“Thunder Snow” Hit the Buffalo Area at the Start of the Monster Storm

Buffalo, NY New York Gov. Cathy Hochul declared a state of emergency for parts of western New York on Thursday. a dangerous storm That had the potential to drop several feet of snow on some communities along the eastern edge of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.

The worst snowfall was expected in Buffalo, where the National Weather Service said up to 4 feet could fall in some places through Sunday, with periods of near-zero visibility. Other areas may have a foot or less of lake-effect snow, caused by cold air carrying abundant moisture from the warmer lakes.

Snow began falling in Buffalo on Thursday evening, and heavy snow accompanied by thunder and lightning – so-called “thunder snow” – moved in late Thursday and early Friday, quickly covering the ground and roads, As noted by the National Weather Service’s Buffalo office:

CBS Buffalo affiliate WIVB-TV said snow was falling at a rate of 3 inches per hour late Thursday, with up to 5 inches per hour possible.

The heaviest snowfall was expected till Friday evening, with further falls expected from Saturday to Sunday.

Chris Luft reported on Storyful about the conditions late Thursday:

Hochul’s state of emergency covers 11 counties and includes a ban on commercial truck traffic from a section of Interstate 90. Erie County Executive Mark Polonkarz also issued a driving ban.

Administrators canceled Friday classes for students in Buffalo and throughout the county. Amtrak stations in Buffalo, Niagara Falls and DePue closed on Thursday and will remain closed on Friday, The Buffalo News reported, while several flights in and out of Buffalo Niagara International Airport were canceled.

“I want Western New Yorkers to take this seriously,” Hochul said.

Prior to the storm, the NFL announced that it would move the Buffalo Bills’ Sunday home game against the Cleveland Browns to Detroit. The switch in sites means the Bills will play back-to-back games in Detroit, as they are scheduled to play the Lions on Thanksgiving.

The weather service warned of 2 feet or more of snow accumulation on the eastern shore of Lake Ontario in northern New York and parts of northern Michigan through Sunday.

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