National Weather Service Buffalo, New York

Western New York Weather History




A west to northwest flow of very cold air across the open waters of Lake Ontario again produced lake effect snow showers and squalls. Snowfalls of six inches were recorded in southern Oswego county while to the north, up to seventeen inches of snow fell at Boonville and over portions of the Eastern Lake Ontario Counties. In addition to the snowfall, the gusty winds caused considerable blowing and drifting, lowering visibilities to near zero at times.


28TH-31ST...A strong trough crossed the lower Great Lakes region. The well-aligned northwest flow kicked off an intense band of lake effect snow over Oswego county. The band remained nearly stationary for 36 to 42 hours. Four to five feet of snow fell in a narrow section of central Oswego county by Friday afternoon (the 30th). The band drifted north into southern Lewis and extreme southern Jefferson counties for awhile Friday night, before drifting back south across Monroe, Wayne and northern Cayuga counties on Saturday the 31st. Specific snowfall totals included: 86" in Parish; 58" in Constantia; 56" in West Monroe; 51" in North Osceola; 48" in Oswego; and 40" in Fulton. The weight of this snow, as well as previous lake effect storms during the month, caused several buildings to collapse in Monroe and Wayne counties. In Wayne county, about 25 boats were damaged in Sodus Point when the roofed caved in on a large storage building. Because of the heavy lake effect snows throughout the month of January, Oswego , Jefferson and Cayuga counties were declared State and Federal Disaster areas. Off Lake Erie , snowfalls were limited by the ice cover on the lake. Lake effect snow prevailed over the higher elevations south of Buffalo from late Wednesday (28th) into Friday. Reported snowfall totals included: 18" at Orangeville; 14" at Warsaw and Arkwright; 12" at South Wales ; and 8" at Perrysburg.


29th-30th...True winter continued to deepen across the region during the last week of the month and with the lakes still open and warmer than usual due to the earlier mild winter. A northwest flow developed Monday morning the 29th and set up an intense narrow band off Lake Ontario which focused on the three-county border of Wayne-Cayuga-Oswego. This band moved little for 4 to 6 hours, and dropped snow at the rate of up to 5 inches per hour! Twenty to thirty inches fell in a ten-mile wide area centered on Fair Haven and Hannibal. The flow backed a bit later in the day and sent the band north across central Oswego county with up to 6 inches falling before settling south again after midnight and dissipating. Off Lake Erie, heavy lake snow developed across Chautauqua county in the early afternoon, and then slowly but steadily drifted north as the flow backed ahead of an approaching low. The band moved north across Buffalo's southtowns in the evening and dropped 5 to 10 inches of snow, but broke apart just as it reached the City of Buffalo. Upward of two feet fell during the day over the Chautauqua Ridge, and up to a foot south of Buffalo. Off Lake Ontario, specific snowfall reports included: 30 inches at Hannibal, 24 inches at Red Creek, 21 inches at Fair Haven, and 8 inches at West Monroe and Constantia. Off Lake Erie, specific snowfall reports included: 24 inches at Perrysburg, 23 inches at Arkwright, 18 inches as Cassadaga, 15 inches at Mayville, 10 inches at Hamburg and 9 inches at Orchard Park.