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Coming into Saranac Lake on Route 3 in early evening of the first significant snowstorm of 2012. Photo: Mark Kurtz
Coming into Saranac Lake on Route 3 in early evening of the first significant snowstorm of 2012. Photo: Mark Kurtz

Snowstorm will slow holiday travel throughout the region

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It looks like people across a broad swath of New York, Ontario and Vermont are in for some hard traveling this from a major winter storm bearing down on the region from the Midwest.

A major low pressure system originating from the Gulf of Mexico is expected to intensify and begin dropping rain and snow on eastern Ontario this afternoon.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for much of upstate New York and northern Vermont from late today through tomorrow evening.

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Forecasters predict up 8 inches of snow in Buffalo and Niagara County, and as much as a foot in the northern Adirondacks and St. Lawrence Valley.

Heavy rain is expected in the Hudson Valley from Poughkeepsie to Glens Falls.

And a mix of heavy snow, sleet and freezing rain is forecast across the Southern Tier including Binghamton, Ithaca and Elmira. Forecasters say there could be 4 to 8 inches of snow and up to a quarter inch of ice.

Up to 25 centimetres of snow are expected in the Ottawa area. There's a risk of freezing rain in the easternmost sections of the province. Ontario police are warning that it's likely tomorrow morning's commute will be affected.

At Burlington International Airport, officials are suggesting people arrive early for their flights, both due to expected heavy crowds and schedule changes.

And Vermont public safety officials are urging precautions, including letting others know of your travel plans, slowing down and bringing a flashlight and charged-up cell phone.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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