Snow has a suffocating quality about it, where copious amounts of falling snow become not only a hazard to those out in it, but bring about a paralyzing effect on those thought safe in their homes. All one can do is watch and cry “enough already!” Once buried, movement comes to a halt. Slowly life again appears, as shovels are reached for and the digging-out begins. This was the case on November 18–19, 2014, and again on November 20–21, 2014, when the area in and around Buffalo, New York, with a population of nearly a half million, was smothered by back-to-back lake effect snow events—events that “kept on giving” to the tune of up to seven feet of snow.
STEPHEN VERMETTE, Ph.D., is a climatologist and professor of geography at SUNY Buffalo State. His research interests include applied climatology and climatology reconstruction, as well as the climatology of Buffalo and Western New York. Previous articles in Weatherwise include “Friends and Foe: Weather and the War of 1812” (January/February 2012) and “Wind, Sunshine, and Sky: A Meteorologist's Interpretation of Charles E. Burchfield's Watercolors” (March/April 2014).