Winter was in full swing across the Great Lakes during the first full week of January as blasts of arctic air produced heavy bands of lake-effect snow over the region.
Several rounds of snow impacted the region throughout the week, but the harshest cold and the heaviest snow developed during the second half of the week and continued into the start of the weekend.
By far, the heaviest snowfall occurred downwind of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario where snow was measured in feet rather than inches. Thunder and lightning even occurred in the most intense snow bands.
Howling winds accompanied the snow, blowing around the fresh powder and creating near white-out conditions for hours at a time for places such as Buffalo and Watertown, New York.
The New York State Department of Transportation closed multiple roads, including the New York Thruway and I-190, on Thursday night as the first round of snow moved into the state.
Highest Snow Totals in New York
Lower snow amounts did not translate to fewer disruptions; however, as lake-effect snow elsewhere across the region led to a wide range of travel incidents and road closures.
Snow, wind and poor visibility are being blamed for a major pileup on Friday morning that shut down both lanes of I-94 in part of Michigan, according to the Associated Press.
More than 120 vehicles were involved in this major crash, resulting in at least 23 injuries and one fatality.
"A truck carrying fireworks caught fire, triggering a spectacular explosion of the cargo," the Associated Press reported. "That driver was not hurt."
This past week's lake-effect snow has since diminished, but snow looks to make a quick return to the region.
A disturbance lifting from the South will spread a swath of light snow over the region once again during the beginning of the week.
This snow should not be as heavy as the lake-effect snow that moved over the region during the course of the past week, but can still cause travel disruptions to those across the region.
Low visibility due to an intense band of #LakeEffect #snow north of Buffalo. I-90 is closed. http://t.co/jdXOcxCQwg pic.twitter.com/PQ4WoOHeAi— Becky Elliott (@AccuWxBeck) January 9, 2015
Picture of rainbow over a lake effect snow band at sunset near Grand Rapids, MI @reedtimmerTVN taken by Cindy Barton pic.twitter.com/tihRbH3Pfv— Maria Molina (@FoxMariaMolina) January 9, 2015
We're in it. Lake effect snow south of Watertown. pic.twitter.com/1JhZDYMU6C— Tyler Provick (@Coyotebd) January 10, 2015