Buffalo snow: Worst of what could be a historic snowstorm forecast to hit western part of New York today



CNN

Heavy snow sweeping across western New York state will linger into Friday, when the worst storm in history could bring down trees and damage property.

“Snowfall will result in near-zero visibility, difficult and impossible travel, infrastructure damage, and the paralysis of the hardest-hit communities,” the National Weather Service said Thursday. “Very cold weather will follow this event, with temperatures 20 degrees below normal forecast for the weekend.”

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Meteorologists warn snow events could ‘paralyze’ buffalo

“Historical snowfall of more than 4 feet is likely around Buffalo,” he added Friday.

About 6 million people in six Great Lakes states — from Wisconsin to New York — are under snow warnings Friday, CNN Meteorologist Haley Brink said. Snow produced over the lake-effect will continue through Sunday in the downwind area of ​​the Great Lakes, according to the National Weather Service.

Friday morning, the heaviest band of snow off Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, bringing snowfall rates of 2 inches per hour to cities in and around Buffalo and Watertown in New York.

As much as 4 feet of snow is expected in Buffalo, New York.

As the area braces for more:

• Commercial traffic has been banned on some roads, although some restrictions were replaced by travel advisories Friday morning.

• Flights have been canceled at Munding airport, which has received more than a foot of snow.

• The NFL moved Sunday’s Buffalo Bills game against the Cleveland Browns to Detroit.

• Parts of Oswego County near Lake Ontario received 2 feet of snow by Thursday evening.

• Munding area is expecting up to 4 to 5 feet. Hamburg, about 15 miles south of Buffalo, had nearly 34 inches by 8 a.m

• Buffalo public schools are closed Friday. So are Erie County services.

• Areas east of Lakes Erie and Ontario could get 3 inches or more of snow per hour, with occasional lightning and gusty winds.

Imploring residents to take caution this weekend, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul described the storm as a “major, major” snowfall event that could be as life-threatening as the November 2014 snowstorm that claimed the lives of 20 people in the Buffalo area.

“It’s the level of snowfall with that intensity that creates the danger of a lack of visibility on the road,” Hochul said Thursday as he declared a state of emergency for 11 counties.

“When it comes down to that level, it’s almost impossible to clear the road to make travel safe,” he said. “It won’t be safe for a considerable amount of time for motorists to get back on the road.”

Firefighters responded Thursday in Snyder, New York, to a vehicle crash on I-290.

Commercial traffic was prohibited Thursday afternoon for about 130 miles from the New York State Thruway (Interstate 90) in Rochester and Buffalo to the Pennsylvania border, Hochul’s office said. Other sections of major interstates — including 90, 290 and 990 — are also closed.

Later, officials in New York’s Erie County – which includes Buffalo – also declared a state of emergency and banned driving beginning Thursday night.

“The lake effect snow from (the storm) is very heavy and can cause tree limbs to fall and damage vehicles, property or power lines. Watch where you park, and be aware of your surroundings if you’re going outside,” Erie County officials wrote online.

The storm’s worst snow is expected to hit the Buffalo area, where more than 4 feet could pile up, making forecasts not seen in more than 20 years. The city’s highest three-day snowfall was 56.1 inches, which occurred in December 2001, CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller said.

Indeed, given the rate of snowfall, Buffalo could see a month of snow in just a few hours. That could make this month the snowiest November since 2000, when a total of 45.6 inches fell in the city during the month, Miller added.

Already, residents of Williamstown in Oswego County near Lake Ontario saw 24 inches of snow through Thursday evening, according to the weather service. In neighboring Oneida County, some spots were covered by 14 inches of snow in the 24 hours before Thursday evening, per the weather service.

Vehicles navigating the snow in Buffalo, New York.

Friday alone could bring more than 2 feet of snow, which would make it one of the top three snowiest days on record in Buffalo, according to Miller.

“Heavy lake effect snow on Lake Erie with 2-3″ snowfall rates per hour will continue to cause very difficult travel tonight for the Buffalo Metro area east to Batavia, and also in Oswego County outside of Lake Ontario,” National Weather Service. in the buffalo said Thursday at night

“Additional accumulations of 2-3 feet of snow are expected across lakes Erie and Ontario while 8-12” is likely to fall on the other 3 lakes by Sunday morning, he added Friday.

Lake snow-effect occurs when very cold, windy conditions form on a relatively warm lake — meaning the lake can be 40 degrees while the temperature is zero degrees, Miller explained. The temperature clash creates instability, which allows for the most extreme winter weather to occur.

Other areas affected by the storm include parts of the Upper Peninsula and Western Lower Peninsula of Michigan, where gusty winds and heavy snow will also result in zero clearance and unsafe travel conditions.



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