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Lake-Effect Snow Warning Defined

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A Lake-Effect Snow Warning is issued when lake-effect snow squalls are occurring, or about to develop within 24 hours, and are forecast to produce significant amounts of snow in a short period of time. Usually, this consists of at least 7 inches in a 12-hour period, or a foot or more in a 24-hour period, but these amounts may vary. As a result, you should pay close attention to statements issued by your local National Weather Service office.

Because lake effect snow is an extremely localized weather event, you should be prepared for rapid and dramatic changes in visibility and road conditions within a few miles.

Other tips to consider:

  • Allow plenty of travel time to reach your destination.
  • Allow extra braking distance between you and the person ahead of you.
  • Keep a winter weather emergency kit in your car that includes a first aid kit, flashlight, blankets and clothing.
  • Be very careful when shoveling snow, especially if you have a history of heart trouble. Bend at the knees when lifting, but try to push the snow out of the way as you shovel, instead of lifting it all at once.

Source: National Weather Service and the Federal Emergency Management Agency

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