(Orchard Park is indeed south of Buffalo proper.)
For those of you who did not spend any part of your lives near a Great Lake, lake-effect snow is a weather phenomenon in which cold winds blow across large bodies of warmer water, picking up water vapor from the surface. That vapor then freezes and is carried with the wind over land, where it falls as snow. The snow develops as thin bands that can drop significant amounts of the white stuff in a short amount of time; however, this also means that accumulation can be seriously localized, with some locations receiving a large amount and other locations only miles away receiving little or nothing.
You might recall the 2017 Snow Bowl between the Bills and Colts, when eight or nine inches of lake-effect snow fell on Bills Stadium during the game (the stadium’s field is not heated):
The snow that falls during Saturday’s game likely will not be as heavy, but it still could add a wrinkle to the proceedings, especially because Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson says he has never played in it.
“I never got to play in the snow, except my first time seeing snow in Louisville, but we had a snowball fight, so that’s totally different from playing in it,” Jackson, who grew up in Florida, said Tuesday. “Yeah, that definitely will be my first time playing football in the snow Saturday. If it does. Hopefully it don’t.”
The wind might pose some problems as well, with gusts to 20 mph expected.
The Packers play the Rams in Green Bay on Saturday afternoon, and the forecast calls for no precipitation and temperatures in the low- to mid-30s.
The forecast for Sunday afternoon’s Chiefs-Browns game in Kansas City, Mo., is similarly benign, with kickoff temperature around 40 and at least a little sun.
Sunday evening’s Saints-Bucs game will be played in a dome, free of anything the winter throws at it.