A lake-effect snow storm dropped several inches of snow in western New York early Friday, with snowfall totals expected to reach 4 feet in Buffalo by Sunday.
Eleven counties, including Buffalo, remained under a state of emergency Friday morning as a severe snowstorm hit the area.
New York State Twitter account buried photo of a yardstick 19 inch snow Shortly before sunrise in South Cheektowaga, west of Buffalo. “Keep staying off the roads and stay safe,” the tweet read.
Weather Channel meteorologist and storm chaser Jim Cantor, who was in the buffalo area On Friday, tweeted a benchmark photo showing 32 inches of snow “and counting” for nearby Hamburg, New York.
“Whether the city of Buffalo gets 4 feet or not is irrelevant,” the famed weather forecaster told Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz on Thursday. “You’re going to get some. I mean, as we know, Arie is going to get crushed.
Snow totals were expected to vary widely due to the characteristics of lake-effect snow, which is caused by cold air carrying large amounts of moisture from warmer lakes.
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How much snow is Buffalo getting?
Snow was falling at a rate of 5 inches per hour in the heaviest part of the snow band in southern Buffalo on Friday, according to AccuWeather senior meteorologist Paul Walker.
NWS Buffalo meteorologist Liz Jurkowski said the storm dumped at least 2 feet of snow in Hamburg, Orchard Park and West Seneca, south of Buffalo, early Friday.
“The snow is still on. We have a lot more time to go,” she said Friday morning.
At Buffalo Niagara International Airport, where flights to and from were canceled, the NWS saw 13 inches of snow Friday morning.
Thunderstorms hit Buffalo as lake effect snow warnings are issued
Thundersnow, which occurs when thunderstorms drop snow instead of rain, was recorded over several hours Thursday night in Buffalo, according to the National Weather Service. The NWS said thunderstorms will continue through Friday.
Trees fell and isolated by heavy, wet snow power cut in the Buffalo area, Polonkarz said.
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Meanwhile, a lake-effect snow warning remained in effect for Friday in Erie County.
Walker told USA TODAY, “The biggest problem with lake-effect snow is that it builds up on roofs and can cause them to collapse under the weight of the snow, not to mention power outages. “
Jarkowski said the warning was expected to change to a winter storm watch for southern Erie County by Saturday.
“When the snow band drifts up to Niagara County on Saturday, it will move back south on Saturday night, so when it comes down, 9 inches and more (of snow) is likely,” Jarkowski said.
Lake Effect Snow, Explanation: How does it happen and how much snow can it bring
Buffalo travel ban in force for some areas amid ‘treacherous’ driving conditions
Erie County issued a travel ban for non-emergency vehicles on Thursday. On Friday, it was downgraded to a travel advisory for Buffalo, although restrictions remained in place for other parts of the countyPoloncarz said.
Jarkowski told USA Today, “The roads are slick and covered with snow, and there is zero visibility in this band.”
“There are winds that are helping to blow around, limiting visibility,” said Jarkowski, who called the current Buffalo-area driving conditions “treacherous and terrible.”
Several roads were closed, including parts of the New York State Thruway. unsafe conditions, Reported by Hamburg District in Erie County drivers are stuck Many plowmen worked to clear snow on “very dangerous” roads.
Buffalo Webcams: Watch Live
Snow forecast for Buffalo this weekend
Walker said lake-effect snow and severe thunderstorms are expected to continue through Friday night and late into Saturday.
“There may be some shifting of these bands, so it won’t be the same places that get it all the time, but it looks like there will be some bands of ice coming off the lake tomorrow through Sunday,” Walker said.
Snowfall amounts were forecast to reach 4 feet, according to the NWS. “We’re still on track for that,” Jurkowski said.
Contributing: Victoria E. Freel, Democrat and Chronicle, The Associated Press