You have to see it to believe it.

 

Lake effect occurs when cold winds blow across an expanse of (relatively) warm(er) water.  That’s what caused Snovember 2014 in Buffalo, where the last remnants of that infamous storm coming  off Lake Erie did not melt until the following July.

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I watched this one being pushed over Lake Ontario by the prevailing westerly winds and knew that the Oswego and Binghampton areas would soon be covered in a flurry of snow.  Lucky me, had the winds been from a more northerly direction it would have chased me home!

IMG_8545Lake effect snow forms in thin, low-lying ribbons, so it is not unusual for one town to be inundated with blinding snow while an adjacent one enjoys sunshine.

Luckily, lake-effect snow bands, while vigorous, are generally short-lived.  They can produce whiteouts that dissipate quickly, sometimes after only a few minutes, but if the cold winds continue lake-effect storms can persist for days.

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