||The season's most severe lake effect event to date followed the passage of a sharp front early on Sunday the 21st. Winds turned southwest and increased to 30 to 40 mph with higher gusts by early afternoon over the west and almost as strong by late Sunday afternoon east of Lake Ontario. The strong winds inhibited single band formation, but resulted in a broad 20-30 mile wide area of lake snows northeast of Lake Erie right across the Buffalo metro area during the afternoon, which gradually settled south across the city and nearby southern suburbs in the evening. The winds created whiteouts and near blizzard conditions at times, with drifts commonly three feet across the entire Buffalo metro area. An upper air disturbance crossed around 3 a.m. on Monday the 22nd and bands shifted south where they remained in a weakened form across southern Erie and northern Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties during the day Monday before drifting north and weakening Monday night. Off Lake Ontario, a similar scenario ensued, but about 4 to 6 hours later. The main activity was over Jefferson and northern Lewis counties Sunday afternoon and night, gradually shifting south across Oswego county Monday and settling across the Syracuse area later Monday before shifting north and weakening Tuesday morning. Snowfall amounts were close to a foot across metro Buffalo with a bit more in a strip from Hamburg to West Seneca to Elma to Batavia. Six inches fell up into far southern Niagara County, and even Rochester caught three inches as the band extended that far east for a time Sunday evening. Off Ontario the heaviest amounts fell from central Jefferson to northern Lewis counties, although a narrow area of a foot also was recorded in the Syracuse area and far southern Oswego County as the band stalled Monday. The strong winds and frigid temperatures combined with the heavy snow to create the worst whiteout conditions and drifting in the Buffalo area in several years. Activities were ground to a halt with several major highways closed, including the I-90 NYS Thruway. Numerous automobile accidents were reported, including a fatal crash in Cambria.