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McDonald’s Workers Open Their Restaurant as a 24-hour Storm Shelter During Blizzard in North East

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When three employees of a New York McDonald’s were forced to accept the fact that they weren’t going home during the Christmas storm that blanketed the northern US, they opened up the store to stranded motorists—and ended up hosting 50 people over Christmas weekend.

Amherst, like neighboring Buffalo, received upwards of 40 inches of snow—and it wasn’t long before police began dropping people off at their store on Sweet Home Road and Sheridan Drive last Friday night.

“We accepted the fact that we weren’t going home, so we might as well open up,” said Kristin Kosha, one of the workers there. “We figured someone might need some help.”

Expecting maybe a dozen, more than 50 New Yorkers sheltered in their store which, even before the act of kindness, was known as the “Sweethome McDonald’s” after the street on which it was built.

“We fed them, and had the coffees and hot chocolates going,” she told ABC-7 Buffalo.

“Saturday we had the Bills football game on, and they chatted amongst themselves and mingled—while we kept them fed.”

Dozens of stories of humans helping humans were published over the Christmas weekend, as a patch of terrible weather coincided with the holiday that celebrates goodwill towards man.

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Meteorologists: Christmas weekend storm system ‘once in a generation type of event’

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WATERTOWN — An “incredibly powerful” winter storm system also described by meteorologists as a “once in a generation type of event” is forecast to move through the area over the Christmas holiday weekend.

High winds, rain, snow and lake-effect snow accompanied by dramatically dropping temperatures are expected to impact the region starting Friday and continue through at least Sunday, Christmas Day.

Meteorologists with the National Weather Service in Buffalo said in a forecast discussion Tuesday that “Some of the parameters of this intense storm are climatologically ‘off the charts,’” including the potential for record-setting low barometric pressures.

The service said the deepening low-pressure system moving into the area on Friday will “easily” meet the definition of a bombogenesis in which atmospheric pressure drops at least 24 millibars in 24 hours. The phenomenon, also known as a “bomb cyclone,” is relatively rare in the lower Great Lakes, according to meteorologists.

After uneventful weather Wednesday, the service says conditions will begin to deteriorate late Thursday. Thursday’s temperatures are expected to be in 40s, resulting in most precipitation falling that day as rain, although a wintry mix could be seen in some locations as temperatures begin to drop.

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Another winter storm likely to slam Upstate NY just in time for Christmas travel

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 Another messy winter storm is likely to bring snow, ice and high winds to Upstate New York just in time for Christmas weekend travel.

“The storm’s timing could not be worse,” said forecasting company Accuweather.

The storm starts off mostly as rain Thursday, and then rapidly falling temperatures late Friday could coat streets and trees with a layer of dangerous ice. High winds are also likely, too, which could cause power outages and even some flooding along the shores of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, the National Weather Service said.

Heavy lake effect snow could hit Western New York and Tug Hill over the holiday weekend.

“It could be another one of these messes where we get this ice, freezing rain and snow,” warned Mark Wysocki, New York state climatologist and professor of atmospheric sciences at Cornell University. “We could have a lot of issues with travel and downed power lines.”

The storm reaches the Pacific Northwest tonight or Tuesday before barreling across the Rockies and the Plains, bringing blizzard conditions to the Midwest and snarling air travel in big hubs like Chicago. The weather service in Chicago is warning of blizzard conditions Thursday and Friday, and urging people to make plans for alternate travel.

“It’s going to impact a lot of people’s traveling plans, especially if they’re flying,” said Accuweather meteorologist Tom Kines.

Like last week, there are as many questions as answers about this storm’s impacts on Upstate right now, including how cold it gets and how fast, and how that will affect the breakdown of rain, snow and ice. And like last week, location and elevation will play key roles.

Even the snow still on the ground from last week’s storm could affect what happens this week: Snow pack keeps air temperatures colder, raising the odds of rain freezing as it reaches the surface.

The storm is several days away, so many of the details are still being sorted out as forecasters wait for more data. At this point, here’s the consensus of how the storm is likely to shape up in Upstate New York. Forecasts change, and this one will too, so be sure to check our weather page throughout the week.

Thursday: A low pressure system moving up the East Coast will bring “unseasonably warm and moist air into the region,” the weather service said. That moisture is likely to start as rain at lower elevations, switch over to snow Thursday night, and then back to rain Friday as temperatures rise.

Friday: Warm air surging in from that coastal system could push temperatures up to 50 degrees by Friday afternoon. Any precipitation that falls during the day is likely to come as rain. If it falls hard enough in areas with deep snow, it could lead to isolated flooding as the snow melts, the weather service said.

Winds ramp up quickly during the day, with gusts reaching 35 mph or more by Friday evening and early Saturday morning.
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Weekend storm could bring high winds, over a foot of snow to north country

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The north country is under a hazardous weather alert for a storm that could bring over a foot of snow in some places, and gusty northwest winds that could knock out power in some areas.

The National Weather Service warns that travel could be difficult to impossible. Areas of blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility. The hazardous conditions could impact evening commutes today, NWS said in a winter storm watch advisory.

In St. Lawrence and Franklin counties, the NWS predicts 8 to 14 inches of snow tonight into Saturday. As the snow tapers off, Saturday night winds are forecast at 25 to 40 mph. The high winds could cause blowing snow to significantly reduce visibility across the region, weakening through Sunday morning. NWS warns the high winds could cause tree limb damage and knock out power.

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