Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency Thursday morning over forecasts of historic, early and potentially paralyzing weather for the state and particularly the city of Buffalo.
Ahead of the winter storm forecast upstate, I am declaring a State of Emergency effective tomorrow morning.
We are deploying emergency assets & are in constant contact with local officials.
New Yorkers: Remain vigilant & avoid unnecessary travel during hazardous conditions.
— Governor Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) November 16, 2022
The governor issued the warning over concerns of a lake-effect snowstorm heading for Buffalo and the surrounding area, bringing anywhere from three to six feet of snow over the rest of the week, according to the National Weather Service. Snow has already started to coat Lake Ontario and Lake Erie, with ongoing precipitation expected to cultivate a “paralyzing snowfall” that could be “potential high-impact” and “long-duration” throughout western New York state.
Fox Weather suggested that snow could potentially fall at a rate of 3 inches an hour and an extremely rare weather event known as “thundersnow,” in which snowfall comes with an intense thunderstorm, could also hit the state.
The weather over New York throughout the weekend could render travel almost impossible, according to AccuWeather. The rare, early-season phenomenon could land in the weather history books.
“These early-season events can be potent, as lake water temperatures are still quite mild compared to the middle to the latter part of winter,” AccuWeather meteorologist Matt Benz noted. (RELATED: ‘Co-operate Or Perish’: UN Chief Loses It At Climate Summit)
Almost exactly eight years ago, a similar event took place, with more than 65 inches of snow falling just south of Buffalo, dubbed “snowvember,” Fox Weather noted. First responders are already preparing themselves and their crews for the worst, with the potential for roof collapses and power outages from downed lines throughout the state, the New York Post reported.