Cold grips the East Coast as lake-effect snow ramps up
A colossal band of snow stretching almost 500 miles hammered portions of the Great Lakes and the interior Northeast on Friday.
Early Friday morning, the single lake-effect snow band was producing reports of thundersnow and snowfall rates of 3 inches per hour. Called a „triple lake band,” it was picking up moisture from Lake Superior, Lake Huron and Lake Ontario resulting in extremely heavy snow over the Tug Hill Plateau of northern New York.
The largely ice-free Great Lakes are the reason why this snow event is so significant. For perspective, here’s a comparison of how little ice there is on the Great Lakes compared to average:
Total Great Lakes ice cover should be greater than 60 percent for the date. Instead, they were just 9.6 percent covered as of Thursday afternoon.
Blizzard warnings remain in effect for parts of upstate and western New York, where heavy snow with rates of up to 3 inches per hour and wind gusts up to 60 mph will lead to whiteout conditions and make travel impossible through Friday night. The snow is expected to diminish in intensity Saturday.
On Friday morning, the highest snow total so far was 28.5 inches in Copenhagen, New York. Additional snowfall totals through Saturday of 6-12 inches are likely, with locally higher amounts up to 24 inches still to come. The bull’s-eye for the heaviest totals will be in and around the Tug Hill Plateau of northern New York where total snowfall amounts will exceed 3 feet, and locally higher up to 4 feet.
For the rest of the East Coast, it will be a cold end to February and a chilly start to March this weekend. Temperatures 10-20 degrees below average will mean East Coast residents will need to bundle up through the weekend. This includes a large part of the Southeast where subfreezing temperatures are forecast Saturday and Sunday morning.
While traveling by plane on Feb. 26, Leigh Marts noticed a unique weather phenomenon covering the ground in Kansas, created by a storm one day prior.
In a photo he shared to Twitter on Wednesday, a narrow band of snow can be seen over parts of Kansas after a storm system came through on Tuesday.
|A snow storm track in Kansas captured from an airplane (Leigh Marts/@ltmarts)|
„I had never seen a snow band like that. I thought it was very interesting,” Marts told AccuWeather. „I have always been interested in weather and I knew that it was very odd.”
The storm that created the stripe of snow came through between 1 a.m. and 1 p.m. CST Tuesday.
|A closer look shows the line where the band of snow stops. (Leigh Marts/@ltmarts)|
„The intensity and specificity of this event was not unlike a lake-effect snow band, which can drop heavy amounts of snow in a narrow swath,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Jesse Ferrell said.
Ferrell said localized convergence of air combined with an upper-level pressure system created this narrow storm system because rising air creates clouds and leads to precipitation, similarly to lake-effect snow.
|The storm system that created the stripe of snow is shown in blue on radar.|
AccuWeather Meteorologist Alyson Hoegg called the band „extremely narrow and intense,” with the hardest hit areas getting over a foot of snow. At Sylvan Grove, up to 13 inches of snow fell.
|A satellite image shows the snowfall in Kansas from Tuesday. (NASA)|
Satellite data that has a high enough resolution to capture this kind of weather event has only been around for a few years, so Ferrell said it is hard to say how often storm systems like this occur.
„Narrow bands of snow like this one are notoriously difficult to predict because small changes in intensity or placement can mean big changes in snowfall totals over an area,” Hoegg said. „It is very similar to lake-effect snow. Any small changes in the placement of a lake-effect snow band could mean big changes in snowfall totals over a relatively small area.”
Over the past two days, temperatures in the area have jumped up to the 40s and 50s, causing much of the band to melt away.
Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.
After it hit the guiderail, the second truck’s trailer separated from the tractor and went over the guiderail, coming to rest on the Route 430 access ramp below the highway, police said.
Then the disconnected trailer’s load of yogurt spilled onto I-86 and the Route 430 access ramp, police said.
The driver of the second tractor-trailer, Tommy Stacy, 50, of Marion, Ohio, was treated for minor injuries. No tickets were issued.
The crash was likely due to bad weather, State Police Capt. Eric Balon told the Post-Journal in Jamestown.
The snowy conditions and the closed road because of the accident led to some minor secondary crashes, the paper said.
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This article originally appeared on New York State Team: More than 30,000 pounds of yogurt spilled on New York road