National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Western New York Weather History





Over 12 inches of snow fell at the Buffalo Airport between the 3rd and 5th and winds gusted to 70 mph on the 3rd. Temperatures averaged between 15 and 20 degrees below normal. Through the 3rd, 4th, and 5th blizzard-like conditions prevailed in many areas. The New York State Thruway closed from Depew to Henrietta and Route 219 from Hamburg south into Pennsylvania closed as well. Drifts mounted rapidly and visibility was reduced to near zero. Schools as well as businesses closed, hundreds of
motorists were stranded and air travel ceased. 


Temperatures stayed below freezing for the entire period from the 4th through the 6th. Strong winds combined with snowfall of 6.5 inches at Buffalo on the 5th and 6th to produce near blizzard conditions. The Thruway from Lackawanna to the Pennsylvania State line as well as parts of Routes 219 and 20 south of Buffalo were closed. Slippery roads and near zero visibilities were blamed for an accident on Route 98 involving 10 vehicles. The high winds on the 4th (gusts to 56 mph) caused power failures in many areas after tree limbs short-circuited or toppled electrical lines. Western New York was only on the fringe of this storm that reached blizzard proportions in New York City and parts of the New England states. 


Circulation around deep low pressure over northern New York brought cold, moist air to portions of western and central New York. A record snowfall of 5.8 inches was recorded at the Buffalo airport. The heavy, wet, snow broke many trees and limbs throughout the area. Slippery road conditions were blamed for dozens of accidents. Other reports received: Warsaw, Wyoming county, 11"; Angelica, Allegany county, 10"; New Albion, Cattaraugus cuonty, 8"; Sherman, Chautauqua county, 5"; and Friendship, Allegany county 6".


Low pressure moved up the mid-Atlantic coast and brought late season snows to the western southern tier of New York . Rainshowers changed to snow shortly after midnight on the 4th. The snow continued throughout the day with eight to twelve inches reported before the snow tapered off around midnight of the 5th.