A burst of lake-effect snow barreled its way across Western New York this morning, sending cars and trucks slipping off slickened roads.
The snow band was moving fast and likely wouldn’t leave more than a couple of inches of snow as it made its way south from Lake Ontario, ending by about noon, National Weather Service meteorologist Jon Hitchcock said.
However, it was making all the roads in its path slippery.
State police reported four accidents before 9 a.m. that were all causing traffic pile-ups. The first was at about 6:45 a.m. when a tractor-trailer sideswiped a trailer being hauled behind a pickup truck on the Thruway near Eden/Angola.
At about 7:20, a five-car pile-up was reported on the Niagara Thruway around Vulcan Street.
Twenty minutes later, a person was reported injured when a car hit a wall near the Grand Island bridge.
Another injury accident was reported at about 8:10 a.m. on the Interstate-190 near Smith Street.
There were reports of fender benders on Route 33 and 198 as well, according to Buffalo Police Department spokesman Michael J. DeGeorge.
Temperatures are expected to remain on the colder side today, Hitchcock said, with highs only in the mid teens. Add wind, and it would feel like it was between -5 and -10.
While such temperatures are prompting groans across Western New York, Hitchcock noted that it’s nothing compared to what Saranac Lake residents experienced overnight, when temperatures got down to 31 degrees below zero, and that’s not counting the windchill.
Hitchcock explained that while Lake Erie and Ontario do have a tendency to give us lots of snow, it acts as a buffer from the harshest Arctic cold.
But a slow warmup would start Friday as temperatures move up into the 20s, warming into the 40s by Tuesday.
Widespread light snow was expected Friday, dropping an inch or two throughout the region in the afternoon, possibly causing more slippery conditions for the evening commute.