Pennsylvania's Erie Region is aptly named; Erie is its largest city and Lake Erie is its favorite destination. The area claims a population just short of 1 million people with steady increases since the last census.
The Erie Region of Pennsylvania, characterized by its connection to the Great Lakes, stands in contrast to downstate Pennsylvania. The region specialized in ship-building, shipping, and industry more closely related to the Great Lakes cities of Buffalo and Rochester, rather than the oil refineries in cities like Philadelphia and the steel industry of Pittsburgh. The region has close ties to Great Lakes sports teams, including the Buffalo Bills and Detroit Red Wings. Northwestern Pennsylvania is much like Western New York, in that it is entirely different from the eastern, more coastal half of the state. It is also much colder and snowier with lake-effect snow falling almost every day during the Winter months. Lake-effect snows occur quite often in the winter months; however, they are more of a threat when the wind comes from the northwest, usually after a low pressure system passes through the area.
Great Lakes dialect has a strong presence in northwestern Pennsylvania. One would be hard-pressed to distinguish between those who live in western upstate New York (Rochester, Buffalo) and those who live in Erie. Many O's become A's ("mam" instead of "mom," for example).