The residents living beside the water of Lake Erie in Hamburg, New York, experienced the strongest wind and ice storm combination since the 1970s in February 2020. Pictures shared in the media showed homes completely covered in one to three feet of ice. Neighborhoods look like something out of a Disney movie.
With freezing temperatures in the low to mid-20s combined with 60 mph high winds pounding for 48 hours straight, water came up from the lake and splashed onto all the lakefront properties covering them with ice. Long icicles hung from every corner of the homes and some people’s yards were piled up with a whopping 12 feet of snow and ice.
This all happened when the temperature dropped below freezing on Feb 26, 2020. Everything was caked with ice and FOX News called it a “winter wonderland.”
According to WIVB, the supervisor of Hamburg said he already applied the town for FEMA funds that may be able to pay for a break wall in 2020 and fund other defensive ways to protect the homeowners. The National Severe Storm Laboratory said the town experienced an uncommon phenomenon where the lake’s water was warm and it mixed with the cold air that was quickly moving over it. Combining that with long periods of high wind created what we see in the pictures and videos.
“As a cold, dry air mass moves over the Great Lakes region the air picks up lots of moisture from the Great Lakes,” according to the NSSL. “This air, now full of water, dumps the water as snow in areas generally to the south and east of the lakes.”