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Squalls dump unusual amount of snow on New York state

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BUFFALO: Parts of western New York state woke up on Friday to nearly two feet of “lake effect” snow, about half of the total accumulation that forecasters say squalls blowing in from Lake Erie could dump on Buffalo and other cities this weekend.

The squalls could persist through Sunday, creating sporadic bursts of intense snowfall along narrow bands that could amount to over four feet of snow in some locations.

By Friday, the accumulating deep snow had knocked out power to some customers, forced the closure of segments of the New York thruway and triggered flight cancellations at Buffalo Niagara International Airport.

The prospect of over four feet of powder on the ground by Sunday prompted the National Football League to move an important game to Detroit, Michigan.

As of early Friday, road travel bans remained in effect for much of the central part of Erie county.

Officials lifted road restrictions, at least temporarily, and instead issued travel advisories in the northern and southern parts of the county, including Buffalo, where about a foot of snow had fallen. Buffalo is New York state’s second most populous city with some 278,000 residents. Nearly 6,500 customers were without power in the Buffalo area as of Friday morning.

“What we are talking about is a major, major storm,” New York Governor Kathy Hochul said on Thursday, a day after she declared a state of emergency in the Buffalo area. The storm developed as temperatures for the region, and much of the northern United States, plunged 10 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit below average for this time of year.

Published in Dawn, November 19th, 2022

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