Ready for some new Albany bureaucracy? How about a new state Weather Department?
Signs were already brewing for last week’s devastating lake effect snowfall as early as Nov. 15, when the National Weather Service issued its first watches for a couple of feet of snow – and maybe more.
Over the following two days leading up to the storm, the watches were upgraded to warnings as weather service forecasts called for “near blizzard conditions” across Erie County with “around two feet in the most persistent bands” that could leave “some roads … nearly impassable.”
The weather service also accurately pegged accumulating snows at almost unheard of “rates of 3 to 5 inches per hour in the most intense portion of the band.”
But, according to state and Erie County officials, not only did the information come too late for them to adequately prepare, the national forecasting service also failed to project the ferocity and exact locations of the tandem lake-effect storms that dumped 7 feet or more of snow in just 72 hours.