Lake effect conditions shut down part of North Country
Pounding snow in the North Country and bitterly cold temperatures across the state will around for at least one more night.
Government officials in New York state from the governor on down are urging residents in parts of northern, central and western New York to stay indoors as lake effect snow, wind chill advisories and frigid temperatures are causing dangerous conditions.
Much of the North Country simply shut down. Some villages and towns declared states of emergency. Schools, businesses, and government offices and even the Salmon Run Mall closed for all or part of the day.
The National Weather Service and various other government officials says travel in the North Country and western New York is extremely dangerous and driving should be avoided. A 75-mile stretch of I-81 from the Canadian border to Brewerton is closed, and the Gov. Andrew Cuomo shut down parts of the New York State Thruway as well. And car accidents on smaller roads were reported throughout the North Country.
The Tug Hill and areas to the east of Lake Ontario are feeling the brunt of it in this region, according to the National Weather Service. Meteorologist Dave Nicosia says the Eastern shore of Lake Ontario is due for a lot more snow.
"Certainly they're going to be measuring in feet," said Nicosia. "Snow fall accumulations right now look like they're going to be somewhere in the 20 to 40 inch range, up in that area. So it's just insane amounts of snow."
Parts of western New York are expecting three feet of total accumulation of snow and winds gusting over 40 miles per hour. On top of that, temperatures across the region are in the single digits or below zero.
and are forecasted to be that way for at least one more night.
But Nicosia says New York isn’t getting hit with cold air as badly as other parts of the country.
"So it's just a see-saw here in the East. In the Northern Plains and other parts of the country, it's just been cold. So, there are some parts of the country and up into Canada that are having a historically cold winter," he said. "We're kind of on the edge of it, even though it seems like it's been really darn cold. It could be a lot worse.
Nicosia says it will warm up later this week back into double digits, but the pattern is “reloading” and we could get another arctic blast next week.