow will continue to overspread the region this morning with two to five inches of snowfall expected through this afternoon,” the weather service stated.

Periods of light mixed precipitation are expected to develop throughout the afternoon and evening, but the precipitation will become steadier, changing back to snow, for the pre-dawn and daylight hours Friday.

“Snow will be heavy at times, especially Friday afternoon, before tapering off Friday evening,” the weather service stated.

Snowfall rates of one to two inches per hour are possible during the mid-day hours Friday.

The weather service states that if you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle incase of an emergency. Please allow extra time if travel is necessary.

In Jefferson, Lewis and Oswego counties, a winter weather advisory was issued by the National Weather Service in Buffalo and remains in effect until 6 p.m. Thursday. A winter storm warning goes into effect late Thursday evening and will remain in effect until Saturday morning.

The forecast led the Watertown City School District to dismiss classes early Thursday. All students were to be dismissed by 12:40 p.m., according to Superintendent Patti LaBarr. All after school activities are are canceled for Thursday evening as is YMCA SACC for K-6.

“We will do our best to get students home as quickly as possible,” Ms. LaBarr said. “Our priority is our students’ safety.  Please be patient as there could be some delays.  If anything changes once we start the dismissal, we will send out another message through School Messenger.”

For the winter weather advisory, mixed precipitation is expected. Additional snow accumulations are expected to reach between three to fives inches, and ice accumulations of around one tenth of an inch are also expected.

For the winter storm watch, heavy mixed precipitation is possible. The total snow accumulation is expected to reach between five and nine inches, and ice accumulations of around one quarter of an inch are possible.

Wind gusts could reach as high as 35 mph.

Travel will be very difficult, especially Friday afternoon and evening, the weather advisory states. The hazardous conditions will impact Thursday morning’s commute, and both Friday’s morning and evening commutes.

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