ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WJW) — The National Weather Service is predicting a “paralyzing” snowfall for the Buffalo, New York, area beginning Wednesday and continuing through 1 p.m. Sunday — kickoff time for the Cleveland Browns‘ game against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium.
Northeast Ohio is preparing for snow, but not like this. Buffalo is expecting 2 to 3 feet of lake effect snow, just down I-90 on Lake Erie.
Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said the team has prepared for wintry conditions in Buffalo.
“When weather is going to be a factor as it might be, you’re always thinking about having plays you might turn to should it be a major factor,” he told reporters Wednesday. “Jacoby [Brissett] played in a whiteout in this stadium in 2017, so he’s used to it.
“The guys are prepared for it if that’s what it ends up being. But you can’t spend too much time worrying about that.”
The NFL is monitoring the weather and has been in contact with both the Browns and the Bills, a spokesperson told FOX 8 Wednesday.
FOX 8 meteorologist Alexis Walters said a lake effect snow advisory will go into effect at 7 p.m. Thursday and last through 1 p.m. Sunday — kickoff time. The estimated snowfall is between 2 to 3 feet, she said.
If the snowband slows, that could increase the amount of accumulation, Walters said.
The biggest difficulty will be traveling, she said. Major roadways could be rendered impassable and visibility could be “completely reduced,” with snow blowing across roadways by gusts of wind that could reach 35 mph. Interstate 90, the main route from Ohio to the Buffalo area, is right through the storm’s path, she said.
There’s also a chance for a rare thundersnow, when thunder and lightning accompany a snowstorm, Walters said.
Back home in Cleveland, Sunday is expected to be “cold, but pretty quiet,” Walters said.
FOX 8 News reached out to the Browns and Erie County, New York’s Emergency Management Agency for the latest information or weather advisories, but didn’t receive responses.