Heavy snowfall Parts of western New York state could see the worst of the historic storm bring down trees and damage property through Friday.
“Snowfall will create near-zero visibility, make travel impossible, damage infrastructure, and cripple hard-hit communities.” National Weather Service said Thursday. “Extremely cold air will accompany this event, with average temperatures in the low 20s over the weekend.”
“Historical snowfall will exceed 4 feet around Buffalo,” Friday added.
About 6 million people in the five Great Lakes states — from Wisconsin to New York — are under snow warnings Friday, CNN meteorologist Haley Brink said. According to the National Weather Service, lake effect snow will continue into downwind areas of the Great Lakes through Sunday.
New York, the Lake of the Lakes and places east of Ontario could see more than 3 inches of snow per hour, along with occasional lightning and strong winds, the weather service warned.
“Snowfall with that intensity creates a danger of reduced visibility on the roads,” New York Gov. Cathy Hochul declared a state of emergency for 11 counties on Thursday.
“When it drops at that rate, it’s almost impossible to clear the road to travel safely,” Hochul said. “It won’t be safe for motorists to get back on the roads for a significant amount of time.”
As of Thursday afternoon, 130 miles of the New York State Thruway (Interstate 90) from Rochester and Buffalo to the Pennsylvania border have been closed to commercial traffic, Hochul’s office said. Other major interstates — including the 90, 290 and 990 — are also closed.
Urging residents to be cautious this weekend, Hochul described the storm as a “major, major” snowfall event that could be life-threatening. Blizzard of November 2014 It claimed 20 lives in the Buffalo area.
Also, officials in New York’s Erie County – which includes Buffalo – declared a state of emergency and imposed a driving ban starting Thursday night.
“(Storm) lake-effect snow is very heavy and can cause falling tree branches and damage to vehicles, property or power lines. Watch where you park and be aware of your surroundings when outside,” Erie County said. Officials wrote online.
The storm’s most intense snow is expected to hit the Buffalo area, where more than 4 feet could accumulate, making it the worst forecast in more than 20 years. The city’s highest three-day snowfall total was 56.1 inches, which occurred in December 2001, CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller said.
In fact, given the rate of snowfall, Buffalo can see a month’s worth of snow in just a few hours. That could make the month the snowiest November since 2000, when a total of 45.6 inches fell in the city for the entire month, Miller added.
Already, residents of Williamstown in Oswego County, near Lake Ontario, saw 24 inches of snow as of Thursday evening. According to Weather Service. In neighboring Oneida County, some places had 14 inches of snow in the 24 hours before Thursday evening. Weather Service.
Friday alone could bring more than 2 feet of snow, Miller says, making it one of the first three snow days on record in Buffalo.
“Heavy lake effect snow from Lake Erie with snowfall rates of 2-3″ per hour will continue to make for a very rough ride this evening east of the Buffalo metro area into Batavia and across Lake Ontario into Oswego County,” the National Weather Service in Buffalo said. said Thursday the night
“An additional 2-3 feet of snow is expected on Lakes Erie and Ontario, while 8-12″ is possible Sunday morning downwind of the other 3 lakes,” it added Friday.
Lake effect ice occurs when very cold, windy conditions build up over a relatively warm lake — meaning the lake might be 40 degrees when the lake is zero degrees, Miller explained. The temperature collision creates instability, which allows more extreme winter weather to occur.
Sunday’s NFL game between the Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns at New York’s Orchard Park was moved to Detroit due to a weather emergency, the league announced Thursday.
Other areas affected by the storm include parts of the Upper Peninsula and western Lower Peninsula of Michigan, where strong winds and heavy snow will cause zero visibility and unsafe travel conditions.
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