Snow with lake effect moves north; 40mph wind expected

A large lake-effect storm that dumped more than 5 feet in Orchard Park and Blasdell on Friday will continue to hit the region through the weekend.

Here’s what you can expect. (Updated Saturday at 6:30am)

Heavy lake-effect snow that blanketed the city of Buffalo overnight will move through northern counties of Erie and Genesee Saturday morning and afternoon before returning to the city later Saturday.

Additional snow accumulations of 8 to 16 inches are expected in those areas, the National Weather Service reported at 3:42 a.m. Saturday, with winds gusting up to 40 miles per hour.

“Travel could be very difficult to impossible,” warned the weather service. “Snow flying areas could significantly reduce visibility.”

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National Weather Service


“Lake snow will then shift north and west from (Buffalo) Saturday before falling back south into Sunday from Saturday night, with cold, blustery conditions to end the weekend and start the new work week,” the National said Weather Service.

While Buffalo takes over the snow, southern Erie County should get a break as the lake-effect snow band slowly drifts north.

However, conditions in the Southtowns remain “extremely hazardous,” according to the Erie County Department of Public Works. The department’s plows are getting stuck under newly fallen snow due to packed snow and ice, the department said in a Twitter post on Friday.

“Colder air will continue to sweep over the region, resulting in heavy lake-effect snow that will last through the weekend,” the weather service said.

A travel ban was reinstated earlier Friday for the city of Buffalo from William Street downtown to the city of Cheektowaga and all south, according to Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz.

‚ÄúPLEASE do not drive into or into this area. Conditions deteriorated very quickly,” he tweeted.

As of 11 p.m. Friday, the National Weather Service reported snowfall totaling 66 inches in Orchard Park, 65 inches in Blasdell and 61 inches in Hamburg.

By the time the storm ends Monday, southern Erie County could gain 1 foot to 2.5 feet. The Buffalo area will receive an additional 1 to 2 feet, while Niagara County will receive 8 inches to 12 inches more, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Liz Jurkowski.

The snow has closed portions of the Thruway and Routes 219 and 400, and a travel ban remains in effect for central Erie County.

Despite the ban, authorities are reporting numerous stuck vehicles in hard-hit areas, particularly in Hamburg.

In addition, the expressway is closed from exit 53 (I-190) to exit 59 (Dunkirk). No traffic is allowed to enter between these exits, the Thruway Authority said in a tweet.

This is how the storm will develop over the weekend:

The storm will remain in northern Erie and Genesee counties and Niagara County throughout Saturday.

A lake effect snow warning remains in effect in Buffalo and Batavia through 1 p.m. Sunday. It remains in effect until 7 a.m. Sunday in Niagara Falls.

The Weather Service is forecasting 6 to 8 inches of additional snowfall in Buffalo through Sunday and an additional 8 to 12 inches in Niagara Falls.

The storm will move south on Saturday night.

As it shifts south on Saturday, it will intensify and will return to 1 inch to 3 inches of snow per hour, the National Weather Service said.

“It will move south from Buffalo via the subway and arrive in Chautauqua County early Sunday morning,” Jurkowski said.

It will also be windy, with gusts of around 20 km/h.

The snow band will remain in Chautauqua County and southern Erie County, and it will be windy, with gusts up to 45 miles per hour.

“That’ll blow some of the snow around even if you’re not in the band,” Jurkowski said.

Another 8 to 12 inches could accumulate in southern Erie County, including Springville, through Sunday.

Sunday’s high is around 26.

Rain and snow showers are possible on Monday afternoon. It will be mostly sunny with a high near 36.

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