This time-lapse footage, collated by Buffalo resident Alfonzo Cutaia from his office window overlooking Lake Erie, was filmed as the “lake effect” snowstorm was sweeping through the New York state city earlier this week.
As the winds make landfall again, the temperature drops and a huge amount of precipitation is rapidly dumped.
If the wind and temperatures are just right, the federal weather service NOAA likens the effect to the air acting like a big sponge, sucking up all the warm water of the lake and then wringing it out as it reaches land.
Buffalo’s position, right at the eastern end of the narrow lake, means it is often susceptible to this phenomenon, but this year has seen a particularly extreme episode, as the video shows.
Although the heavy storm has swept through the north-eastern US since last Saturday, Buffalo has been one of the worst-affected areas and the New York Times is now reporting up to ten deaths in the area.
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