If you plan on traveling on Wednesday, Governor Kathy Hochul says you need to change your plans immediately.

At today's press conference about a generous $44 million investment into Suny Polytechnic Institute, Governor Kathy Hochul issued a grave warning to holiday motorists.

Forecasters are tracking extreme weather that's expected to "slam" New York State during peak holiday travel.

All Hands on Deck

Speaking to a pool of reporters on Friday, Governor Kathy Hochul warned:

We're heading into the busiest travel season of the year and of course Mother Nature is preparing to slam us with a massive snow storm right here in New York, at the prime peak time for holiday travel next Wednesday into Thursday. The most vulnerable areas, of course, are Buffalo and Watertown, and I wanted everyone to know that we're taking this very seriously.

Governor Hochul warned her administration, state forecasters and the National Weather Service are tracking the extreme system, which she says will have "major impacts" on holiday travel.

WIBX/Megan Stone
WIBX/Megan Stone

The governor said she has already directed all state agencies, from the Department of Transportation to the National Guard, to prepare for a "worst case scenario."

Don't Travel on Wednesday

Governor Hochul is warning anyone who plans on driving on Wednesday to alter their plans because it's not worth the risk:

Do not make next Wednesday your main day to travel, or else you'll get stuck. You will be either stuck at home, not able to travel, or worst case that you can be stuck on one of those roads or the New York State through ways.

She encourages all motorists to change their travel day to Tuesday, which will be before the storm is expected to strike the immediate area.

Hochul also warned those who plan on hosting Thanksgiving at their home this year to think ahead about buying groceries.

I would recommend getting your groceries over the weekend and not waiting till Monday or Tuesday so you don't get jammed up trying to get what you need for your holiday planning.

Hochul said her administration will continue to monitor the developing weather event and will consider sending out cell phone alerts to the "deeply affected areas" to ensure all residents are ready.

Scott Olson, Getty Images
Scott Olson, Getty Images

Residents who have Generac generators should ensure their fuel tanks have enough fuel in case the power goes out, and the same warning goes to those who have portable generators.

Residents should make sure they have the supplies they need before the end of the weekend, to ensure they are properly stocked and that they won't need a reason to venture outside in case the weather does turn severe.

The Current Forecast

Governor Hochul hearkened back to the 2014 snowstorm that produced 7 feet of snow in some areas and said the same conditions from back then are in play now. The reason why the storm was so severe was because Lake Ontario wasn't frozen over, which will work like jet engine fuel for the system.

Massive Snowstorm Brings Up To Foot Of Snow To Large Swath Of Northeast
Photo Credit - Andrew Theodorakis / Getty Images

Hochul said the weather could be "cataclysmic" and is urging residents to be vigilant.

The National Weather Service is picking up storm activity that could impact the region over Thanksgiving.

The NWS is warning of rain showers developing Tuesday night and temperatures hovering above freezing - at 35 degrees.

Wednesday, at the moment, will be rainy and breezy, with highs near 43.  Snow does come into the mix that night, with the mercury hitting 24 degrees.

As for Thanksgiving, it could be a white one because there will be even more chances of snow in the morning before giving over to partly sunny skies. The high that day will be around 36.

David Nicosia, Head Meteorologist for NOAA Binghamton, told WIBX:

It's going to get cold by Thanksgiving and there will be lake effect snow off Lake Ontario but exactly where and how bad it is going to be it is too early to predict. Certainly closer to the Lakes will have a better chance. For Utica and vicinity there is a lot more uncertainty. We will be monitoring this situation 24/7 through the weekend and beyond.

Nicosia says there's a lot of uncertainty in the forecast this far out, so keep checking the forecast as we get closer to the holidays.

But if you are planning on making Wednesday your travel day, it might be best if you consider heading out earlier to ensure your safety.

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