Record snowfall attacks Buffalo


Record snowfall attacks Buffalo

Intense snow bands impacted Lake Buffalo and surrounding areas in western New York Thursday, delivering record snowfall and creating white conditions on roads in the regions that have been in the throes of a snowy drought so far this winter.

 In Buffalo last Thursday, there is more than 17 inches of snow fell, with nearly 10 inches accumulating by 10 a.m. EDT. Previously, the highest daily snowfall on January 6 was 7.3 inches from 1974. Also, January 6, 2022, is now the second snowiest day of the month. The city narrowly missed the monthly record of 18.3 inches which fell on January 11, 1982.

Visibility at Buffalo Airport was reduced to a quarter-mile or less for four consecutive hours Thursday morning as the snow fell at a fast and furious pace, at over 2 inches per hour at times. Winds blew about 30 miles per hour, reducing visibility on the roads and contributing to blowing and snow drifting areas.

A look at the radar Thursday morning, January 6, as a heavy lake-impact snow band hits Buffalo, New York. (AccuWeather)

WGRZ anchor Heather Lee shared a video on Twitter of a snowplow and cars driving on a snow-covered section of Interstate 90 in Buffalo, where the snow makes it very difficult to see the tail lights of vehicles in front of you.

As is typical with lake-shaped snowfalls, the highest snowfall accumulations occurred in a narrow gorge within the firmer snow ranges. Only 3-4 inches of snow has been reported a few miles north and south of Buffalo.

According to AccuWeather meteorologist Joe Bauer, cold air and brisk winds of the Great Lakes encouraged persistent bands of snow that produced significant amounts of snowfall.

The cold air flowing over the unfrozen and warm lake water is the primary driver of lake impact snow. But a key element is missing so far - the constant cold air - which has contributed to the snowy drying of many areas downstream from the lakes.

This week's snowfall has certainly helped eliminate some snow deficits.

Before Thursday's winter reality check, Buffalo received only 36% of average snowfall from November 1, 2021, to January 5, 2022, with 13.6 inches logged compared to the 37.7-inch average. The city's snow count has been 31.5 inches or 81% of the standard since November 1.

Marquette, Michigan, was another area with heavy snow that affected the lake this week, rising 15.4 inches on Wednesday and another 8.8 inches on Thursday. Wednesday's snowfall quickly broke the city's previous daily record of 5.3 inches, set in 2010, while Thursday's snow fell just under the record for that date of 8.9 inches from 1976. Marquette now records a surplus of snow since November 1, clocked in at 89.5 inches compared to an average of 72.2.

Further south in New Buffalo, a city on the southwestern tip of Michigan's Lower Peninsula, high winds and snow combined to create white road conditions in the middle of the week.

The significant snow deficit continues for areas that did not see heavy, tight snow bands this week. Erie, Pennsylvania, for example, has clocked just 7.6 inches since November 1, 18.0% of the 42.4-inch average for the period.

According to Power, locally heavy rain and snow showers will continue off the Great Lakes, creating slippery travel conditions on Saturday before winds shift before another approaching storm.

Until the Great Lakes freeze enough, shots of cold air over the coming weeks will likely continue to fire the lake-effect snow machine regularly. As of January 6, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration measured a total ice coverage of only 4.0% in the Great Lakes region.

0/Post a Comment/Comments