WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The National Weather Service (NWS) reports more than two feet of snow fell in parts of Northern Wisconsin and areas east of Lake Michigan saw more than 18 inches of snow yesterday. Heavy snow also closed down the city of Buffalo, New York, as near "white out" conditions dumped over a foot of snow over the metro area.
The snowstorms were generated by the "lake effect" of cold arctic air blowing over the warmer lake water. The storms have tapered off in Michigan, but will continue to bring heavy snow east of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. Buffalo will be spared the brunt of the latest surge. Snow off of Lake Ontario is expected to impact the Syracuse, NY, area today.
NWS forecasters expect bitterly cold temperatures to dominate much of the nation this morning. Sub-zero temperatures will remain today in parts of Iowa into Illinois and north into the Minnesota and parts of Wisconsin.
Schools and businesses from Chicago to Buffalo are closed for the second day in a row as residents battle deep snow and bitter cold temperatures. Airports in the affected region continue to have problems moving passengers due to the conditions.
The governor of Illinois declared the entire state a disaster area, allowing the state officials to coordinate state resources to aid local governments. FEMA staff in regional office located in New York City, Philadelphia, Chicago and Denton, Texas (Regions II, III, IV and V) are monitoring the situation closely and are in close contact with state officials within their regions.