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Lake Effect Snow Buries Upstate New York Town

4 Feb 2017, 8:37 pm

After a round of heavy lake effect snow that began on Wednesday, Redfield, New York is currently sitting under an amazing five to six feet of snow. Redfield has a population of 550 people and is located in Oswego County, which issued a state of emergency on Friday. Redfield is also under a travel ban as even snow plows are getting stuck trying to carve their way through all the snow.


A man shovels heavy lake effect snow off this North Redfield, NY home on Saturday to avoid a roof collapse.
Heavy snow has almost swallowed this 6-foot high fence in Redfield, NY.

While the situation in Redfield and surrounding areas is serious, the impacts are rather localized. Lake effect snow bands are notorious for producing heavy snow across narrow swaths of land. Areas to the north or south of a lake effect snow band will often only see a few inches of accumulation. The image below helps illustrate this:

Redfield is located in the Tug Hill region of New York which averages more than 200 inches of snow annually. Since Redfield is located east of Lake Ontario, it is in prime position to see heavy bands of snow coming off the lake. You can easily make out the darker blue shading around Redfield that denotes the heavier snowpack of the Tug Hill Plateau and the Adirondack Mountains to the east.

By comparison, areas along I-90 just 50 miles to the south only have about 2 to 4 inches of snow currently on the ground. Overall, 93% of the Northeastern United States currently has snow cover with an average depth of 11.3 inches. That’s much higher than a year ago when only about half of the Northeast had snow on the ground.

For WeatherNation, Meteorologist Corey Christiansen

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