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Low pressure is over southern Indiana this morning with a huge area of heavy precipitation to the north and east of it. This low will only strengthen as it moves east during the day today. Light precipitation has been falling across the Finger Lakes throughout the night and will intensify later this morning. The precipitation will be all snow to the north and west, while it will transition to snow from rain during the afternoon further south and east. This will occur in the early/mid afternoon for places like Ithaca, Elmira and Cortland and late afternoon/evening for Binghamton and Norwich. Extreme snowfall rates are expected across the Finger Lakes during the afternoon and evening hours, with snow accumulating at 1-2" per hour. Snowfall of this intensity makes it very difficult for even the best plow crews to keep up. Some thunder and lightning may even accompany the snow. Winds will increase as temperatures drop late this afternoon and evening. The snow should transition from heavy and wet to light and fluffy. Wind gusts to 40mph will blow the snow around, creating white out conditions and extremely dangerous travel. Travel is strongly discouraged this afternoon, evening and overnight. Conditions may not improve much by Thursday, with strong winds and snow showers lingering into the afternoon. Wind chills will drop to -15º at times overnight.
This is a DANGEROUS storm and will have a higher impact and higher risk than previous storms this winter. The combination of very heavy snow, strong winds and bitter cold temperatures make this more than the average big snow in our area. Travel is strongly discouraged. If you must travel, pack a safety kit including food, water, flashlight, batteries, handheld radio, charged cell phone, blankets and warm clothes. If you go into a snowbank, beware of carbon monoxide poisoning from the exhaust of your car. Let someone know your travel plans and check in with them often.