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Lake Effect Snow Question  
User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16892 posts, RR: 51
Posted (6 years 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 2164 times:

We're getting into that time of year, here in New Jersey I've seen flurries a couple of times already. Something tells me it's going to be a real snowy Winter this year. We haven't had one of those in a long time, something along the lines of Winter's 1993, 1994, 1995 and 1996.

I've always been fascinated with these huge snow storms they get along the Great Lakes, my question is what area gets the most snow or feels the effects of Lake effect snow the most.

Buffalo New York, Erie Pennsylvania, Cleveland Ohio or someplace else?.. And about how much on average.


Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
12 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineCanuckpaxguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (6 years 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 2151 times:

I think it depends on the year, currents, etc. ... here's some basic information on Wikipedia.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_effect_snow

This is why I love Toronto. Everywhere around us has snow right now; particularly upstate-NY, but other than a couple of flurries throwing a bit of snow around, we've had nothing. It seems Toronto is often (not always) sheltered from the lake effect snow.

G


User currently offlineDesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7802 posts, RR: 16
Reply 2, posted (6 years 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 2145 times:

Depends on which way the wind is blowing.

Quoting STT757 (Thread starter):
my question is what area gets the most snow or feels the effects of Lake effect snow the most.

I think in terms of upstate New York, Syracuse usually gets hit the hardest of the 4 big cities. Strong northerly/north westerly winds will bring in bands off of Lake Ontario. And very strong westerly to south westerly winds will bring in bands off of Lake Erie (though this seems to be less common).

I lived in Oswego for a little over 3 year (just 30 miles NW of Syracuse on the lake) and got hammered the last winter I was there. 6+ feet in less than a week, and there were places in the county that got nearly double that.

Lake effect snow can be really finicky though. When the effect is weak the bands may be just a few miles wide. So while one place will get nothing or a dusting, another place that is in a consistent band for the better part of a day will easily see a foot or more. This makes it very unpredictable.



Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8956 posts, RR: 60
Reply 3, posted (6 years 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 2144 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
DATABASE EDITOR

When I was living in Western Michigan without a garage, I kept a push broom near the car in the winter to clear the snow off. There was a stretch where we would get several inches every few days. Often, I'd have to spend a few minutes sweeping the snow off, and another few (several) minutes scraping the ice off of the windows.

I was pretty anal about keeping each window completely clear of snow and ice before driving. I'm convinced that around 90% of winter vehicle accidents are a result of two things....limited visibility from obscured windows, and following too closely. If people would clear their windows, pay attention, and quadruple the distance between themselves and the car ahead, the number of winter accidents would drop drastically.

Now, so long as I live in the northern states, I will never live anywhere without a garage.

Back to your question, though, I'd say the area east of lake Erie gets the worst of it, followed by western lower Michigan. More specifically, the first 30-40 miles in from the Lake Michigan shoreline. Beyond that, the lake effect really drops off and becomes much less of a factor.

2H4

[Edited 2008-11-18 09:12:43]


Intentionally Left Blank
User currently offlineDesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7802 posts, RR: 16
Reply 4, posted (6 years 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 2135 times:



Quoting 2H4 (Reply 3):
Back to your question, though, I'd say the area east of lake Erie gets the worst of it, followed by western lower Michigan. More specifically, the first 30-40 miles in from the Lake Michigan shoreline. Beyond that, the lake effect really drops off and becomes much less of a factor.

I'll take what Wikipedia has with a bit of skepticism, but from the article it looks like the UP of Michigan is hit the hardest with lake effect off of Lake Superior. Followed by the Tug Hill plateau in upstate New York getting hit off of Lake Ontario. Since Lake Erie usually freezes over completely its effect is usually early in the season. I remember the freak lake effect event in Buffalo in October of 2006 that just wreaked havoc.



Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently offlineChrisjake From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 875 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (6 years 1 week 2 days ago) and read 2090 times:

Lake Erie hasnt frozen completely over in quite some time now. Basically, the Lake Erie "Snow Belts" are from the eastern suburbs of Cleveland, up through Erie PA, and all the way up to Buffalo.

the Lake Effect snows are incredible. in just a difference of a few miles means a difference from maybe 1-3" of snow to several feet.

as an example, I live in western Cleveland and I have barely a trace of snow on the ground, yet my friends on the far east side are digging out from 8"+ right now. when the wind has a westerly fetch, the sun may shine at my house, yet when I look over Lake Erie, those dark clouds are heading east to dump some serious snow.


chris



Well nothing's dead down here, just a little tired
User currently offlineWildcatYXU From Canada, joined May 2006, 2644 posts, RR: 5
Reply 6, posted (6 years 1 week 2 days ago) and read 2082 times:



Quoting DesertJets (Reply 2):
Lake effect snow can be really finicky though. When the effect is weak the bands may be just a few miles wide. So while one place will get nothing or a dusting, another place that is in a consistent band for the better part of a day will easily see a foot or more

Damn right. Here's the result of such snowsqall.

Big version: Width: 1024 Height: 768 File size: 444kb


That night, if you looked at the radar image, you've seen three narrow bands of heavy precipitation stretching from Lake Huron towards YXU. While our area (suothwestern London) looked like this, Byron, few clicks west of us, had only few inches of snow.


User currently offlineOswegobag From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 169 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (6 years 1 week 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 2048 times:

This is a favorite topic of mine as I have also lived in Oswego when I went to college as a meteorology student. The lake effect that Oswego gets was acually a reason I went to college there. The Tug Hill Plateau does get the most lake effect snow of anywhere (about 30 miles north of Syracuse), but the city which gets the most is SYR. Even though BUF is always in the news as getting a lot of snow, it is usually about 30 miles south of Buffalo that gets hammered with snow in Chautauqua and Cattaragus Counties.

User currently offlineDXing From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (6 years 1 week 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 2026 times:

Probably just as interesting is to live on western Lake Erie where I lived for several years and watch the steam rise off the warm water, evaporate, and then turn into clouds blowing to the east several thousand feet up. Always an interesting sight and I remember it seeing it start to happen one Saturday, calling a friend of mine in eastern Cleveland, and several hours later he called me back to say it had started snowing.

User currently offlineDragon-wings From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 3991 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (6 years 1 week 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 2024 times:

I guess the Long Island Sound is not big enough to cause lake effect snows. It's to bad beacuse I love snow and would love to see that much snow (6+ feet) on Long Island.


Don't give up don't ever give up - Jim Valvano
User currently offlineIhadapheo From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 6027 posts, RR: 55
Reply 10, posted (6 years 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 2013 times:

Lake effect snow is yearly visitor here in KBUF. Until Lake Erie freezes over the risk of lake effect snow is always with us. Until recently the temperatures have been quite mild and lake Erie is curreently a balmy 49 F. The current air temperature is 25 F all we need now is a strong wind out of the southwest and the lake effect machine could be kicked into high gear and drop a large amount of snow quite quickly.

Lake effect snow comes off Lake Erie in "bands" that look like fingers moving across the area. In the bands the snow can fall at 3-4 or more inches an hour while a few mile away the sun can be out with now falling. This can change as the bands of snow move across the area. All it takes to turn off the "machine" is a small change in wind direction.

Back in December 2001 we were treated to a good blast of lake effect snow where 84" of snow fell in 4-5 days. It took a bit to be able to get around and getting to work a was true adventure (and my commute was only 2 miles).

Oh well general snowfall is forecast for the next week or so but so far there is no lake effect in the forecast

Here is a link to an article about the 2001 snow with a basic lake effect explanation

http://archives.cnn.com/2001/WEATHER/12/29/buffalo.snow/

IHAP

Sorry to babble but an old man and thoughts of snow tend to equal a confused old man typing with one hand while the other hand fearfully holds a shovel



Pray hard but pray with care For the tears that you are crying now Are just your answered prayers
User currently offlineSkySurfer From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2004, 1136 posts, RR: 12
Reply 11, posted (6 years 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 1981 times:

Here in Kingston, Ontario the snow can hit hard in one area and another area will have practically nothing. We're right on Lake Ontario and quite often you can see northern New York being hammered by dark snow clouds whilst here in Kingston we have clear blue skies. Just 1 mile into Lake Ontario is Wolfe Island.....snow can be coming down like you wouldn't believe over there but on the mainland we've got practically nothing!

Cheers

Stu



In the dark you can't see ugly, but you can feel fat
User currently offlineWildcatYXU From Canada, joined May 2006, 2644 posts, RR: 5
Reply 12, posted (6 years 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 1847 times:

And here we go again. The bands of precipitation are clearly visible in the radar image.

Big version: Width: 585 Height: 497 File size: 75kb


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