WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — North Country residents are being urged to avoid traveling on Thursday, into Thursday night due to an ongoing lake effect snowstorm.

On Thursday afternoon, New York Governor Kathy Hochul urged residents to both use caution, and avoid any unnecessary travel in parts of the state, including the North Country, as two weather systems are expected to produce severe winter weather.

According to the National Weather Service, these systems could produce snow and gusting winds, causing snow and ice-covered roads, low visibility and potentially dangerous travel conditions through the morning on January 7.

Lake effect snow accumulations in the North Country and Western New York are expected to exceed one foot, with wind gusts up to 40 miles per hour.

“With more heavy snow and high winds in the forecast, I’m encouraging New Yorkers to stay off the roads and be prepared for dangerous travel conditions.” Governor Hochul said in a press release. “Areas in Western New York and the North Country are already experiencing lake effect snow and we’re anticipating up to six inches of snow in Downstate regions between tonight and tomorrow morning.”

“Please avoid any unnecessary travel to keep yourself safe and to help our maintenance crews out on the roads clear our highways and bridges quickly and safely,” The Governor added.

Earlier in the week, Governor Hochul directed state agencies to prepare emergency response assets in anticipation of extreme winter weather.

This included resources from the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, Department of Transportation, Thruway Authority, Department of Environmental Conservation, Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Department of Public Services, New York State Police, New York Power Authority and Canal Corporation, Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Lake effect snow warnings will remain in effect in both Jefferson and Lewis counties through 1 a.m. on Friday, January 7, 2022.

Check back with ABC50 throughout the storm for all current weather alerts, up-to-date forecasts and nearby closings and delays.