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SUNY Buffalo State to host daylong conference for weather geeks

Buffalo weather: there’s always plenty to talk about.

For the first time this year, there’s a conference for it.

Hosted by SUNY Buffalo State’s meteorology and climatology program with help from the National Weather Service and the American Meteorological Society, the daylong “It’s Local!” event highlighting Buffalo’s weather and climate is open to any weather buff from children to professionals to senior citizens.

“Don’t let the word ‘conference’ scare you,” said Stephen Vermette, the Buffalo State professor organizing the event. “It’s open to everyone; everyone who has an interest in weather.”

“It’s Local!” will be held Saturday, April 30 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the classroom building at Buffalo State.

Vermette said the idea for the program was born from the former open house events hosted by the National Weather Service.

“It’s just to share information and just to share the excitement and the love for weather and climate,” Vermette said.

Some weather celebrity sightings will boost the excitement level at the event.

Tom Niziol, the former meteorologist-in-charge at Buffalo’s National Weather Service office who’s now the Weather Channel’s winter weather expert, and recently retired Channel 4 meteorologist Don Paul, will both make presentations.

Other topics to be covered include the lake-effect phenomenon, the ice boom, severe weather in Western New York, the 2010 tornado outbreak, climate trends in the region and the double lake-effect snowstorm of November 2014, also known as “Snowvember.”

A pair of afternoon workshops will also be included in the event covering weather radar and atmosphere. There will also be displays set up at the event, which Vermette said will be arranged in “an open house format,” as well as chances to share stories with fellow weather enthusiasts.

Vermette said interest has been strong. He said he hopes the event will continue every couple of years.

“This is kind of maybe a beginning of something,” Vermette said.

Preregistration is necessary by emailing Vermette at