Medina Journal-Register — In anticipation of Disney’s latest animated feature “Frozen,” Western New Yorkers woke today expecting the first major winter storm of the season. A winter storm warning is in effect for the area through 1 a.m. Thursday.
“It definitely looks like it’s going to hit,” said Jim Mitchell, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Buffalo. “It’s not lake effect snow but more of a widespread event. All of Western New York will see snow, not just certain areas.”
The storm, which is coming up from the southern states, will hit different areas in different ways, Mitchell explained. For example, areas in northwest Niagara County “may only get two to four or three to five inches” of snow. The total snowfall predictions increase as one moves east.
“The southeast corner of Niagara County could get up to the six to nine or ten inch range, and in Orleans County you’re looking at eight to ten inches in most parts, with maybe 12 inches in southeastern parts of the county,” Mitchell said.
With the storm not lake effect in nature, the snow will be more dense rather than fluffy and light. Mitchell added the accumulation will be more gradual than a lake effect event. The cold air off the lake will add moisture to the arriving storm and enhance the snowfall, though.
“That’s one good thing about this: we won’t see fast accumulation and highway departments and the department of transportation know what’s coming,” Mitchell noted. “They should be able to keep up with the snowfall. They have enough equipment.”
However, Mitchell stated the biggest issue with the storm is that the bulk of it will hit today, which is traditionally the busiest travel day of the year. He urged caution to those who cannot avoid the roads.