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Winter Storm Blankets N. Appalachians in Heavy Snow

UPDATED 11:45 PM EDT, April 23, 2012

UPDATED By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Andrew Rosenthal

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A potent spring storm continues to punish the eastern Great Lakes and northern Appalachians with the heaviest snowfall of the winter. Adding to the weight of the heavy snow are gusty winds, causing thousands of power outages.

A strong low pressure is sliding north through Upstate New York with plenty of cold air streaming south into the eastern Great Lakes and northern Appalachians. Combining with plenty of Atlantic moisture, heavy, wet snow continues to grip southwestern New York into western Pennsylvania.

WeatherBug Meteorologist Aaron Schaeffer has the latest today`s winter weather headlines in this exclusive WeatherBug Winter Weather Video.

Six inches to almost two feet have already fallen in western New York and west-central Pennsylvania. Another 2 to 4 inches will pound southwestern New York and Pennsylvania`s Laurel Highlands overnight. Travel will become slick, especially along parts of Interstates 79, 70, 86 and 99.

Winter Storm Warnings continue from western New York to central and eastern West Virginia.

The most dangerous part of this storm is the gusty northwest winds snapping branches and power lines weighed down by the heavy nature of the snow. More than 26,000 people are in the dark across western New York and Pennsylvania south into the northern Appalachians of West Virginia. In addition, the snow will be extremely difficult to shovel so be sure to exercise caution when clearing sidewalks and driveways.

Laurel Summit, Pa., has seen an incredible 23.2 inches of snow, leading the Pennsylvania Turnpike to reduce speed limits over the summit to 45 mph. Further to the north, Newfield, N.Y., has seen 10 inches of fresh powder, and Colden, N.Y., measured 8.8 inches of fresh snow. While the heavy snow was falling in the mountains, it was rain or a light mix that soaked lower elevations, including Rochester and Buffalo, N.Y., and Pittsburgh and Johnstown, Pa.

The snow will wind down early in the morning, as the low pressure causing the winter brush will scoot northward into Canada. However, chilly temperatures will remain for a few days thanks to an upper-level low bringing cold air southward from central Canada.

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