WATERTOWN — The National Weather Service has issued multiple watches, warnings and advisories for Jefferson, Lewis, St. Lawrence and Oswego counties in anticipation of inclement weather. In all cases, those traveling are warned that the weather may delay journeys and motorists are advised to plan accordingly, go slowly and exercise caution.
For Jefferson County, an ice storm warning will take effect at 6 p.m. Saturday and remain in effect until 1 p.m. Sunday. According to the National Weather Service, significant icing is possible, with total accumulations up to half an inch possible.
The greatest ice accumulations will most likely be seen near the St. Lawrence River. Power outages and tree damage will be possible due to the ice, and roads, sidewalks, and parking lots may become slippery and hazardous. Strong west winds will develop late Sunday morning through early Sunday afternoon, and could gust as high as 50 mph, which could have an impact on any ice laden trees and power lines.
Jefferson and Oswego counties are expected to experience significant lakeshore flooding Sunday, and the Weather Service has issued a lakeshore flood warning in anticipation of this, which will be in effect from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.
The combination of high water levels and high waves will result in lakeshore flooding along the immediate Lake Ontario shore, especially in bays, inlets, and other low lying areas along the shore, and according to the Weather Service, significant shoreline erosion will occur.
In the interest of safety, people are instructed to stay off breakwaters, piers, rock outcroppings, and beaches due to the fact that waves are often larger than they appear and can easily wash people away. Significant beach erosion and debris, local road closures, and extremely dangerous boating conditions can be expected.
The public is reminded to not drive around barricades or through water of unknown depth and take the necessary actions to protect flood-prone property.
Jefferson, Lewis and Oswego counties will all be on flood watch from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, with total rainfall amounts possibly reaching 1.5 to 2.5 inches. Snowpack across the higher terrain will also melt, resulting in further runoff.
Flooding is also possible on some larger rivers as well, including the Black River, and other rivers that drain the Tug Hill Plateau and western Adirondacks.
St. Lawrence County will be on a winter weather advisory from 7 p.m. Saturday and until 1 p.m. Sunday. Freezing rain is expected, as well as ice accumulations of up to a third of an inch. Isolated to scattered power outages and tree damage are possible due to the ice.
North country residents are urged to continue to check the weather forecasts for additional advisories and warnings from the National Weather Service before traveling unnecessarily.