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Lake effect snow warning Rochester region 3 feet snow possible areas

Western New York is expecting another blast of lake effect snow, with 1-3 feet expected to fall. Wind gusts up to 40 mph.

Western New York is bracing for another round of lake effect snow, following the weekend's heavy snowfall that delayed the Buffalo Bills' playoff game. The National Weather Service in Buffalo has issued a lake effect snow warning for Genesee, Wyoming, and Erie counties from 1 p.m. Tuesday through 7 p.m. Thursday. The forecast predicts between 1 and 3 feet of snow in the most persistent bands, with much of the area expecting 1 to 2 feet of snow.

The heaviest snow is expected to fall on Wednesday, with wind gusts up to 40 mph, creating difficult travel conditions. Monroe County may see a few inches of snow, but the forecast does not expect it to heavily impact Rochester. The development of lake effect snow is due to cold Arctic air passing over large, relatively mild lakes, creating narrow bands of clouds. Wind direction plays a key role in causing heavy snowfall in specific areas.

In western New York, cities like Buffalo, Syracuse, and Rochester annually top the nation's list of snowiest big cities, each averaging more than 8 feet of snow a year due to their proximity to lakes Erie and Ontario. The region has seen nearly unimaginable snowfalls, with one town setting an "unofficial" world record 24-hour snowfall total of nearly 6½ feet. Temperatures are expected to be very cold, with lows ranging between 10 and 18 degrees. The normal high in Rochester in mid-January is 33, and the normal low is 19.

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