PHOTOS: Huge Lake-Effect Snows — More Than Four Feet in Some Places — Sock Upstate New York
As bitterly cold Arctic air slides in to the Northeast, the Great Lakes snow machine has shifted into overdrive. Parts of Upstate New York — mostly in western sections of the state and the Tug Hill Plateau — have been slammed with massive amounts of lake-effect snow.
Since the onset of the snow, late Sunday, locations south of Buffalo have reported more than four feet of snow and additional significant accumulations are in the forecast. When it stops, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that six feet of snow could have fallen.
Earlier Tuesday, the National Weather Service in Buffalo, N.Y. sent out a couple of tweets that help to illustrate just how much snow has blanketed the area. Those tweets suggest some towns off of Lake Erie — Lackawanna, West Seneca, Lancaster and Elma — could receive more then five feet of snow. While cities like Worth, Barnes Corners and Copenhagen — on the Tug Hill, off of lake Onatio — could top four feet of snow.
According to WGRZ, WeatherNation’s affiliate in Buffalo, the snow is having a tremendous impact on travel in the snow-ready region. “Many highways and roads are closed, cars stranded, and city travel bans are in effect. Do not travel in those areas. Route 219 is closed between I-90 and Route 39. Route 400 is closed between Union Road and Route 16. Tandem vehicles are banned on the thruway from Exit 46 (I-390) to Exit 61 (Ripley) beginning Tuesday at 6 a.m.”
They also advise — if you must travel outdoors — have a full tank of fuel and bring water, blankets and other provisions. In the event you become stranded, these provisions could help save your life until help arrives.
The storm has been so bad, that Erie County, N.Y. officials have declared a state of emergency. This means most area residents are prohibited from traveling and only emergency responders are allowed to be on the roads.
So when will this snow end?
The short answer is not in the short-term.
A special weather statement issued by the NWS in Buffalo — at 1:45 p.m. on Tuesday — read in part, “NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A LAKE EFFECT SNOW BAND CAPABLE OF PRODUCING SNOWFALL RATES OF 4 INCHES PER HOUR OR MORE…”
And as mentioned above, as much as two feet of additional snow could fall in the coming hours.
A reinforcing shot of cold air and a wind pattern favorable to lake-effect snow could keep the snow machine cranked up through the end of the week — with the exception of a brief reprieve on Wednesday.
This is a developing story and WeatherNation meteorologists will be keeping a close eye on the rising snowfall totals and and changes in the forecast.
Check out some of the incredible images coming out of the region, below.
Meteorologist Alan Raymond