November 20th, 2014 at 8:17 PM ^

It was a very early arctic air mass and lake Erie was warmer. Given the steep lapse rates between the lake surface and the cold air mass a higher degree of convective instability develop causing convective snows. Plus the low-level pressure gradient was just right to give western NY westerly surface winds. This created a long fetch across lake Erie. If it stays cold Lake Erie will cool rapidly and their lake effect snow season may end by January. The Keweenaw Peninsula in the UP will get lake effect snow for a much longer time since lake Superior is deeper and takes time to cool. So, the Keweenaw Peninsula (lee side of Superior), southwest NY (lee side of Erie) and northwest NY (Lee side of NY) usually average 250 to 300" of snow per year. But early arctic outbreak will bring these monster snow falls to western NY more so then the upper UP because the duration of convective snows last longer due to the warmer water temperatures of  lake Erie, causing a greater degree of instability when the arctic airmass flows east across the long fetches of Erie and Ontario.


November 20th, 2014 at 3:18 PM ^

you're right, the snowfall is concentrated outside of the city with the downtown core recieving only a few inches... but the point remains, this is hardly average snowfall for either Buffalo or the UP, and making light of an emergency situation is kind of a dick move. There's as much as 9 feet of snow on the ground in places, it all fell in a matter of hours.


November 20th, 2014 at 4:22 PM ^

The Niagara womens basketball team just HAD to try out this bus camping thing for two days on the side of the highway.

Also, dude, Buffalo complains about snow approximately never so that everyone is in a bunch about it up there might tell you something about the severity. They got nearly an entire average season in two days.

Clarence Beeks

November 20th, 2014 at 4:56 PM ^

I'd like you to articulate how you think I'm downplaying it? Literally, my point was that this place is getting a typical snowstorm that another place gets, yet it's exacerbated by population density and differential preparedness. If you read that differently, thats at least partially in your reading of what I wrote and reading something into it that I didn't say.


November 20th, 2014 at 5:04 PM ^

You said it's not as dire as it seems. Do 8 people die when other places "regularly" get this type of snow? This IS dire. People have been trapped in their cars or work or stores or whatever for over 24 hours. Again, PEOPLE HAVE DIED. How is that not dire? Stop being an asshole and admit you are wrong. 

Clarence Beeks

November 20th, 2014 at 6:26 PM ^

No way to not sound like the asshole you've accused me of being, but it's not that uncommon. If it was as bad as the media wants to portray it, I'm surprised it's not more. The thing about storms like these is that those numbers come from all types of things (eg heart attacks shoveling snow and ambulances that don't make it there on time) that happen all the time under normal circumstances, but there isn't a storm to aggregate the numbers around. If it were 8 people who died because they got trapped in their cars, that'd be a different situation. The fact is, that isn't the case. As another poster in this thread (who lives there and is there for what is going on) eluded to, this isn't the type of storm

Clarence Beeks

November 20th, 2014 at 6:30 PM ^

(Continued) where if people are just smart about it they'll be fine. We get the same things here where I now live in FL with hurricanes (and the same thing I said above about people dying applies there too - the numbers get aggregated where they normally would not be). Media blows it up, people who haven't been through it freak out. Is it sad that people have died? Of course it is. I don't think anyone has suggested otherwise.

Clarence Beeks

November 21st, 2014 at 3:09 PM ^

I know Buffalo gets a fair amount of snow annually, but let's not get ahead ourselves. Buffalo (at 93 inches) is almost 50 inches behind Marquette (141 inches), which isn't even close to the snowiest spot in the UP. Buffalo isn't even close to the snowiest spot in its own state. No disrespect to Buffalo intended, but it's a total misconception. Buffalo is basically Erie, PA when it comes to annual snowfall.


November 20th, 2014 at 6:51 PM ^

All right. So having lived in Petoskey, Buffalo, and the Tug Hill Plateau in NY - yes, I love snow - I feel compelled to comment here.

Tug Hill wins the battle for most consistent, heavy, WTF lake effect. It's nuts there. My school looked like a castle in the winter because the parking lot snow was plowed out to the edges of the parking lot and left there. By February it was towering in gigantic curtain walls. You couldn't see inside; the entrance looked like it should have a drawbridge. Very cool.

Tug Hill loses to Petoskey in picturesqueness, though. If that's a word. The snow in Petoskey can get real heavy - I grew up there and haven't lived there in a long time, but I know they had a killer winter last year, and my friends' pictures were incredible. So, although the Tug Hill gets more deep stuff consistently day-in day-out, Petoskey's prettier.

Buffalo gets crazy snow, too, but much more intermittently, and with weird lightning. They had pink lightning in two different storms while I was there. But the town is less attractive than Petoskey, and they get less consistent lake effect than the Tug Hill.

All of this is just my recollection and impression, of course. I'm not bothering to look up stats. So, kind of a cool story bro. Carry on.