New York state is currently experiencing the first significant lake-effect snowstorm of the season, burying parts of the region under nearly 2 feet of snow. The storm intensified as cold air from Canada swept over the still-unfrozen Great Lakes, triggering a prolonged and intense snowfall. More than 3.3 million Americans along the eastern shores of lakes Erie and Ontario in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York are under Lake-Effect Snow Warnings, which are expected to persist until at least Wednesday.
Cities including Cleveland, Erie, Jamestown, Syracuse, Oswego, and Watertown are under these warnings, leading to widespread school closures. New York Governor Kathy Hochul has cautioned residents to exercise caution, particularly in areas where lake-effect snow bands form, creating hazardous travel conditions.
The snowstorm has already resulted in road closures, with reports of several commercial vehicles going off the road in Rensselaer County. Motorists are advised to seek alternate routes in affected areas.
The FOX Forecast Center anticipates heavy snow along the eastern shores of Lake Erie through Tuesday afternoon, gradually becoming lighter before winding down on Wednesday. The most substantial snowfall is expected east of Lake Ontario on the Tug Hill Plateau in central New York, where snowfall rates could exceed 2 inches per hour and even reach 3 to 4 inches per hour at times.
A distinctive feature of this weather event is thundersnow, where lightning occurs within the snowstorm. Thundersnow is a result of warm air being drawn into the snowstorm, creating a more convective and unstable atmosphere.
As the storm progresses, winds are expected to shift, sending the Lake Ontario snow band south toward the Syracuse metro area. Another round of heavy snow is predicted, potentially bringing 5 to 8-plus inches around Syracuse by Wednesday morning. The snow is anticipated to taper off by Wednesday evening.
⚠️TRAFFIC ADVISORY⚠️ there are multiple commercial vehicles off the roadway on I-90 westbound between exit 11 and 12 (Rensselaer County). Please seek alternate routes. pic.twitter.com/1GfbdEYYUq
— NewYorkStatePolice (@nyspolice) November 28, 2023
Thundersnow this afternoon as lake effect snow pummels parts of New York and Pennsylvania. pic.twitter.com/nJyGgajtsB
— CIRA (@CIRA_CSU) November 27, 2023