Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022 in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Carolyn Thompson)

A large lake effect snowstorm is predicted for next Wednesday and Thursday, which is Thanksgiving Day. The most hard-hit areas are expected to be Buffalo and Watertown.

Governor Hochul has issued warnings to Western and Northern New York, and is telling residents of those areas to avoid travel. 

“We’re taking this very seriously,” Hochul said during a Friday press conference. “Our state forecasters and National Weather Service are tracking a lake effect snowstorm. We believe it’s going to have major impacts. As a result of those forecasts, I’m directing all of my state agencies from Homeland Security, DOT, Thruway Authority, National Guard, Parks, and DEC to be prepared.”

Hochul said the state is preparing for the worst case scenario. Last year, this is the same week that Western New York was slammed with a seven foot snowstorm.

“Because the lake has not frozen, Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, we get these really, sometimes cataclysmic winter storms even before winter starts,” said Hochul. 

She said residents should alter their holiday plans and not expect to travel next Wednesday or Thursday.  

“You’ll be either stuck at home not able to travel, or worst case there, you could be stuck on one of the roads or the New York State Thruway,” said Hochul.

“I just want to remind everybody to be vigilant. We’re expecting freezing rain, snow accumulations, high winds – everything you would not want to see as you’re heading out for your holiday travels.”

Hochul encouraged people to monitor their local forecasts, and to heed the state’s warnings not to travel in inclement weather.

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