Ice, Wind, Snow Freeze Commuters

Authorities urge caution for drivers

Tuesday, Dec 14, 2010  |  Updated 11:08 AM EDT
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A dangerous combination of freezing winds, biting cold and snow flurries blanketed the tri-state area with ice late Monday, causing a multitude of accidents that hampered Tuesday's morning commute.

The National Weather Service estimates anywhere from a trace to about an inch of snow fell across the region. Up to half an inch of additional snow is possible in bands of light snow.

Overnight, authorities responded to at least a dozen car accidents, mostly in Westchester and Long Island. At least one major highway -- West 687 -- was closed while authorities coped with a seven-car pileup. The traffic mess began to clear up later into the morning.

The National Weather Service urges drivers to move with extreme caution and be prepared for very icy conditions, particularly on untreated surfaces and side roads, where the snow cover may conceal areas of black ice.

The storm started in the Midwest before moving East, claiming at least 15 lives and dumping nearly two feets of snow in parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin. It could still bring more snow to New York.

In New Jersey, residents are bundling up against wind chills that are making temperatures feel like single digits Tuesday. Thermometers around the state registered well below freezing early in the morning. Commuters in some parts of northern New Jersey faced dangerous conditions after the frigid cold combined with light snow.

Other parts of the Garden State saw flurries from a few snow bands from the Great Lakes.

As always, check back with NBCNewYork for up-to-the-minute weather information, including the latest alerts, warnings and school closings.

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