An intense band of deadly winter weather that brought more than six feet of snow to parts of New York state was due to ease up Wednesday morning before slamming the area with a second round of powder later in the day.
The snow was accompanied by a system that brought freezing temperatures overnight to all 50 states. However, the icy blanket was expected to subside by Friday with normal November temperatures returning for much of the nation.
Almost 76 inches of snow fell in the suburbs in southern Buffalo, according to The National Weather Service. This total was a record over a 24-hour period for anywhere in the U.S. on record. It prompted New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to declare a state of emergency in 10 counties.
Among hundreds of trapped vehicles on the roads was the team bus of the Niagara University Purple Eagles women's basketball team. It was stuck for more than 24 hours around 50 miles from the team's Buffalo campus. Players tweeted early Wednesday that they had been rescued.
Kevin Roth, lead meteorologist at The Weather Channel, said a second band of heavy snow was forecast to bring as much as two feet of snow in western New York through Thursday. He added the storm was unusual not just in the amount of snow dumped —as much as four months' worth in 48 hours — but because the northern part of Buffalo had escaped virtually unscathed. "The airport measured three to four inches; six miles away got 60 inches," Roth said.
At least four deaths were blamed on the snow dump on Tuesday — three people suffering heart attacks while shoveling snow and one car crash— bringing the total deaths attributed to the cold weather to 19 across the nation since Saturday.
Meanwhile, with the rest of the nation freezing at the hands of what meteorologists call an "Omega block," reprieve was in sight for the South with warm air coming from the Plains due to thaw the region by the end of Wednesday. By the weekend, most of the U.S was expected to have returned to normal November temperatures.