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    Ice to Threaten Wednesday Morning Commute From Virginia to NY

    By By Alex Sosnowski, senior meteorologist
    March 20, 2014, 2:36:33 AM EDT

    There is the potential for dangerous icy conditions Wednesday morning from Virginia to the southern tier of New York.

    While not enough ice will accumulate to weigh down trees and power lines, a thin layer of black ice produced by freezing drizzle is forecast to reach across several states over the central Appalachians.

    Major highways that may be impact by freezing drizzle include I-64, I-66, I-68, I-70, I-78, I-80, I-81, I-83, I-86, I-88 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

    Metro areas that may have icy conditions for a time include Roanoke, Va., Washington, D.C., Martinsburg, W.Va., Hagerstown, Md., Harrisburg, Pa., and Corning, N.Y.

    According to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brian Wimer, "The ice is likely to be more extensive from northwestern Virginia, northern West Virginia, western Maryland and southern and central Pennsylvania."


    The ice is likely to be very spotty on the northern and southern ends of the alert area.

    Temperatures will be very marginal for ice formation in southwestern Virginia where plain rain may outweigh icy locations.

    The air will start very dry near the New York/Pennsylvania border. In this area, more snow can fall as an alternative.

    "Even in the areas where ice is most likely to be spotty, it can be dangerous as commuters may believe there are not problems, then suddenly they may hit an isolated patch of ice," Wimer said.

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    The ice is most likely to form on untreated elevated surfaces, such as bridges and overpasses, in the southern end but can occur on any untreated surface farther north, due to a cold ground.

    Motorists are urged to drive defensively overnight into Wednesday morning. People should use caution even if the temperature in their car thermometer is a few degrees above freezing as the ground can be significantly colder.

    "During the midday and afternoon, the warming effect of the March sun should cause most icy areas to melt on their own," Wimer said. "Areas that are shaded from the sun could stay icy for an extended period on Wednesday."

    Farther east, from Raleigh, N.C. to Richmond, Va., Philadelphia and New York City, temperatures are forecast to inch above freezing as rain and drizzle develops, but cloud cover will keep the air chilly throughout the day.

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