AUSTIN (KXAN) — Many areas in the Great Lakes states are realizing snow totals that exceeded as much as six feet of snow in the past few days. Though not rare to see snow in the fall season, it is uncommon to see the amount of snow that is accumulating, especially in western New York.

Snowfall in the Buffalo area (Erie County) is topping out at 77″ in Orchard Park. The home of the Buffalo Bills is about 10 to 15 minutes southeast of downtown Buffalo.

More than 72″ has been measured east of Watertown, New York. By contrast, southern Buffalo measured just shy of two feet while northern Buffalo was less than a foot. By the way, the Bills were to have a home game Sunday against Cleveland. That game was moved to Detroit’s Ford Field, a domed stadium.

Touchdown, Snow!

What’s happening in the lakes region is not a blizzard, although you’d have a hard time convincing the residents of that. A big difference between these lake-effect snows and a snowstorm or blizzard is the lake’s contribution to the storm.

Moisture accumulates from the cold air moving over the warmer waters of the lakes. Clouds form as the air rises. With temperatures at 32° and lower over the area the precipitation falls as snow. These are smaller in size as opposed to a blizzard.

Courtesy: National Weather Service

Is the changing climate a contributing factor? In a way, yes. Experts say more water is evaporating into the atmosphere as the planet warms. The additional moisture results in a greater amount of precipitation whether it’s a rain event or, in the case of this current weather situation, the ongoing snowstorm.

As an aside, this is also not considered to be a blizzard because states close to the lakes (Erie, Huron, Michigan, Ontario, and Superior) are seeing this snow event, one that is forecast to end during the evening. It looks like Buffalonians will see some sun Sunday and above-freezing temperatures Tuesday.