The lake effect snow machine has been switched on once again in Western New York and the Finger Lakes. Everyone is fair game for a little bit of snow, but some areas will do more shoveling than others.
Some of the coldest air that our area has seen in a year’s time is making its way through the region today. As it deepens and passes over the relatively warmer waters of both lakes Erie and Ontario, lake effect snows will form.
The first lake to react: Lake Erie. That snow band will live over Wyoming County and the western Southern Tier for most of the morning. However, as the winds shift, that band will makes its way north into the afternoon *just in time for the afternoon drive*. That band will really grow some legs stretching all the way across Genesee, Monroe, Wayne county and all the way into the Adirondacks. As a result, drivers should prepare for some true winter driving conditions later today.
The second lake to react, of course, will be Lake Ontario. Expect lake effect snow to come in off that body of water to our north later Thursday morning and again on Thursday night.
Note some of the lake effect snowfall projections here and that no one spot gets hit with a massive dumping of snow. This is because the lake effect snow bands will be shifting about quite a bit. We will need to keep an eye on the band over Lake Ontario though, as when it comes ashore Thursday it will produce brief white-outs and some enhanced snow totals along the Route 104 corridor.
The combination of this lake snow in conjunction with the drastic drop in temperature will make for some brutal conditions over the next 48 hours as wind chills will be below zero for many hours Thursday into Friday.
The bottom line: all of us need to brace for a whole lot of shivering, and certainly at least some shoveling.