Intense lake-effect snow to raise risk of chain-reaction accidents in Midwest, Northeast

By Faith Eherts, AccuWeather meteorologist
December 13, 2017, 12:27:24 PM EST

Lake-effect snow will continue to raise the risk of slippery and dangerous travel downwind of the Great Lakes into Wednesday afternoon.

A blast of arctic air, accompanied by gusty winds will move in behind the storm.

“This will allow heavy lake-effect snow to develop across the region,” said AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Edwards.

“Conditions will be the worst closest to the lake where snowfall totals of over a foot are possible.”

Northeast regional 12.13

With many colleges wrapping up the fall semester this week, students tackling a long drive home for winter break will need to exercise extreme caution.

An Alberta clipper storm moving across the Upper Midwest has disrupted the lake-effect snow machine downwind of lakes Superior and Michigan. Instead, these areas will get several inches of snow from the clipper into Wednesday evening.

Prior to the clipper sweeping across the interior Northeast on Wednesday night, lake-effect snow will continue to stream downwind of lakes Erie and Ontario into Wednesday afternoon.

Snarled traffic may be unavoidable in affected parts of Pennsylvania and New York, including portions of interstates 81 and 90.

“Roadway conditions can go from dry to snow-covered, icy and slippery within a couple of hundred yards,” Edwards said.

Blowing and drifting snow can result in whiteout conditions in the heaviest snow bands, Edwards warned. Gusty winds can create these conditions even when snow isn’t falling.

DC to New York City, Boston to face brutal RealFeel temperatures in the single digits, teens at midweek
Storms may increase white Christmas odds, threaten holiday travel in midwestern, northeastern US
Snow to blanket swath from Pittsburgh to New York City into early Thursday

Motorists should slow down or stop completely on the shoulder with emergency flashers on in low visibility conditions.

“Narrow and intense lake-effect snow bands that are expected with this event are notorious for causing chain-reaction accidents,” warned AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski.

After the clipper storm moves through, residents can anticipate at least a few snow showers each day until the end of the week.

Report a Typo


Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.

More Weather News