Howling winds and lake effect snow in CNY

Westdale at 5:30 AM Friday / photo by Jennie Grass

Central New York is again knee deep in the middle of the winter. Some of us can really say this literally. As expected, lake effect snow developed last night and now continues across a large chunk of north-central New York. During the overnight and early morning hours, many sections of Oswego and northern Oneida counties picked up between 10 and 20 of snow. For instance, the city of Oswego had as much as 19 of snow as of 9:00 AM. The smaller town of Redfield on the Tug Hill Plateau also received 19 through mid-morning. Westdale, located in northwestern Oneida county picked up 16 of snow through 6:00 AM. All of these spots have seen more snow since these reports. In fact, more lake effect snow will continue through the afternoon and overnight in a large spray east and southeast of Lake Ontario. In fact, another 4 to 8 of snow is likely through 7:00 PM especially north of the Route 31 corridor, with the best chance at 8-12 of snow in persistent squalls over Oswego, & northwestern Oneida counties.

Unfortunately, more lake effect snow is likely overnight. A continuing west-northwest wind will likely produce a large spray of snow with imbedded heavier squalls. An additional 4 to 8 inches of snow will be most likely north of Route 31 with the best chance at 8-12 of snow in persistent squalls once again over Oswego, & northwestern Oneida counties.

Blowing snow and drifting snow is making driving conditions even worse. Lake effect snow on its own can create near-whiteout conditions. When you have wind speeds in excess of 30 MPH in gusts, especially over higher elevations and exposed spots, near blizzard like conditions are even more likely especially where snow has fallen recently. With the conditions we have described, most areas north of Route 31 will have poor driving conditions through the afternoon and overnight. In fact, travel advisories have been issued for a number of locations in north-central New York. Please use extreme caution if you must travel. Better yet, perhaps wait until tomorrow when the weather looks to improve.

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