Buffalo in the ’80s: Remember when it used to get cold and icy?

By Steve Cichon

As Buffalo enjoys its longest-ever wait for measurable snow, here’s a friendly reminder of what our winters usually look like.

Buffalo News archives

Most years, Lake Erie sees maximum ice coverage during early to late February, though the lake has been covered in January during the last two winters (2013-14 and 2014-15.)

2003 Lake Erie ice coverage

But during 2011-12, one of the mildest winters on record, only 13.9 percent of the lake was covered with ice. That same year, only 36.7 inches of snow fell — the third-lowest total on record.

While our mild November and December have left us carefree in the snow department, once the weather turns colder, most Buffalonians will have at least some fear of lake-effect snow unless, and until, Lake Erie freezes over.

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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon writes about Buffalo’s pop culture history. His stories of Buffalo's past have appeared more than 1600 times in The Buffalo News. He's a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. Since the earliest days of the internet, Cichon's been creating content celebrating the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The 25-year veteran of Buffalo radio and television has written five books and curates The Buffalo Stories Archives-- hundreds of thousands of books, images, and audio/visual media which tell the stories of who we are in Western New York.