A massive snowstorm has recently hit parts of the Midwestern and Northeastern United States, dumping up to 60 inches of snow on some parts of New York and killing at least five people.
New Yorkers are used to getting large amounts of snow, but not quite this much – according to NPR , when it was announced that a new storm was moving across the area, it was only expected to bring 3 to 5 inches of snow.
According to the Buffalo News , “Dave Zaff of the National Weather Service in Buffalo said there’s no meteorological term for the phenomenon that created that strikingly pronounced wall of clouds and churned out the unbelievable amount of snow…
“‘Whiteout to blue sky in a very, very short distance…It’s not unheard of when it comes to lake-effect storms.
But the snow totals? They may be for the history books.
This will be a historic event…
Absolutely, it is a historic event.'” Erie County executive Mark Poloncarz stated , “This storm is basically a knife that went right through the heart of Erie County…I can’t remember and I don’t think anyone else can remember this much snow falling in this short a period.” The snowstorm has caused many power outages and has made it difficult for emergency hospital employees to get to work.
According to CNN , about 450 customers of New York State Electric and Gas Corp.
had no electricity as of Wednesday morning.
Snow-related fatalities are rising, too.
So far, at least five people have died as a result of the storm.
One of the deaths was from a car accident, and three other people died from cardiac arrest as a result of shoveling snow.
And in Alden, New York, a 46-year-old man was found dead inside his car, which was buried in 12 to 15 feet of snow.
New York is not the only state feeling these freezing temperatures, though – all 50 states registered temperatures below freezing on Tuesday morning.
The cause of this extreme weather pattern is due to arctic air pouring over the relatively warm Great Lakes, which produces extreme lake-effect snows.
CNN reports that more snow is expected to fall this Wednesday and Thursday, which could lead the storm to rank highly in history as one of the most extreme snowstorms caused by lake-effect snow incidents.