With Buffalo preparing for 3 feet of snow, how much will come to Fort Erie, Niagara Falls?


Published November 17, 2022 at 10:39 am

It's not quite the Blizzard of 1977 (shown above) just yet but Buffalo is calling for three feet (90 cm) of snow within the next 72 hours. Given its proximity, how much can border towns like Fort Erie, Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake expect?

Every meteorologist in North America will tell viewers that the cumulative effects of snow squalls – or lake-effect snow – are the toughest to predict.

Wind direction, which can change on a dime, plays a key role but ultimately, what happens in the west end of Niagara Region – the Grimsby-Lincoln area – can be dramatically different than what happens in the east end of the region – the Niagara Falls, Fort Erie and Niagara-on-the Lake area.

That said, with American meteorologists calling for nearby Buffalo to get buried under three feet (90 cm) starting from tonight until Sunday, what can be expected up here in Niagara? After all, the distance between Fort Erie and Buffalo is the length of the Peace Bridge that joins them – more specifically 5,800 feet or 1.77 km.

The Weather Network itself isn’t certain, saying, “The most populated areas at risk for impactful snowfall totals will be the northeastern shores of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. Very heavy snow is possible across the Niagara Peninsula, with the potential for a sharp gradient between intense snow and a lightly winter scene.”

Simply translated: Some areas in Niagara could get creamed, others might escape that fate.

The American National Weather Service (NWS) has little doubt of the severity, issuing a winter storm watch for the Buffalo area and warning that some three feet of lake-effect snow could cripple the city and surrounding area. Niagara’s three border cities or towns certainly qualify as “surrounding area.”

“This will be the start of a prolonged lake-effect snow event which will likely include paralyzing snowfalls for the Buffalo and Watertown area late this week through the weekend,” the National Weather Service office in Buffalo wrote in its forecast discussion on Wednesday morning.

Regardless of how it all plays out in Niagara over the next 72 hours, all weather services advise the same thing: Be careful on the roads and if travel can be avoided, it’s best to do so.

The Weather Channel shows Fort Erie (blue zone just below Niagara Falls) facing the
same extreme snow event as Owen Sound, which is sandwiched between Georgian Bay
and Lake Huron. While the American National Weather Service is calling for three feet
of snow in Buffalo, how much of that lands up here is still open to speculation.
Nonetheless, be prepared throughout the Niagara Region.

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