Western New York braces for winter's first major snow storm; schools to close

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An early winter storm swept into western New York state on Thursday, prompting school closures and threatening to dump up to 4 feet (1.2 meters) of snow on Buffalo and other areas downwind of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario by late this weekend.

Erie County, which encompasses Buffalo, declared a state of emergency on Thursday and imposed a driving ban starting at 9 p.m. EST for all but authorized emergency travel.

Snowfall rates of 3 inches an hour were forecast in some locations to the south and east of the two Great Lakes starting late on Thursday, said Liz Jurkowski, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Buffalo. "This is considered an extreme weather event. That means it is dangerous. It is life threatening," she told a press briefing.

Visibility was expected to drop to zero, creating "white-out" conditions and making travel nearly impossible. Motorists were advised to stay off the roads starting late Thursday afternoon. The NWS said 1 to 2 feet of snow was expected to pile up in many locations through Sunday, with maximum accumulations likely to exceed 4 feet in or near Buffalo, which lies at the eastern end of Lake Erie and ranks as New York's second most populous city with some 278,000 residents.

Source: Education Headlines (educationheadlines.net)

 

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