UPDATE: Travel ‘impossible’ for portions of Niagara Frontier; wind gusts in GLOW region to 70 mph | Public Service News


UPDATE, 7 p.m.: State Route 63 and Veterans Memorial Drive has reopened in Batavia. 

Also reopened is Route 33 (Pearl Street) in Batavia between Pearl Street and Donahue Road. The section had been closed due to downed wires.

UPDATE 4:30 p.m.: State Route 63 and Veterans Memorial Drive are closed in Batavia due to bad weather conditions, according to NY-ALERT.

In Livingston County, Route 15A and Lake Avenue in Lima has reopened between Dublin Street and Community Drive, according to NY-ALERT.

The location had been closed for about 5 hours due to tree, poles and wires being down.

The National Weather Service reports that a location near Lackawanna saw a 79 mph wind gust at 10:10 a.m., the highest recorded today.

Several other locations in Western New York saw gusts top 70 mph, including a 71 mph gust at 1:30 p.m. in Warsaw.

In Genesee County, the Weather Service reports a 66 mph gust in Batavia at 12:50 p.m., 56 mph in Batavia at 12:54 p.m., and 54 mph in the town of Alabama at 10:25 a.m.

A peak gust of 54 mph was recorded near Medina at 9:40 a.m.

In Livingston County, York saw a 53 mph gust about 9:55 a.m.

UPDATE, 3:30 p.m.: The Livingston County Sheriff’s Office reports that tractor trailer traffic is being shut down for westbound traffic on State highway 5&20 from Interstate 390 Exit 10 Avon and westbound traffic on Route 20A from 390 Exit 8 Geneseo until 7 p.m.

A winter weather advisory for Livingston County is in effect until 7 tonight.

Meanwhile, in the western portion of the state, including portions of Genesee and Orleans counties, the National Weather Service says that blizzard conditions are making travel impossible for portions of the Niagara Frontier.

The combination of a band of heavy snow and winds gusting to 65 mph is producing blizzard conditions. In this band, visibility is zero and there are numerous vehicles stranded on the roadways, the Weather Service said.

“Do not attempt to travel in this band,” the Weather Service said.

Route 63 remains closed from state Route 77 to Judge Road, according to an advisory from NY-ALERT.

At 3:25 p.m., a band of heavy snow was across the city of Buffalo, extending northeast across Cheektowaga, Williamsville, Clarence Center, and Akron. The band is expected to remain nearly stationary through sunset.

Locations to be affected include Buffalo, Cheektowaga, West Seneca, North Tonawanda Clarence, Lackawanna, Kenmore, Depew, Tonawanda, Amherst, Lancaster, Medina, Williamsville, Grand Island, Pendleton, Pembroke, Akron, Erie Basin Marina, Small Boat Harbor, and Blasdell.

This includes Interstate 90 between exits 48A and 55.

Temperatures have fallen into the single digits and dangerous wind chills approaching minus-20 degrees below zero.

UPDATE, 2:30 p.m.: NY-5 is closed in both directions between NY-77 and Boyce Rd due to disabled tractor trailer, according to an advisory from NY-Alert.

A travel ban is in effect for Genesee County.

Blizzard conditions have reported on the western half of Genesee County, with blowing and drifting snow causing zero visibility. Conditions are expected to worsen across the county through the afternoon into this evening.

UPDATE, 2 p.m.: A lake effect snow band will affect parts of Orleans, Genesee, Monroe, Niagara and northern Erie counties through 3:30 p.m.

At 1:15 p.m., the band was across much of northern Erie County and extending north into at least the southern to central portions of Niagara County. The band continues into far northwest portions of Genesee and Monroe counties and much of Orleans County, according to the National Weather Service.

The band is accompanied by winds of up to 70m mph, which can rapidly reduce visibility to near zero.

The band should remain stationary or move a few miles north through 3:30 p.m., according to the Weather Service.

Locations to be impacted include Buffalo, Cheektowaga, Niagara Falls, West Seneca, North Tonawanda, Clarence, Lockport, Lackawanna, Kenmore, Depew, Amherst, Tonawanda, Lancaster, Brockport, Medina, Albion, Hilton, Williamsville, Hamlin Beach State Park and Grand Island

This includes Interstate 90 between exits 48A and 54.

UPDATE, 1:15 p.m.: A travel ban is in effect for Genesee County.

The ban means no travel for anyone but emergency vehicles such as police, fire, ambulance and snow plows, the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office siad.

Blizzard conditions have been reported on the western half of Genesee County, which blowing and drifting snow causing zero visibility, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Weather forecasts indicate similar conditions and expected to reach all of Genesee County later today and through Saturday.

Numerous accidents and stranded vehicles are blocking roadways and causing unsafe driving conditions for motorists and first responders, according to Sheriff Bill Sheron.

“For your safety and the safety of first responders and highway snow removal personnel this holiday weekend, please stay off the roads until conditions improve,” Sheron said.

Genesee County Manager L. Matthew Landers has declared a local state of emergency for Genesee County due to the blizzard-like conditions.

