Expired News - While Canadians watch, U.S. border towns take the brunt of winter as #BuffaloSnow trends on social media - The Weather Network
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As Canadians, we owe a level of gratitude to our neighbours to the south who so far have taken the brunt of winter and kept it from crossing the border. But we also know that can't last forever.

While Canadians watch, U.S. border towns take the brunt of winter as #BuffaloSnow trends on social media

Daniel Martins
Digital Reporter

Tuesday, November 18, 2014, 12:05 PM - Canadians have watched with shovels in hand as heavy snowfalls have drifted up and pummelled cities on the edge of the Canadian-U.S. border, only to be denied entrance. But also as Canadians, we know it is only a matter of time before the gates fly open and the season arrives in earnest.

Tuesday, people in Buffalo, New York, are measuring it in inches and feet, and it's not stopping as the area took the brunt of snow squalls that blanketed the city within hours.

Social media was filled with people in the Buffalo area tweeting the snowy wastelands that their backyards and front porches had become since the snow began Monday. Several of the professional football players from the Buffalo Bills, some of whom attended colleges in the south, posted their own shock and awe over what was going on outside their doors.

The U.S. National Weather Service has lake-effect snow warnings in effect for the city and its environs, as well as communities further north in areas across from Kingston and the Thousand Islands.

Forecasters were expecting 75 cm or more to fall on those areas by Wednesday morning, but with locally higher amounts. The Associated Press reports the highest reading so far is just east of Buffalo, a little under 90 cm.

Road travel in some areas is at a standstill, with stranded motorists being handed blankets and supplies by police officers on ATVs. The I-90 was reported closed in both directions.

In Buffalo itself, tens of thousands of tons of salt is being prepped for deployment, and snow clearing vehicles are en route to the city from Albany and Syracuse to bolster the city's own fleet.

Ontario saw its own snow squall event Monday night, and it's continuing today in areas along the Great Lakes, but with nothing like the kind of totals that Buffalo is seeing.

Fort Erie, for example, while not displaying conditions that any reasonable person would find pleasant, was still nowhere near as snowy early Tuesday morning.

Weather Network meteorologist Kelly Sonnenburg says the reason for the discrepancy is the wind direction and "fetch", which is how long the winds travel over the waters of the Great Lakes before snow is deposited on coastal communities.

In Buffalo's case, the winds are travelling almost the whole length of Lake Erie, and Buffalo is situated like a bullseye right in their path, along with the snow that is being generated and carried aloft.

"If the wind directions were shifted slightly, Fort Erie would have seen snow," Sonnenburg says, adding the amounts would still have not been as much as Buffalo, due to a reduced "fetch."

MEANWHILE IN ONTARIO: Read up on today's bitter windchill and ongoing snow squalls here.

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