Snow is one of those things that are essentially synonymous with Buffalo. If you travel around the country and tell people you're from the 716, you can all but guarantee they say something like "how do you guys deal with all of that snow?" Which of course is often a valid question, considering that we live in one of the snowiest cities in America.

Given the recent weather events that have happened over the last few months, the idea that we'll be able to dispel that myth is pretty much a lost cause. Buffalo gets lots of snow and that's one of the things we love about the area.

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Recent forecasts from the National Weather Service regarding the amount of ice that is on Lake Erie have pretty much reminded all of us that we have the potential for a lot more snow to fall in the area.

Ice cover across the Great Lakes remains well below normal for January at only 5 percent coverage.
-National Weather Service

Lake Erie's current temperature currently sits around 36°F and there is very little ice on the lake. The Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory and the National Ice Center reported that only about 5% of all the Great Lakes have some ice coverage, with Lake Erie hovering at less than 1% of ice. Which is far below the average amount of ice that would be on the lake by the end of January.

With so little ice on Lake Erie, Buffalo remains susceptible to being hit with a blast of Lake Effect Snow.

What Is Lake Effect Snow

We talk a lot about Lake Effect Snow, but what is it exactly?

According to the National Weather Service, Lake Effect Snow happens when:

...cold air, often originating from Canada, moves across the open waters of the Great Lakes. As the cold air passes over the unfrozen and relatively warm waters of the Great Lakes, warmth and moisture are transferred into the lowest portion of the atmosphere. The air rises, clouds form and grow into narrow band that produces 2 to 3 inches of snow per hour or more.
-National Weather Service

National Weather Service
National Weather Service

These lake effect bands directly lead to how you can have extremely heavy snow in one neighborhood and clear skies in another neighborhood.

Watch A Lake Effect Snow Band Blow Into Downtown Buffalo

One of the great things about our broadcast studios is that we have a great view of downtown Buffalo and Lake Erie from our offices. Check out this time-lapse video I was able to capture of a snow band blowing into downtown Buffalo.

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