- “Heavy lake-effect snow started off Lake Erie and Lake Ontario late Wednesday,” said AccuWeather meteorologist Renee Duff.
- With periods of near-zero visibility, the snow could “paralyze” the hardest-hit communities, including Buffalo.
- Lake effect snow events typically occur from late autumn to the first part of winter.
Snow has started.
AccuWeather forecasters say a blockbuster lake-effect snow storm will blanket some places in western New York with snow, halting travel and possibly writing new marks in the weather history books.
“Heavy snow began falling off Lake Erie and Lake Ontario late Wednesday, and meteorologists say the snow is only one phase of a historic and multi-day snow event,” said Accuweather Meteorologist Renee Duff.
national weather service said the snow could cripple the most affected communities, including Buffalo, with periods of near-zero visibility.
Several feet of snow is expected in western New York
Several feet of heavy lake-effect snow is expected in parts of western New York this week, according to the weather service in Buffalo.
Forecasters issued several lake-effect snow warnings for the week in the Buffalo area, including one warning beginning Wednesday night and saying that up to 4 feet of snow could fall in parts of the area by Saturday evening.
Weather Service meteorologist David Thomas described an “intense swath of lake-effect snow” at a rate of 3 inches per hour several times over three days.
The journey, he said, could be “very difficult to impossible”.
Traffic is restricted on some highways
From 4 p.m. Thursday until further notice, all commercial traffic is banned on a section of the New York State Thruway, between Exit 46 in Henrietta and the Pennsylvania state line. The state Department of Transportation has banned commercial vehicles on other Buffalo area highways, including Interstates 190, 290 and 990.
In addition, New York Gov. Cathy Hochul declared a state of emergency on Thursday morning in response to the forecast for winter. She asked New Yorkers in the Buffalo area to “avoid unnecessary travel during dangerous conditions” on Thursday and Friday.
“I want Western New Yorkers to take this seriously,” Hochul said.
Thomas said heavy snow is expected between Buffalo and the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport. Winds could gust up to 35 mph, which could create some rough road conditions.
Browns-Bills game may be affected
Snow warnings also included nearby Orchard Park, where the NFL’s Buffalo Bills are scheduled to play the Cleveland Browns at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Sunday is also predicted to be a chilly and windy day, with predicted highs near 30 degrees and gusts up to 25 mph.
Weather.com said in addition to western New York, lake-effect snow is likely over the next few days in western and upper Michigan, northern Indiana, northeast Ohio and northwest Pennsylvania.
More than 17 inches of snow was reported as of Thursday morning at one location in Northeast Ohio Weather Service in Cleveland Told.
What is lake effect snow? Here’s how it happens and how much snow it could bring with it.
Lake-effect snow is common in November
AccuWeather said lake-effect snow events typically occur from late autumn to the early part of winter, when the Great Lakes are still not frozen over and the water relative to cold air blowing across the region from Canada It gets hot. As of Wednesday, water temperatures on the Great Lakes were nearing 50 degrees.
Contribution: The Associated Press. Freel reports for the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.