FEBRUARY 13-14, 2006

Lake Flake scale: ** 2 Flakes

Maximum Snowfall: Lk. Erie: 9" (Alden, Elma). Lk. Ontario: 14" (Copenhagen).

Duration: 24 Hours +/-

Prime Feature: Strong winds, squally, long fetch, meandering bands, late season.

Lake Flake Scale: ** 2 Flakes

The season's 11th event was a relatively brief but fairly intense one, and a bit unusual in the fact that Lake Erie was unfrozen and contributed to the activity in the Buffalo area, highly unusual this late in the season when the Lake is usually filled with ice.  

The region was locked in a very cold airmass, at least by this year's standards, with 850 mb temps in the -13c range, the flow was westerly at first, but a strong trof moving across the Central Lakes added moisture to the low levels and raised the inversion enough to increase lake effect activity east of the lakes around midday and early afternoon Monday 13th. The winds backed to southwest as the trof approached, sending lake snows north into metro Buffalo by mid and late afternoon. Strong winds of up to 40 mph caused local whiteouts for an hour or two, creating treacherous travel conditions with several accidents. The activity lifted north into the northern suburbs during the evening, then settled south across the area during the wee hours Tuesday after the trof passed. Warm advection then set in Tuesday morning with activity weakening and moving north again, dissipating by late morning. The strong winds allowed bursts of snow to reach as far as the Rochester area at times,  with two inches there. Accumulations ranged from 3 to 7 inches across most of metro Buffalo, slightly higher to the east.  

The activity followed a similar scenario east of Lake Ontario, albeit 3 to 4 hours later. The activity was also a bit more intense and lingered longer, enough to give a foot to the Watertown area, and much of central Jefferson and northern Lewis counties. This was a brief event with limited accumulations, but strong winds did cause some impact, especially since it focused on the heavily populated Buffalo metro area, and Watertown as well. It therefore earns two ** Stars **.

Off Lake Erie


9 inches
Elma 9 inches
West Seneca 7 inches
Lancaster 6 inches
E. Aurora 6 inches
Cheektowaga 5 inches
Buffalo 4 inches
Rochester 2 inches

Off Lake Ontario


14 inches
Hooker 12 inches
Watertown 12 inches
Carthage 12 inches
Oswego 8 inches
N. Ocseola 8 inches
Lowville 6 inches
Boonville 4 inches