(See Thirtieth Publication of the Oswego County Historical Society, (1969) and The Climate and Snow Climatology of Oswego N.Y., (1971)
Since then the term "snowburst" has been used to describe any heavy lake effect snowfall not accompanied by high winds. If high winds are present the conditions are referred to as "snow squalls"; and in extreme circumstances it becomes a blizzard.
In mid January 1997 a snow burst dropped 95 inches of snow on the hamlet of Montague, New York on the Tug Hill Plateau. This storm included a record for the contiguous United States of 77" in 24 hours on the 11th and 12th, 40" of this total fell in 8 hours.
The meteorological definition of a snowburst is as follows:
"A short period of heavy snowfall, say on the order of 10-14 hours or so with snowfall rates around two inches per hour and greater. It is believed that snow frequently forms and falls out within "short" distances - say hundreds of feet. There is a tendency for the larger flakes to fall out closer to the shore."
(source:Lake Ontario Environmental Laboratory)