UPDATE, 11:45 a.m.: A lake effect snow band accompanied by winds of up to 70 mph is affecting parts of southern Erie, Wyoming, Orleans, Genesee, Niagara and northern Erie counties, reports the National Weather Service.

The band can rapidly reduce visibility to near zero.

At 11:27 a.m., a lake effect snow band was across much of northern Erie County and extending northeast into southeast portions of Orleans and northwest portions of Genesee counties. The band is expected to slowly move northward increasingly into Southern Niagara County between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Locations to be affected include Buffalo, Cheektowaga, Niagara Falls, West Seneca, North Tonawanda, Clarence, Lockport, Lackawanna, Batavia, Kenmore, Depew, Amherst, Tonawanda, Lancaster, Hamburg, Medina, Albion, Williamsville, Darien Lakes State Park and Grand Island.

This includes Interstate 90 between exits 48 and 57.

Conditions can deteriorate rapidly in winter weather situations. Be prepared for snow or ice covered roads. Slow down and allow extra time to reach your destination, the Weather Service advise.

Original story:

An arctic cold front is expected to quickly work northeast across Western New York this morning, reports the National Weather Service.

Rain will continue to change over to snow with temperatures quickly falling below freezing behind the front.

This change over to snow has already occurred across Chautauqua County and will work northeast across the Niagara Frontier through 10 a.m. Wind will also pick up, with wind gusts expected as high as 65 to 70 mph today into tonight.

With temperatures quickly falling below freezing, any wet surfaces that have not been treated will have the potential to flash freeze creating hazardous travel conditions.

If traveling across the area expect conditions to rapidly change and deteriorate throughout the day today.

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Check back for updates as the storm develops.

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Here’s a list of weather advisories from the National Weather Service:

n Blizzard warning in effect to 7 a.m. Sunday for Genesee, Orleans, Niagara and Erie counties.

Blizzard conditions expected. Total snow accumulations of 1 to 3 feet. Winds gusting as high as 70 mph Friday and Friday night. A rapid switch from rain to snow with sharply falling temperatures into the teens and single digits will result in a flash freeze on Friday. Blizzard conditions will develop Friday afternoon lasting into Saturday night.

Travel will be very difficult to impossible at times. Strong winds will cause significant blowing and drifting snow, frequently reducing visibilities to zero. Travel is strongly discouraged.

Very strong winds could cause extensive tree damage and numerous power outages. The cold wind chills as low as 10 to 20 below zero could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes.

n Winter storm warning in effect to 1 a.m. Monday for Wyoming, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties.

Heavy snow and strong winds expected. Total snow accumulations of 1 to 2 feet in most persistent snows. Winds gusting as high as 60 mph. A rapid switch from rain to snow with sharply falling temperatures into the teens and single digits will result in a flash freeze on Friday.

From Friday afternoon through most of the weekend, very strong winds, lake effect snow, and blowing snow will produce localized blizzard conditions.

The greatest snowfall amounts will be across far northern Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties, and northwestern Wyoming County.

Travel for the holiday weekend, including Friday, will be very difficult to impossible. Widespread blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility. Very strong winds could cause extensive tree damage and numerous power outages. The cold wind chills as low as 25 below zero could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes.

Widespread accumulating snow will create dangerous travel conditions.

n Winter weather advisory in effect from 10 a.m. Friday to 7 p.m. Saturday for Livingston and Ontario counties. Also, Wayne, northern Cayuga and Oswego.

Snow and strong winds expected. Total snow accumulations of 1 to 3 inches. Winds gusting as high as 50 mph will result in areas of blowing snow. A rapid switch from rain to snow with sharply falling temperatures into the teens will result in a flash freeze Friday.

Travel could be very difficult. Widespread blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility. Gusty winds could bring down tree branches resulting in some power outages. The cold wind chills as low as 10 to 20 below zero could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes.

Periods of snow will result in snow covered roads and limited visibilities. Slow down and use caution while driving.

n Winter storm warning will be in effect from 10 a.m. Friday to 7 a.m. Sunday for Monroe County.

Heavy snow and strong winds expected. Total snow accumulations of 6 to 10 inches. Winds gusting as high as 60 mph. A rapid switch from rain to snow with sharply falling temperatures into the teens and single digits will result in a flash freeze on Friday. From Friday afternoon through most of the weekend, very strong winds, lake effect snow, and blowing snow will produce localized blizzard conditions.

Greatest snow accumulation across western portions of the county.

Travel for the holiday weekend, including Friday, will be very difficult to impossible at times. Areas of blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility with whiteouts and localized blizzard conditions possible. Winds this strong could cause tree damage and numerous power outages. Cold wind chills as low as 10 to 20 below zero this weekend could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes.

Widespread accumulating snow will create dangerous travel conditions.

n A wind chill watch will be in effect from 5 p.m. Friday through noon Saturday for Steuben County.

Dangerously cold wind chills possible. Wind chills as low as 25 below zero. Southwest winds 25 to 35 mph with gusts of 40 to 50 mph. The cold wind chills could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes.

In addition to cold wind chills, temperatures will quickly drop below freezing late Friday morning and through the afternoon. This will likely result in a flash freeze and icy road conditions.

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