A weather phenomenon known as “lake effect” snow has brought parts of New York state to a standstill.
Nearly two feet of snow fell overnight in parts of the west and north New York, along the east end of Lake Erie, with warnings of more to come.
Schools and train stations were closed in Buffalo, while many flights from the city’s airport were canceled.
The NFL has said it will move the Buffalo Bills’ home game against the Cleveland Browns to Detroit.
Orchard Park, where the team plays, was under more than two feet (61 cm) of snow by mid-morning Friday.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency in 11 counties.
Driving was banned in Erie County as heavy snow punctuated by thunder and lightning – known as “thunderstorm snow” – settled in Buffalo.
The heaviest snowfall was expected to last through Friday evening, with more falling from Saturday to Sunday.
According to the National Weather Service, some 4.5 feet (1.4 m) could accumulate in or near Buffalo.
Lake effect snow forms when frigid dry air absorbs moisture and heat as it moves along warmer lake water, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
It causes some of the water in the lake to evaporate into the air, making it warmer and wetter.
As the air cools and moves away from the lake, it dumps all the moisture onto the ground. And when it gets cold enough, it results in massive snowfall.
. snow effect lake paralyzes some parts york state forecasters warn other are road American news