So say some climate experts, not buffaloed:
“This is definitely one of the strongest lake bands that we’ve experienced,” Judy Levan, the warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Buffalo, said. “It’s definitely in the top five.”
And it’s something Buffalo could face more often in a warming world. Rising global temperatures are also warming the Great Lakes and keeping them ice-free longer during the cold season...
In general, this is the time of year that Buffalo sees its major snows. That’s because this is the time of year when the air-lake water temperature contrast is likely to be highest, before winter gradually cools the lakes and eventually causes them to freeze over, cutting off the moisture supply.
But as the world warms, the period where cold late fall and early winter air overlaps with warm waters could grow longer because waters in Erie and the other Great Lakes are warming. That’s keeping them ice-free for longer in the season, which means the air has more opportunity to blow over and create lake effect snow.