First Alert Weather In-Depth: Historic Lake Snow

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The meteorologists can take a deep breath after what happened over the last couple of days. The heavy snow in the Buffalo was really one of historic proportions and the true definition of a whiteout. But we need to put this kind of snowfall into perspective. The measurement at Orchard Park was about 80 inches of snow for the four day time period. But compare that 80 inches to what Rochester will usually measures for an entire winter season.  The average is about 100 inches of snow. So what Orchard Park came very close to was the amount of snow that we may see in an entire winter season.  That is almost five months of snow just four days!

Another comparison is the amount of snow thus far during the month of November. The official snowfall number at the Buffalo Airport is 37 inches. Then check- out to Rochester. We are underachievers so far with only 4.5 inches of snow for November. That snowfall total goes up substantially for the folks in Watertown as they are close to 60 inches. However, down in Syracuse they have only measured 3.8 inches of snow.

These numbers really illustrate the amazing the difference over a short distances for New York State. Why did this happen?  It is a function of the intensity of the snow squalls and also the wind direction. If the wind direction was a little bit different, these snowfall numbers would have been vastly different.