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Lake-effect snow, wind to ease after slamming Northeast

Mark Duncan / AP

Treasa Thomas clears snow from her car on a downtown Cleveland, Ohio street on Tuesday. More snow is expected.

Frigid air blasting over the Great Lakes blew in the season's first major lake effect snowstorm on Monday, blocking visibility and causing massive pileups on icy roads from Michigan to Kentucky.

As much as 2 feet of snow was expected to fall on upstate New York by Tuesday as the storm moves eastward from Michigan, where over 1 foot of snow fell by Monday afternoon, said meteorologist Bernie Rayno on Accuweather.com.


"You can see all of the snow showing up from the upper Peninsula of Michigan through western New York state, all the way through western Virginia and Kentucky," Rayno said.

"It's this west-northwest flow over the lakes that's causing this lake effect," he said.

Blustery winds were forecast to continue over the Great Lakes, causing heavy snow showers downwind of the lakes early in the day but becoming more scattered in the afternoon.

On Monday, strong gusting winds and close to zero visibility were blamed for highway crashes such as a 30-car pileup south of Cincinnati that closed parts of Interstate 75, police said.

Story: Season's first snow in central U.S. causes crashes

Near Indianapolis, Indiana State Police were working to clear 80 crashes in just over four hours that were caused by slick road conditions which shut sections of Interstates 70, 465 and 65.

"People are sliding into barrier walls and on slick ramps," said Sergeant Rich Myers of Indiana State Police. 

Winter weather advisories, winter storm warnings, and lake-effect snow watches and warnings were to remain in effect for areas downwind of Lakes Erie and Ontario through Tuesday evening.

In addition to snow, strong northwest winds of 15 to 25 mph were forecast and were expected to affect traffic with periods of blowing and drifting snow and reduced visibilities.

While a snow storm blankets Cleveland, a bank thermometer displays the outside temperature as being about 100 degrees higher. Msnbc.com's Dara Brown reports.

 

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