BUFFALO, NEW YORK: The “once-in-a-generation” winter storm that is set to sweep across the nation this week and hit Upstate New York just before Christmas is going to dangerously plummet the temperatures. The National Weather Service alerts for preperations for severe weather advisories. According to the weather service, the “incredibly powerful storm” could bring 65 mph gusts and lead to scattered power outages.
The declaration comes as much of the Great Lakes region is under winter storm watches during one of the busiest travel periods of the year. “One could certainly describe this storm system as a once-in-a-generation type of event,” said the weather service office in Buffalo, which forecasts for counties along Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.
“This once-in-a-generation storm will produce high winds east of Lake Ontario Thursday night into Friday morning, then over a larger coverage of our region Friday into Saturday,” the NWS’ Buffalo office said Wednesday. “Winds could gust over 65 mph, leading to at least scattered power outages, if not widespread outages,” it added.
A once-in-a-generation storm will produce high winds east of Lake Ontario Thursday night into Friday morning, then over a larger coverage of our region Friday into Saturday. Winds could gust over 65 mph, leading to at LEAST scattered power outages, if not widespread outages. pic.twitter.com/g5EXx1TVNf
— NWS Buffalo (@NWSBUFFALO) December 21, 2022
“Old Man Winter will unleash the full fury of winter upon our region during this period…as an extremely amplified longwave pattern will spawn one of the most intense storm systems in decades to impact the Mid West and Great Lakes region,” the NWS said in its detailed forecast. According to the National Weather Service, the record-breaking cold will cover vast areas of the nation, along with high winds and heavy snow. In the intermountain west and northern, central Plains, wind chills could reach -40F (-40C). By the end of the week, some locations may potentially reach -70F.
“We’ve got chills just looking at this forecast… This shows high temps Tue-Sun, the color represents the departure from average. Many will experience MUCH below average temps this week, ~20-30° or more below. Keep in mind, wind chill will make it feel even colder than this!” tweeted NWS, displaying a map.
The NWS warns that the travel will become difficult with sudden whiteouts due to dangerous cold, “Much of the country will see dangerous cold over the next few days, and it will arrive suddenly with a powerful Arctic front. Travel may become difficult immediately behind the front with bursts of snow and gusty winds leading to sudden whiteouts, flash freezing, and icy roads..” NWS further said. The countries reportedly though are already witnessing hickups in the travel.
The National Weather Service has already cautioned travelers to make alternate plans, with 2.9 million people being expected to travel through Chicago’s major airports ahead of the holiday weekend, NBC Chicago reported. Several US airlines have already begun issuing waivers to get ahead of cancellations. “It is going to be dangerously cold not only after the snow ends, but also as heavy snow and potentially blizzard conditions are ongoing. Wind chill readings will drop to near -30F as early as Fri morning. Dangerous cold will continue through the holiday weekend,” NWS Chicago warned.