NWS-Public Information Statement-winter weather awareness week in New York
Funny timing, it's going to be 75 here today..
Statement as of 8:00 am EDT on October 26, 2010
... This week is winter weather awareness week in New York...
Governor David Paterson has proclaimed the week of October 24th to
October 30th as winter weather awareness week in the Empire state.
The National Weather Service joins with the governor and the New
York state emergency management agency in promoting winter weather
safety to all new yorkers.
Heavy snow can immobilize a region and paralyze a city, stranding
commuters, closing airports, stopping the flow of supplies and
disrupting services. Accumulations of snow can cause roofs to
collapse and knock down trees and power lines. Homes and farms may
be isolated for days. The cost of snow removal, repairing damages,
and the loss of business can have severe economic impacts and cities
Heavy snow in western and northern New York is defined as 7 inches
or more falling in a 12 hour period or 9 inches or more falling in a
24 hour period.
Most heavy snow in western and northern New York is caused by lake
effect. As Arctic air sweeps across the relatively warm waters of
the lakes Erie and Ontario, heavy snow forms and falls downstream.
Snowfall rates can exceed 4 inches an hour which is enough to
overwhelm most snow removal crews and equipment. Strong winds often
accompany lake effect snow which cause deep drifts and reduce
Heavy snow can also fall as the result of large storms called nor
easters which move up the Atlantic coast. Whereas lake effect snow
usually falls in narrow bands, snow from nor easters can blanket
thousands or square miles.
Looking back at the historical record, western and northern New York
has had its share of dangerous winter storms. One only has to
remember back to October of 2006 to be reminded how dangerous
early season winter storms can be. Up to two feet of heavy wet snow
fell on Leaf laden trees across the Niagara Frontier. The resulting
power outages lasted for up to two weeks.
Among all storms, the blizzard of 1977 ranks as one of the worst.
While only about a foot of snow fell from January 28th to February
1st, wind gusts up to 75 miles an hour in Niagara Falls and 69 miles
an hour in Buffalo whipped up snow drifts over 20 feet deep, nearly
topping telephone poles. Thousands of people were stranded away from
their homes as roads became clogged and impassable. Twenty-nine
people died, many frozen to death in their buried cars. President
Carter proclaimed a federal disaster over a seven County area.
On November 20, 2000 a crippling lake effect storm struck the city
of Buffalo and the adjacent northern suburbs. During the afternoon
and evening hours, snow fell at the rate of 2 to 4 inches per hour.
Thunder and lightning accompanied the blinding snow. By the time it
ended, two feet of snow piled up, and traffic came to a standstill.
Thousands were left stranded away from home. They spent the night
in cars, buses, schools, supermarkets, or at work.
People living in and around Rochester will not soon Forget the
blizzard of March 4, 1999. Over two feet of snow accompanied by
strong winds forced the closing of the New York state thruway and
the stranding of thousands of motorists. The National guard was
called on to help remove cars and Rescue the motorists. Power
outages affected over 10,000 customers.
You can always get the latest information on threatening winter
storms, 24 hours a day, by tuning into NOAA Weather Radio the voice
of the National Weather Service.
The National Weather Service encourages you to prepare now for heavy
snows and the effects it may have on the region.