UPDATE: Governor Kathy Hochul provided an update to New Yorkers as a winter storm brought significant rain, snow and high winds across the State overnight (Thursday), and blizzard-like conditions in Western New York. On Thursday, Governor Hochul declared a statewide State of Emergency ahead of the event, which went into effect at 6 a.m. Friday. Governor Hochul advised New Yorkers planning to travel this weekend to reconsider as a significant drop in temperatures Friday afternoon will cause significant flash freezing and icy road conditions.

“This storm has brought a bit of everything we anticipated and there are thousands of our first responders, emergency management personnel and utility crews out working in the elements to keep New Yorkers safe today,” Governor Hochul said. “I’m asking everyone to stay off the roads this evening as conditions will worsen when temperatures drop across the state later today. Bundle up, stay indoors, and stay safe this weekend.”

Today and continuing into Saturday morning, much of the state is expected to see strong winds up to 60 miles per hour or more as temperatures will drop quickly and significantly, by more than 35 degrees in some regions, causing flash freezing, below zero wind chills and icy road conditions. This has already impacted conditions in Western New York and is expected to impact the rest of the state by this evening’s commute. Winds on Friday and Saturday will be strong enough to cause downed trees and power lines. Lakeshore flooding off Lake Erie and Lake Ontario is possible in flood-prone areas due to rain, snowmelt and strong winds.

Tonight and continuing through Monday, lake effect snow will impact the Buffalo and Watertown areas off Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, and strong winds are expected to cause blowing and drifting snow with near zero visibility and localized blizzard conditions. The Buffalo and Watertown areas could see up to three feet of snow through Sunday night. Below normal, freezing temperatures with low wind chills are expected to persist through Monday for upstate regions.

Governor Hochul urged New Yorkers to take all necessary precautions, if traveling this week, and plan ahead for significant weather impacts.

Governor Kathy Hochul has declared a State of Emergency for the entire State of New York in advance of a significant winter weather system forecast to bring a mixed bag of hazards across the state beginning Thursday evening and continuing through Monday. Heavy rain and snow, strong winds, coastal and lakeshore flooding, and flash freezing are all possible in various regions across the state throughout the holiday weekend. In addition, lake effect snow is expected to impact areas along Lakes Erie and Ontario beginning Friday night and continuing into Monday, with total snow accumulations forecast to reach up to three feet.

“With Mother Nature throwing everything she has at us this weekend, I encourage New Yorkers who are considering traveling for the holidays to do so before Friday or after Sunday to stay safe,” Governor Hochul said. “Our agencies are well prepared, coordinated and ready to deploy assets and equipment if needed to respond to the storm. We want all New Yorkers to get where they need to go safely to celebrate the holidays with loved ones.”

Thursday into Friday, rain, snow showers and strong winds are forecast for most of the state, with rainfall amounts of up to three inches possible in some places. Moderate to major coastal flooding (1-2 feet) is possible Friday morning due to rain and strong winds, and lakeshore flooding up to three feet above flood stage is possible off Lake Erie and Lake Ontario due to rain, snowmelt, and strong winds.

Starting Friday and continuing into Saturday morning, much of the state is expected to see strong winds up to 60 miles per hour or more as temperatures will drop quickly and significantly by more than 35 degrees in some regions, causing flash freezing, below-zero wind chills and icy road conditions. This will impact the Friday morning commute in Western New York and the evening commute for the rest of the state. Winds on Friday and Saturday will be strong enough to cause downed trees and power lines.

Friday night and continuing through Monday, lake effect snow will impact areas off Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, and strong winds are expected to cause blowing and drifting snow with near-zero visibility and localized blizzard conditions. The Buffalo and Watertown areas could see up to three feet of snow through Sunday night. Below normal, freezing temperatures with low wind chills are expected to persist through Monday for upstate regions.

Governor Hochul urged New Yorkers to take all necessary precautions if traveling this week and plan ahead for significant weather impacts.

Blizzard Warnings, Coastal Flood Warnings, Lakeshore Flood Warnings, High Wind Warnings, Wind Chill Warnings, and Winter Storm Warnings are all in effect this weekend throughout various counties across the state. For a complete list of weather watches, warnings, and advisories across New York, visit the National Weather Service website.