Lake-effect storms have dumped more than 7 feet of snow on parts of the Buffalo area in the past few days, and more is possible, along with potential rain and flooding this weekend. The storm at a glance:
SNOWBOUND WITH THE BAND
The New York City indie rock band Interpol had to cancel shows in Toronto and Montreal because their tour bus was snowbound for two days on the New York State Thruway.
The band, touring to promote its new album, "El Pintor," posted messages on Twitter and Facebook announcing Thursday night's show in Montreal was canceled. Members were heading from a show in Columbus, Ohio, to the Toronto gig on Tuesday when their bus became stuck along with scores of other vehicles stranded by the storm.
On their Twitter feed, the band posted selfies with vodka and snack bags. At 4 a.m. Thursday, guitarist and vocalist Daniel Kessler tweeted, "Finally just started making a move 50+ hours later. Hoping for some luck today."
The band has a sold-out show in Boston on Friday night.
BILLS TAKE THEIR SHOW ON THE ROAD
The NFL has decided to move the Buffalo Bills' scheduled Sunday home game against the New York Jets to Monday night in Detroit.
League spokesman Michael Signora announced the change on Thursday.
The snowstorm forced the Bills to cancel their past two days of practice. The team intends to travel to Detroit on Friday and practice at the Detroit Lions' facility.
The Lions are at New England on Sunday.
BUFFALO HAS COMPANY ...
Other areas around the Great Lakes continue to deal with their own bouts of lake-effect snow, albeit not on the scale of Buffalo, situated at the end of 240-mile-long Lake Erie.
Parts of northern New York off the eastern end of Lake Ontario have received as much as 2½ feet of snow, with more expected by the time the storms subsides Friday afternoon, the National Weather Service said. In some areas, the snow is being driven by winds gusting to more than 30 mph.
Pennsylvania's two most northwestern counties, Erie and Crawford, are under a lake-effect snow warning through 3 p.m. Friday.
And in Michigan, more than 7 inches of snow fell overnight Wednesday in Kent County, home to Grand Rapids, Michigan's second-largest city.
... BUT NOT IN ALASKA
The ground is bare in Alaska's largest city.
Skiers are hitting the trails on roller skis. High school cross-country ski teams are practicing by running and hitting school gyms.
This time of year, Anchorage normally has nearly 17 inches of snowfall. Instead, it's seen less than 4 inches — and that snow has melted in unseasonably warm weather. In fact, a light rain fell this week, only to later freeze into a slick layer on roads and trails.
The same system that is pushing frigid conditions from the north to the Lower 48 states is bringing warmer conditions to Alaska from the south, said National Weather Service meteorologist Andy Dixon. It should wind down over the weekend, he said.
About 300 truckers were idled Thursday at truck stops and service areas along the New York State Thruway as they waited for the highway to be cleared and reopened.
An assistant manager at the TravelCenters of America truck stop in Pembroke, 25 miles east of Buffalo, said more than 100 tractor-trailers were parked there. Some have been stuck there since the lake-effect storms began Monday.
A spokeswoman for the neighboring Pilot Flying J truck stop said at least 150 trucks were parked on the property, down from 200 Wednesday. State officials say there are 45 trucks waiting out the storm at service areas between Rochester and the Pennsylvania border.
That 132-mile stretch of Interstate 90 has been closed since early Tuesday.
The American Red Cross has aided more than 300 people at emergency shelters set up in western New York since the lake-effect snow began Monday.
About 130 people spent Wednesday night at the organization's shelters or at others the group is assisting, said spokesman Jay Bonafede. Many are motorists whose vehicles got stuck in deep snow.
The shelters have been set up at fire stations, churches and senior and community centers from Ripley on the Pennsylvania border to suburban Buffalo towns. The Buffalo Fire Department provided cots, blankets and toiletries, and local supermarkets and other businesses are donating food and supplies.
ABOUT THE LAKE EFFECT
The images were striking: a city half awash in daylight, half inundated by a thick bank of snow rolling off Lake Erie. Lake-effect snow happens every year around the Great Lakes, so why was this bout in Buffalo so severe?
It's about timing and temperatures, said Patrick Burke, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service's Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.
Typically, convection draws moisture into the lower atmosphere as cold air moves across a relatively warmer lake, and winds carry the system ashore. This time the air was especially cold, Lake Erie is warmer than it would be later in the year, and the winds stretched the length of the 240-mile-long lake in the right direction, making for an even stronger snow dump that hit land and persisted for an unusually long period, about 30 hours.
"In this case, all of those factors have been maximized," Burke said.