Heavy snowfall paralyzed parts of the US state of New York just before Thanksgiving and claimed several lives. Around two meters of snow fell on the town of Orchard Park south of Buffalo by Sunday morning, according to the National Weather Service. At times, more than 15 centimeters of snow per hour fell in some places, reported the "New York Times".
According to initial estimates, a new record could have been broken for the most snowfall within 24 hours. "Something like this has never happened before," Kathy Hochul said at a press conference convened on Saturday afternoon (local time). The governor of New York had already declared a state of emergency in some regions on Thursday. On Saturday, Hochul applied to US President Joe Biden for federal aid to provide additional support to the affected communities.
The storm led to road closures, driving bans and dozens of flight cancellations at Buffalo International Airport, according to CNN. The American Football League NFL moved a game between the Buffalo Bills and the Cleveland Browns to Detroit at short notice.
Reason for the onset of winter is the "Lake Effect"
Two people have died from heart problems while clearing snow in Erie County, County Commissioner Mark Poloncarz wrote on Twitter. In addition to New York, authorities and weather experts had also warned of the particularly dangerous storm in the US states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania. In Indiana west of New York, the driver of a snow clearing vehicle had a fatal accident on Friday.
One reason for the onset of winter is the "Lake Effect". Extremely cold air sweeps across the Great Lakes in the north of the USA, whose water is considerably warmer. Moisture rises, is swept up in the airflow, and then snows in narrow bands of precipitation over land on the southeast side of the lakes.
According to the forecast, the snowfall should weaken at the beginning of the week. Next Thursday is Thanksgiving, the American harvest festival. Alongside Christmas, the holiday is one of the most important family celebrations in the USA - the volume of travel is particularly high at this time.