Buffalo sets snowfall record


Savannah C.'22, Writer

On Nov. 11, the sky dropped 11 inches of snow in Buffalo, New York, the most snow recorded to accumulate, specifically on this day in history. The city normally sees an average of 94.4 inches of snow, and the country is expecting Buffalo to see one of its coldest winters, according to the Buffalo News

Roads were still driveable while closings were minimal despite the snow which buried parked cars. The whole day’s snowfall totaled 8.7 inches above the old record of 5.3 set on Nov. 11, 1942. The record was actually surpassed before 9 p.m., when the snowfall hit 5.9 inches, but it kept coming down overnight, according to The National Weather Service

“The largest amount of snow I saw at one time was over four feet in the blizzard of 1977, and again in 1996. It snowed about three feet on Halloween,” Buffalo resident, William O’Shea, said via phone. 

The blizzard of 1977 hit western New York as well as southern Ontario. Due to the nearby lake, the blizzard drastically hit surrounding cities. It was a blizzard powerful enough to create nine-metre snow drifts, completely burying cars and making snowmobiles the only possible means of transport for days, if not weeks, according to The Weather Network


The immense amount of snow from this storm amplified by a system called “lake effect” snow. Lake effect snow is common across the Great Lakes region during the late fall and winter. Lake Effect snow occurs 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 and clouds form and grow into narrow bands that produces 2 to 3 inches of snow per hour or more according to The Weather Channel

“I used to live in Michigan for about two years, so they had a lot of snow all the time. I would just be prepared with food and candles and lights,” Cameron M. ‘22 said. 

Buffalo and other states are expecting large amounts of snow this winter. Some may even expect to break more records. The most amount of snow in one month was January 1977. There was 68.3 inches. Buffalo saw 90 total inches on the 2018-19 winter season, which is less than 5 inches shy of the city’s seasonal average for an entire winter, according to Buffalo’s snowfall records. 

Predictions have been made on Buffalo’s 2020 snowfall output.  In early 2020, it is presumed the term “Polar Vortex” will be used. Once the frigid air over the Arctic is unlocked, temperatures are expected to tumble across the eastern Great Lakes.