First Alert Weather In-Depth: Lake Erie Snow Squalls

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – It is that time of the year again! In all likelihood it will be time to practice those winter driving skills.

Here is the question.  Is it unusual to get snowfall this early in the season? If you look at the average date for the first measurable snowfall, that is November 8th.  And on average the first inch of snow usually arrives around November 20th for Rochester. So this is the time of the year that the snowfall usually begins. However, what is unusual is the amount of snow and the intensity of lake effect snow squall that will be developing off Lake Erie.

Our computer models are now showing the main emphasis is going to be on the west side – towards Buffalo.  Believe it or not, through the weekend they could see one to three feet of snow in the Buffalo area. And then closer to Rochester area, through the western suburbs, we could see anywhere from 3 to 8 inches. This lake snow will start Friday and continue off and on through the weekend. Obviously the snow will increase dramatically if you plan on traveling to the west. We need to emphasize that 30 or 40 miles will make a world of difference in the amount of snow and the exact timing.  So the forecast is subject to change. 

No surprise that the National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming Counties.  It will be a challenge for everyone, including the News10NBC First Alert meteorologists as we head into the weekend.