Buffalo, NY, an all American city at the northern edge of Lake Erie (1 of the 5 Great Lakes). A city with a beautiful view and an unlikely curse. That curse (although it might not be for snow lovers!) is the infamous Lake Effect Snow machine. As cold air runs over the warm waters of the lakes in late fall and early winter months, instability is created and intense bands of snowfall can be formed. Where these bands of snow showers and even thunder snow set up depends on the wind direction. As long as the wind is blowing and the lake is ice free, this set up will produce snow.
If the transfer of moisture is great enough, the snow can pile up to tremendous amounts. This is what has happened today just south of Buffalo. As of right now at 10pm est on November 18th 2014, the snow is still falling over the same area and it's piling up to astronomical amounts!
To illustrate how intense and localized these snow bands can be see the Tweet below by the National Weather Service in Buffalo. 6o inches of snow in Lancaster, while just 6 miles north at the Buffalo airport, there is only 3.9 inches!
Source: NWS Buffalo
Now back to the video above. It is a time-lapse of the snow band moving inland from Lake Erie just south of Buffalo. You can almost see the moisture being transfer from the lake into the sky and deposited in the form of snow on the land. The ominous wall of white that drags across the water and land is actually falling snow!!
This event is definitely one for the record books and it's not even over yet! Here are some more photos posted on social media of today's events! It's crazy to see how high the snow has gotten. Hope people just south of Buffalo have some fun games to play while snowed in!