Lake effect snow continues to pile up across the snow belts of northeastern OH, northwestern PA, and western NY today. A persistent west to northwest flow of arctic air over the unfrozen lakes continues to fuel the lake effect snow bands to the lee of the lakes. Despite the fact this arctic air mass is very dry, snow bands have been prolific snow produces with some locations reporting snowfall rates of over 2 inches per hour. Some snow belt communities have reported up to 18 inches of snow so far for this event.
For this afternoon, the heaviest snow will likely be confined to portions of far western NY off of Lake Erie, and the Tughill region east of lake Ontario. The cold air mass will allow for very high snow water ratios so the snow will add up quickly. It will also be easily blown around creating local white out conditions. Other persistent, but lighter snow showers will continue across northeastern OH and northwestern PA through this afternoon.
It looks like the lake effect snow will continue through tonight and Wednesday with additional significant accumulations possible in areas where squalls persist. A weak disturbance will cross the area on Wednesday, and this will cause the winds to shift around a bit. This will disrupt the snow bands from time to time and cause them to change orientation.
Outside of these snow belt areas, scattered snow shower activity is possible, but amounts will be light.
Improving weather will not arrive until Thursday when high pressure is expected to build across the region, squelching much of the remaining lake effect activity.
The break in the snowfall will be brief however. A storm system is forecast to track up the Ohio River Valley Thursday night, spreading snow back across the region from west to east. Accumulating snow is possible across much of the region from Thursday night through the day on Friday.
Another shot of arctic air with follow this system for the weekend.