Shuffle off to Buffalo. NOT : LUSENET : Unk's Troll-free Private Saloon : One Thread Friday December 28


Six Feet of Snow Buries Buffalo

By CAROLYN THOMPSON, Associated Press Writer

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Five straight days of unprecedented storms have pelted Buffalo with 6 feet of snow, leaving the area in a state of emergency Friday and settings several records.

The National Weather Service (news - web sites) said early Friday that 72.1 inches of snow - more than two-thirds of the city's yearly average - have fallen since Monday.

Another foot was expected Friday before the snow moved south to ski country.

Buffalo residents met the weather with civic spirit. ``We may get hit in the wintertime, but we don't have earthquakes, we don't have tornadoes, we don't have mudslides, we don't have anything that's going to kill someone,'' said Kevin Creighton, 31. ``We do get bad snow. I can live with that.''

Among the records set:

- The 73.3 inches of snow this month makes December the snowiest month in Buffalo history. The old record of 68.4 inches had stood since December 1985.

-The 35.4 inches of snow that fell from 6 a.m. Thursday to 6 a.m. Friday ranks as the second-highest 24-hour total. The record is 37.9 inches, Dec. 9-10, 1995.

-The 44 inches on the ground at the weather service's airport measuring station Friday eclipsed the 42-inch record set in January 1977. The reading is less than the total snowfall because some snow has melted and the remainder has compacted.

A state of emergency was declared for all of Erie County. ``Basically, the city is shut down,'' said Matt Brown, spokesman for Mayor Anthony Masiello. After opening briefly early Friday to allow a flight to land, the Buffalo Niagara International Airport was closed until at least midday.

``I come up here about once a year just to remind myself why I live in Florida,'' said Jay Patterson of Orlando, who was among travelers stranded at the airport when it closed Thursday.

Driving was banned in Buffalo and several suburbs. Most major roadways, including nearly 75 miles of the New York State Thruway, remained closed. Only essential government, medical and emergency workers were allowed on the roads.

The weather came on the heels of two mild months of weather in Buffalo. The city received no snow in November, and temperatures were in the 60s in early December.

That changed on Christmas Eve when the snowfall rumbled into town. Streets in and out of the city were shut down Thursday, and pedestrians were left plodding through chest-high drifts. At least one traffic death was blamed on the storm, that of a 50-year-old woman whose car was struck Wednesday by a pickup truck on an icy suburban street.

Buffalo is accustomed to astonishing amounts of snow from ``lake effect'' storms, which pick up moisture from Lake Erie. The average winter snow total is 93.5 inches.

But this week's snowfall was huge even by Buffalo standards. Large masses of cold air were siphoning moisture from the lake and dropping it in bands of snow.

City, county and state workers were sent home around midday Thursday, about the same time a storm band passed through downtown, producing a near whiteout.

``We had such a good fall and a great summer. What are you going to do?'' asked Joe Jacobbi, working the takeout counter at his pizza parlor. ``It came so late in the season that at least spring isn't too far away.''

The 33.6 inches of snow that fell into Friday morning was the second highest accumulation for a 24-hour period in Buffalo history. The 25.2 inches that fell from Monday to Tuesday is No. 4 on the record list.

The record of 37.9 inches that fell Dec. 9-10, 1995, is not out of reach for later Friday, the weather service said.

``It entrenched over us, and it doesn't want to give up,'' meteorologist Ed Reich said.

-- (, December 28, 2001


Those poor bastards. Better them than me though.

-- Jack Booted Thug (, December 28, 2001.

Buffalo, N.Y. is located in one of the world’s most prolific snow belts and has historically been the recipient of massive volumes of snow in short periods of time. Weather in the U.S. normally moves from west to east and Buffalo is located in the eastern end of the Great Lakes complex. This time of year, the ‘lake-effect’ snow will arrive in the Buffalo area with a vengeance, having collected itself over the entire Great Lakes only to end up making landfall in upstate Western New York. When the mean temperature of the lake water is higher than the surrounding landmasses, the amounts of dumped snow can be overwhelming.

In February of 1969, I was driving from Syracuse N.Y. to Watertown, which is located on the eastern end of Lake Ontario. I had stopped to get gas and before 5 minutes had passed it became almost impossible to continue driving. I, along with many others was stranded at this small facility for 3 days.

-- So (, December 29, 2001.


-- John (, December 29, 2001.

Re global warming, it's temperature, not snowfall, that is relevant.

(Actually, if the temperature of the Great Lakes is higher than usual, I would think this would have contributed to an unusual amount of moisture in the air.)

-- Peter Errington (, December 29, 2001.

The water temperature is higher so you are correct in the reason for this "gift" from Mother Nature.

-- Jack Booted Thug (, December 29, 2001.

A month ago they were golfing in short pants. Member reading bout "3 times in 130 years" data chronicling such a heat wave. Even the cherry trees got fooled into blossoming. Nature is my favorite Mom.

-- Carlos (, December 29, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