What is the Lake Effect? Bills playoff weather explained

The Buffalo area is set to be hit with lake effect weather this weekend, including during the Bills vs. Steelers Wild Card Round game on Sunday afternoon.

AFC Divisional Playoffs - Cincinnati Bengals v Buffalo Bills
AFC Divisional Playoffs - Cincinnati Bengals v Buffalo Bills / Timothy T Ludwig/GettyImages

What a season it has been for the Buffalo Bills. Entering their Week 13 bye, the Bills were 6-6 and in danger of missing out on the playoffs. Yet, the team won their final five games to not only make the playoffs but win the AFC East and clinch the No. 2 seed. With that, they are set to host a playoff game this weekend against the No. 7 Pittsburgh Steelers.

While the Bills are favored to win on Sunday afternoon, the main story surrounding the game has been the weather. The Buffalo area is set to get hit by lake-effect snow and heavy wind this weekend, and it will take place during the game on Sunday, which is set for 1:00 p.m. ET.

Fans may be wondering, what is lake effect weather?

What is lake effect weather? Explaining what weather will affect Bills vs. Steelers game

When it comes to lake-effect snow, here is the description provided by the National Weather Service.

"Lake effect snow is common across the Great Lakes region during the late fall and winter. Lake Effect snow occurs when cold air, often originating from Canada, moves across the open waters of the Great Lakes. As the cold air passes over the unfrozen and relatively warm waters of the Great Lakes, warmth and moisture are transferred into the lowest portion of the atmosphere. The air rises, clouds form and grow into narrow band that produces 2 to 3 inches of snow per hour or more."

That's right, with lake-effect snow, there is chance that snow can fall between two-to-three inches per hour, or more.

According to the Weather Channel, Orchard Park is expected to receive five to eight inches of snow alone. Additionally, the wind is expected to be between 20-30 mph. There is expected to be a high temperature of 24-degrees on Sunday.

There is a Winter Storm Warning in effect in the Buffalo area from 10 a.m. ET Saturday until 7:00 a.m. ET Monday, with snow accumulating between one to three feet and wind gusts up to 65 mph.

With the amount of snow expected to land in Orchard Park and with how high the wind gusts can reach, this could very well affect both the Steelers' and Bills' game plan for Sunday. How so? It could very well be a run-heavy game for both offenses to combat the weather.

Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. ET on Sunday and it will be broadcast on CBS.

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