Snowfall totals in the Buffalo area and what causes lake-effect snow

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A lake-effect snow event is expected to drop “paralyzing” amounts of snow across the western New York area over the next few days. The National Weather Service predicted up to 4 feet was possible in some areas, and AccuWeather said an incredible 6 feet of snow was not outside the realm of possibility.

“Buffalo and its southern suburbs may receive as much as 3 to 6 feet of snow by Sunday,” AccuWeather meteorologist Matt Benz said, adding that the heaviest snow may fall over two stretches – Thursday night into Friday and Saturday into Saturday night. “These two periods will likely feature the worst conditions of this event.”

Here’s ‘s how much snow has fallen as of 11:24 a.m. EST Saturday:

Just how much snow is there?

The NFL announced on Thursday that Sunday’s game between the Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills has been moved from Buffalo to Detroit’s Ford Field due to a snowstorm. Here is how much snow has fallen in the Buffalo area so far compared to the Bills starting Quarterback Josh Allen who stands 6-feet-5 inches:

What is lake-effect snow?

Lake-effect snow usually cranks up in late November and December before lake water freezes. Air and water temperature, along with wind speed and direction, determine how much snow falls at a given location.

Lake-effect snow can last a few minutes or up to several days. It develops from narrow bands of clouds that form when cold, dry arctic air passes over a large, relatively mild lake.

As the cold air passes over the unfrozen and “warm” waters of the Great Lakes, warmth and moisture are transferred into the lowest portion of the atmosphere, the weather service said. The air rises, and clouds form and grow into narrow bands that produce 2 to 3 inches of snow an hour or even more.

More: ‘Paralyzing’ lake-effect snowstorm takes aim at western New York; up to 6 feet could fall, forecasters warn



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