Winter storm watch issued from Friday through Monday morning with blizzard conditions possible

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 December 2022 at 3:20 pm

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for Orleans County from 7 a.m. Friday to 7 a.m. Monday. The watch also includes Niagara, Erie, Genesee, Wyoming, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties.

“A rapid switch from rain to snow with sharply falling temperatures into the teens will result in a flash freeze on Friday,” the Weather Service said. “From Friday afternoon through most of the weekend, very strong winds, heavy lake effect snow and significant blowing and drifting snow will be possible. Winds could gust as high as 65 mph Friday into Friday night. Localized blizzard conditions are possible.”

The Weather Service said travel over the holiday weekend “could be very difficult to impossible at times. Areas of blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility with whiteouts.”

The powerful winds could cause tree damage and power outages.

“The most persistent and worst conditions will be where lake effect snow is most widespread, which is still uncertain at this time,” the Weather Service said. “Cold wind chills as low as 10 to 20 below zero this weekend could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes.”