Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Buffalo, NY

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NOUS41 KBUF 011218

Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Buffalo NY
800 AM EDT WED NOV 01 2017


The National Weather Service and The New York State Office of
Emergency Management is promoting winter safety to all New Yorkers
during Winter Weather Awareness week October 29 through November 4.

Ice storms are one of winters most dangerous hazards. Heavy
accumulations of ice can bring down trees and power lines, as well
as topple utility poles and communications towers.  This can disrupt
power and communications for days or even weeks while crews repair
extensive damage. Even small accumulations of ice can be extremely
dangerous to motorists and pedestrians. Bridges and overpasses are
particularly dangerous because they freeze before other surfaces.

Freezing rain is the result of a temperature inversion which forms
in the atmosphere. Rain falls in the warmer air well above the
surface.  However if temperatures are below freezing at the surface,
the rain freezes on impact with objects and creates a coating of
ice.  A thick layer of ice adds tremendous weight to objects such as
trees and power lines causing them to break under the stress.  Even
thin layers coating road surfaces are hazardous since they are very

Unfortunately, New York experiences some of the highest frequencies
of freezing rain nationwide.  Warm air blowing from the south is
frequently deflected aloft above and within the mountains, trapping
the cold air in the valleys.

In 2013, an ice storm struck the North Country with accumulations of
up to an inch of ice. While one of the most dangerous and
devastating storms struck the North Country from January 8 through
11 in 1998 where ice up to four inches thick brought down trees and
power lines.  Hundreds of thousands of people were without power for
periods that exceeded a week in some instances.  In Jefferson County
alone, power outages affected over 75 percent of the customers.  The
dairy industry was devastated as the loss of power prevented the
milking of cows.

In 1991, an ice storm struck Western and Northern New York from
Jamestown to Watertown. In all, 20 counties were affected, 13 of
them under a federal disaster declaration. Rochester was especially
hard hit with schools and many businesses closed for a week. Once
again, thick ice accumulations from freezing rain knocked out power.
In all, almost 325,000 customers were without power. It was the
costliest storm ever to strike New York State, exceeding the
destruction caused by Tropical Storm Agnes.

As you can see, all New Yorkers must be prepared for the worst
winter has to offer.  Preparation is the key to a safe cold weather
season.  Your National Weather Service has many tips to help
residents be ready if severe winter weather strikes.  You can find
this information by visiting our website at

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