‘Snownado’ funnel spotted over Lake Erie amid record-breaking storm
The weather in upstate New York is twisted!
A rare “snownado” was spotted over Lake Erie Friday as the Buffalo region continues to be bombarded with lake-effect snow in what could become a record-setting storm.
The weather phenomena, similar to a waterspout, but with frozen precipitation, was spotted just after 8:30 a.m. by storm chaser Simon Brewer, who estimated it was about a mile off the coast of downtown Buffalo.
“Was close enough & clear enough can confirm it was a waterspout by definition,” Brewer tweeted, adding that he watched it rotate from the Erie Basin marina.
The snownado was one of several rare weather events associated with Friday’s massive lake-effect snow system, which also included thunder and lightning among the blizzard.
“The spin-ups — technically brief waterspouts — are relatively common on the Great Lakes,” Greg Diamond, a senior meteorologist at Fox Weather, told The Post. “But it’s relatively uncommon to have happen during a lake-effect snow event.”
“You only see it during the most extreme events,” he added.
Diamond called the storm a “historic event,” on track to break New York’s state-wide record for snowfall in a 24-hour period, with several hours yet to go.
That record was set in Oneida County, in the village of Camden, New York, when it was inundated with 50 inches of snow in one day back in 1966.
The National Weather Service’s most recent accumulation estimate shows that record already broken, with some 54 inches reported on the ground in the Erie County village of Orchard Park.
Diamond said the storm is predicted to continue dumping snow on the region until winding down early Sunday.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency for the 11 counties around her hometown of Buffalo, and reiterated her call Friday for New Yorkers in the western part of the state to stay home.
Commercial traffic remains banned along a 132-mile stretch of the New York State Thruway from Rochester, New York, to the Pennsylvania border, as does a driving ban for much of Erie County.
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