WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo has directed state agencies to prepare emergency response assets in advance of a weather system that is expected to drop more than a foot of lake effect snow in some parts of New York State beginning Friday afternoon.
The lake effect snow is expected to begin northeast of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario on Friday and continue through Saturday. An accumulation of at least a foot of snow is expected with wind gusts up to 35 mph.
The combination of heavy snow and gusting winds could produce hazardous travel conditions, especially on Friday evening.
“This latest storm could throw a curveball to Upstate commuters Friday morning with a dangerous combination of heavy snow and strong winds,” Governor Cuomo said. “State agencies remain at the ready with emergency assets to assist our local partners in the western part of the state with this round of lake effect snow, and I’m urging all travelers to take their time and play it safe if they have to drive during this storm.”
The heaviest snow is expected off Lake Erie from the Buffalo metro area to Niagara Falls, with strong winds blowing lake effect snow further inland.
Off Lake Ontario, the heaviest snows will blanket the northern portions of Tug Hill up to the Saint Lawrence River. More than a foot of snow is expected in these areas. Wind speeds could be greater than 35 mph at times, causing considerable blowing and drifting snow, reducing visibility and creating hazardous travel conditions. Lake effect snow showers are expected to diminish in intensity Saturday night.
Other locations throughout the state could see up to four inches of snow during the morning hours, especially in higher elevations, before changing over to rain as daytime temperatures increase toward 40 degrees across Central New York, the Capital Region and Mid-Hudson Region.
Winter Storm Watches have been issued for locations along Lakes Erie and Ontario, including Erie, Genesee, Wyoming, Jefferson and Lewis counties through early Sunday morning.