Discussion: Winter is still hanging on strong in parts of Upstate New York. Lake Effect Snow has been locked in on areas east of Lake Ontario, allowing for accumulations of snow in the feet range. For many across the Tug Hill Plateau, this is a common theme during the winter due to the unique topography of the region. The Tug Hill Plateau is a region of upland terrain located across portions of Oswego, Lewis, Jefferson, and Oneida counties in Upstate New York. This area is east of Lake Ontario making it a prime location for that heavy snowfall. Meteorologists forecast that 3-4 feet of snow could accumulate when the snow is done falling.
With these high amounts of snow falling, it’s important to know what the various watches and warnings mean. A winter storm warning is issued when snowfall of at least 6 inches is forecasted in twelve hours or 8 inches is forecasted in 24 hours. For a blizzard warning to be issued, visibility has to be lower than 1/4th of a mile due to blowing or falling snow with sustained winds or wind gusts of 35 mph for at least three hours. These are dangerous weather conditions that will make driving very unsafe, due to whiteout conditions and visibilities near zero. Winter storm warnings and blizzard warnings are currently in effect.
With heavy snow expected and falling, be prepared with the essentials at home and in your car! Most local agencies will strongly advise against traveling in these conditions, but if you must please have a safety kit in your car and have supplies in your cupboards or pantry. Make sure to have any medications on hand you might need in case you cannot leave your home during the storm or if you’re snowed in afterward. If you can do so safely, check on your elderly neighbors or anyone who might be at risk during these types of events! Follow your local National Weather Service and local meteorologists for up to date, real-time information!
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©2020 Meteorologist Shannon Scully