NEW YORK, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- The city of Buffalo and surrounding areas in U.S. New York State have been hit by heavy snow triggered by rare phenomena of thundersnow and lake effect snow.
The Buffalo area started to see lightning, thunder and snowfall on Thursday evening and the gusty winds and snowing are expected to last until Saturday.
Southwest Blasdell and Orchard Park in south of Buffalo reported as much as 48 inches and 42.5 inches of snowfall in the last 48 hours, according to a statement issued by the National Weather Service Buffalo on Friday afternoon.
Lake effect snow is common across the Great Lakes region during late fall and winter while thundersnow is rare only seen in the strongest winter storms.
The heavy lake effect snow would bring three to four feet or more snowfall in Northern Erie county and Genesee county with gusty winds at the speed of 35 miles per hour, according to warnings from the National Weather Service Buffalo.
The New York State government declared a state of emergency in 11 counties in upstate New York on Thursday.
As part of precautionary measures put in place, the New York State Department of Transportation has implemented a full ban of commercial vehicles at major highways in the area.