(NEW YORK) — Many parts of the country have been pounded with snow and frigid cold this week, but don’t worry: warmer weather is on the way.
So what happens to all that snow? After another snowfall forecast for Thursday afternoon, some places near Buffalo, New York, could see up to nine feet of snow in total. That could lead to minor flooding when the snow starts to melt, made worse because of snow covering drains, according to ABC News weather experts.
Ten inches of snow converts to about one inch of liquid water when it all melts. But what’s slamming Buffalo isn’t regular snow — it’s lake-effect snow, which is lighter and fluffier, and contains less water. So it would take between 20 and 30 inches of lake-effect snow for about one inch of liquid water.
That’s only if all of the snow melts, which experts don’t expect will happen. By Sunday, the country warms up: afternoon temperatures will hit 51 degrees in New York, 81 degrees in Orlando, Florida, 50 degrees in Chicago and 67 degrees in Atlanta.
But colder weather returns on Tuesday, and only part of the snow will have melted by then.
Rain is also expected in the Buffalo area early next week, which could add to any flooding and also put extra pressure on rooftops already covered in snow.
Some residents in upstate New York have been snowed in at home for more than two days — or, even worse, stuck in their cars or at work. A 132-mile stretch of the New York State Thruway remains closed on Thursday as emergency workers furiously try to clear the snow.
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said on Wednesday that more than 5,000 tons of snow has already been removed from south Buffalo.
And Buffalo Bills fans are also hard at work trying to shovel out the stadium in time for a 1 p.m. game on Sunday. The team said they will need to clear 220,000 tons of snow in order for the game to happen. The Bills are paying fans $10 per hour to help shovel, plus free game tickets.
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