Fox News Weather Center

Multi-day lake-effect snow event to blanket Great Lakes

Chilly air will filter into the northeastern United States during the final days of 2015 and allow for bands of lake-effect snow into the first few days of the new year.

Cold greeting to the new year

The lake-effect snow machine will begin to ramp up downwind of the Great Lakes early on Thursday morning, with the heaviest and most organized bands likely streaming from lakes Huron, Erie and Ontario.

According to AccuWeather meteorologist Brandon Zapolski, the first bands of snow will develop on Thursday morning and continue to train over similar locations into early on Saturday before winding down late on Saturday morning.

The heaviest snow is expected to fall on Thursday night into the first part of New Year's Day.

A widespread 3 to 6 inches of snow is forecast downwind of lakes Erie and Ontario, with narrow swaths of 6 to 12 inches possible.

Snow will likely be measured in feet across the Tug Hill Plateau.

"The Tug Hill will get hit with the highest snow amounts," said Zapolski.

Cities to be impacted by periods of heavy snow and treacherous travel include Erie, Pennsylvania, and Oswego and Watertown, New York.

Outside of the heaviest bands, lighter snow will extend into Cleveland, Syracuse and Buffalo, New York, and Grand Rapids, Michigan.

This snow will come at a time when many are hitting the roadways to attend New Year's Eve firework displays and celebrations.

Motorists should expect difficult and slippery travel along Interstate 90 from Cleveland to Buffalo, Interstate 81 from Syracuse to Watertown, New York, and western portions of Interstate 86.

Travelers should allow themselves extra time to reach their New Year's celebrations.

Despite being a disruption to travelers, the snow will be a welcome sight for winter sports enthusiasts. Ski resorts should get a boost for the first weekend of 2016 thanks to the fresh powder.

A brief lull in the snow is expected during the day on Saturday before a new storm crosses the Great Lakes on Sunday and revitalizes the lake-effect snow bands.

"This last round of lake-effect snow will last into late Monday morning before shutting off for good," stated Zapolski.

High pressure will move in on Monday afternoon and bring much-drier weather to the Great Lakes into the middle of next week.