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December 17. 2012 10:23PM

First winter storm puts skids on Monday commute in Granite State

MANCHESTER - New Hampshire residents can stop anticipating when New Hampshire will get its first major snowfall of the season.

It's here - at least for a short time.

Snow hit the state Sunday and continued into Monday, leaving as much as 6 to 7 inches in some areas northern areas and 2-4 in others. And whether it was a little snow or a lot, conditions across the state were slick as Granite Staters went back to work. Accidents were reported throughout the state as drivers who didn't have much wither weather to deal with last year received a healthy dose.

"People are taking it slow and that's a good thing," said Laura McCarthy, operations supervisor for the state's Traffic Management Center in Concord.

Conditions were slick again for the evening commute Monday and the National Weather Service had winter weather advisories in effect for much of the state.

New Hampshire State Police Sgt. Jim Fogarty said conditions Monday night around Troop E's post in West Ossipee were slippery and there had been a handful of accidents, but fewer than he expected.

"It seems like folks have heeded the winter weather warnings," Fogarty said.

They may have to for another day or two, depending on location.

Another round of weather is passing through, but with rising temperatures, it will be mostly rain dousing the state, other than a few cold pockets where the temperature will still be below freezing, said Eric Sinsabaugh, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine.

"This rain is going to create quite a mess. You've got the ground frozen, which will lead to a lot of runoff that could result in some standing water," Sinsabaugh said.

With temperatures in the upper 30s and lower 40s expected for the next few days, there is no danger of that water freezing again.

Sinsabaugh said another round of rain is coming through late this week, but temperatures will remain above freezing in most areas.

He said temperatures in the state should be back to seasonably normal - or colder - by early next week.

dalden@newstote.com

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