Even by the standards of western New York, the amount of snow that fell on Friday was enormous, accumulating to eye-level in some places and forcing many seasoned drivers to remain off the roads. Erie County Undersheriff William J. Cooley said at a news conference Friday night as heavy, wet snow continued to fall, “I can say that our deputies have been simply completely bombarded with calls for service as it pertains to damaged motor vehicles and stranded motorists.”
“We beg the inhabitants to just, please, abide by the travel prohibition; once you’re out there on the streets, you very quickly become part of the problem.” Five feet of snow fell in at least two places. By Friday evening, there may have been 66 inches of snow in Orchard Park, the site of the Buffalo Bills’ relocated NFL game on Sunday. As of 8:30 p.m., Blasdell, which is eight miles from Buffalo, had 65 inches.
Two deaths were caused by the storm. According to earlier comments by County Executive Mark Poloncarz, two citizens of Erie County passed away as a result of heart problems brought on by shovelling or blowing snow. The post from Poloncarz read, “We extend our sincere condolences and caution, everyone, that this snow is incredibly heavy and dangerous.” He recommended people wait another day before attempting to clear the snow during the news conference.
In December 2001, Buffalo experienced its most three-day snowfall of 56.1 inches, according to CNN Meteorologist Brandon Miller. As of Friday morning, one part of the city had received nearly 20 inches of rain. Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said on CNN’s “The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer” that it can be quite dangerous in regions where the snow is falling so quickly. Fortunately, most of Buffalo’s metropolitan region is in decent condition. South Buffalo has been severely impacted.
The lake-effect snowstorm, according to Poloncarz, “struck the south towns of Buffalo with a vengeance, very hard, and all these areas are currently in a state of emergency.” As the area prepared to weather the storm:
• The National Weather Service in Buffalo said that it was snowing 1-3 inches in the area as of Friday evening.
• Buffalo has advisories elsewhere and a prohibition on driving in the southern portion of the city.
• Nearly 13 inches of snow fell on the Buffalo airport, which, according to FlightAware.com, resulted in the cancellation of roughly 70% of departing flights.
• Earlier this week, the NFL switched the Bills’ matchup with the Cleveland Browns to Detroit. On Saturday, the team plans to leave Buffalo.
• By 8 a.m., Hamburg, which is located about 15 miles south of Buffalo, had about 34 inches of snow.
• On Friday, all schools in Buffalo were closed. Erie County services are also.
In a previous statement, New York Governor Kathy Hochul urged citizens to exercise caution this weekend and called the storm a “big, massive” snowfall event that might be just as dangerous for human life as the snowstorm in November 2014 that killed 20 people in the Buffalo area.
Hochul issued an emergency declaration for 11 counties. The backyard of Nicole Erb’s Orchard Park home is a shambles, she told CNN early on Friday afternoon. She calculated that the snow around her house is roughly 4 feet deep.
Erb has experienced snow storms before because she has spent her entire life in western New York. She remarked, “We know how to handle it. It’s keeping people off the roads so that ploughs can do their work, checking in with your senior neighbours, and not using generators unnecessarily. But according to Poloncarz, the Erie County executive, even some of the workers ploughing roads were getting stranded.
“Drivers who shouldn’t be on the road are trapped in vehicles. Even snow ploughs are having trouble in the midst of the storm, he noted on Twitter. But according to Poloncarz, the Erie County executive, even some of the workers ploughing roads were getting stranded. “Drivers who shouldn’t be on the road are trapped in vehicles. Even snow ploughs are having trouble in the midst of the storm, he noted on Twitter.
What to Expect This Weekend
According to CNN meteorologist Taylor Ward, the snowfall relocated just a few miles south of the hardest-hit area early on Friday evening. However, it is anticipated that the snow band will move back to the north later in the evening and may perhaps move so far north that downtown Buffalo may experience significant snowfall once more overnight and early on Saturday.
By Saturday afternoon, most of the region had a reprieve as the snow has moved even further north. Before the snow stops early on Sunday, one last band passes through Saturday evening and into the early morning.
Through this weekend, the area will experience a protracted lake effect snow storm due to the continued spread of colder air. Buffalo-based National Weather Service forecasters said on Friday morning. Through tonight, there will be two strong lake effect snow plumes with snowfall rates of at least 3 inches per hour to the northeast of the lakes.
According to Miller, lake-effect snow occurs when extremely cold, windy conditions develop over a comparatively warm lake. For example, the lake can be 40 degrees while the air is zero degrees. Because of the instability brought on by the temperature clash, the harshest winter weather can occur. Parts of the Upper Peninsula and the western Lower Peninsula of Michigan are also affected by the storm, where high winds and heavy snow will also result in almost zero visibility and hazardous travel conditions.