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After dumping several feet across the North Country, heavy lake effect snow shifts south Sunday

More than 5 feet of snow fells across parts of the Buffalo and Watertown areas from early Friday to late Saturday
Mike Groll
Office of the governor
More than 5 feet of snow fells across parts of the Buffalo and Watertown areas from early Friday to late Saturday

After more than 5 feet of lake effect snow fell across parts of the North Country from Friday night to Saturday night, the lake effect snow is expected to shift south across parts of Oswego and Oneida counties during the day Sunday.

According to the National Weather Service, Watertown picked up 57.4 inches of snow. The hamlet of Natural Bridge, located about 15 miles east of Fort Drum in Jefferson County, picked up 72.3 inches of snow.

Gov. Kathy Hochul was expected to deliver a storm briefing from Watertown Sunday, but weather conditions kept her from traveling, so the briefing was done virtually from Erie County.

National Weather Service

A lake effect snow warning is in effect for Oswego, northern Cayuga, Lewis and Oneida counties until early Monday morning. The lake snow warning for Jefferson County expires at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Accumulations could range from 2-3 feet for parts of Oswego County from Sunday to Monday morning.

Heavy lake effect snow also paralyzed parts of western New York, with Orchard Park, just south of Buffalo, picking up 77 inches of snow.

The snowfall in some spots ranked among the highest ever recorded in the area, rivaling the eye-popping amounts that fell during similar storms in 2014 and 1945.

The snowfall totals, which began accumulating Thursday night in some spots, “would be on the order of historic not only for any time of year but for any part of the country,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Frank Pereira, at NWS headquarters in College Park, Maryland.

The lake-effect storm, caused by cold air picking up moisture from warmer lakes, created narrow bands of windblown snow that dumped feet of snow in some communities, while leaving towns a short drive away relatively unscathed.

Gov. Kathy Hochul deployed about 70 members of the National Guard to help with snow removal in some of the hardest-hit areas near Buffalo.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Jason has served as WRVO's news director in some capacity since August 2017. As news director, Jason produces hourly newscasts, and helps direct local news coverage and special programming. Before that, Jason hosted Morning Edition on WRVO from 2009-2019. Jason came to WRVO in January of 2008 as a producer/reporter. Before that, he spent two years as an anchor/reporter at WSYR Radio in Syracuse.