More than 30 inches of snow have fallen in parts of upstate New York after a lake-effect snow band hammered portions of the Great Lakes and the northeast on Friday.
The highest snowfall totals were reported in Carthage, with 40 inches, and near Watertown, with 31.7 inches, CNN meteorologist Taylor Ward said.
Forecasters had urged residents to limit travel in anticipation of blizzard conditions in the region, which had already seen up to 12 inches of snow in some parts. As of Friday afternoon, there weren’t any active blizzard warnings but a lake effect snow warning was issued for areas off Lakes Erie and Ontario, Ward said.
The lake-effect snow happens when very cold, windy conditions form over a not-so-cold lake. For example, the lake might be 40 degrees and the air zero degrees.
Lake-effect snow generally doesn’t fall over the water because it needs the friction and topography of the land to bring out the snow. It can also pile up with amazing speed. Upstate New York and the cities of Rochester, Buffalo and Syracuse are the hot spots for lake-enhanced snow in the United States, forecasters say.
The lake-effect snow warnings for the Great Lakes are scheduled to expire by Saturday morning, according to CNN meteorologists and the National Weather Service.
Forecasters expected wind gusts up to 60 mph throughout Friday but slower winds were recorded and and no tree damage or power outages were reported.