It has been a wild weather season here in Western New York over the past several months and we could still be in for a wild ride.

As we brace for below-average temperatures in February and March, there is one major issue that is sitting out there that could spell disaster for Western New York.

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That would be the lack of ice on Lake Erie.

As of this writing, the ice coverage level on Lake Erie is well below normal for this time of year.

Photo Credit: NOAA
Photo Credit: NOAA

If another massive cold front moves over Lake Erie, it could trigger some heavy lake-effect snow since the lake is covered in ice.


Lake effect snow is caused when cold air, moves across the open waters of the Great Lakes. When the cold air passes over the unfrozen and warm waters that warmth and moisture is being transferred into the atmosphere which could lead to lake-effect snow.

The more the lake is iced over the less chance there is for lake-effect snow. Looking at the current conditions of the lake could be alarming. If a cold front did move over Lake Erie, it could bring signific amounts of lake effect snow.

We are expecting below-average temperatures over the next couple of weeks which should help the lake freeze more, but with the lack of ice at this point, massive lake-effect snowstorms are still possible.

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