Lake-effect snow is not common here in the Tennessee Valley, but to our friends north it is. Areas in western New York, like Buffalo and Hamburg received feet of snow in a twenty-four hour period.

The perfect set up for an event like this is strong winds, cold air, and warm lake waters. Lake Erie’s water temperature is in the low 50s while the air temperatures in western New York were well below freezing. A strong southwesterly wind meant that the colder air traveled over the warm waters of the lake for longer, leading to a record breaking snow event. This event can be compared to the ‘Snowvember’ event of 2014.

With lake effect bands, sometimes they slowly meander north and south or in extreme cases they remain stationary for hours. This is exactly what occurred in Thursday into early Saturday morning. On Saturday morning, this band of snow drifted north, allowing residents to dig out from the snow.

The heaviest snow fell across portions of Erie, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, and Wyoming counties. In Orchard Park, they recorded a record breaking 77 inches! To put this in perspective, this is 6 feet and 5 inches; the height of News 19’s Greg Screws.

Above is photos out of Buffalo and Orchard Park. While the area had a break from the snow on Saturday, the band will begin to shift back south Saturday night. This will lead to additional snowfall for locations who have already received over 4 feet.