New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) took preemptive measures to warn and protect citizens amid forecasts of “historic, early, and potentially paralyzing weather,” according to the Daily Caller.
Hochul declared a state of emergency on Thursday morning, noting that residents should take precautions in advance of the winter storm — particularly those in the Buffalo region.
The governor tweeted: “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.”
The state of emergency declaration comes as meteorologists predict a powerful “lake-effect snowstorm” will hit the Buffalo region in the coming days.
The storm is expected to dump three to six feet of snow, according to the National Weather Service.
Colin McCarthy of US_Stormwatch tweeted: “The newest HRRR model run has 70 inches of snow falling in less than 24 hours just south of Buffalo, NY.”
As of early Thursday morning, the storm is building along the Lake Ontario and Lake Erie fronts. Weather forecasts predict a “paralyzing snowfall” of more than three inches per hour, yielding “potential high-impact” for a “long duration” throughout western New York state.
Fox Weather noted the high probability for a rare weather event known as “thundersnow”— which is when snowfall accompanies a thunderstorm.
AccuWeather noted that the “rare, early-season phenomenon” will make travel conditions extremely hazardous.
AccuWeather meteorologist Matt Benz warned:
“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,” he noted.
Fox Weather reported that approximately eight years ago, a similar storm dropped more than 65 inches of snow just south of Buffalo in a storm dubbed “snowvember.”
The New York Post noted the potential for power outages, downed powerlines and collapsed roofs. Hochul’s emergency declaration initiates the calling-up of first responders and the staging of snowstorm resources before the storm hits.