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Encyclopedia > Lake effect snow
Lake-effect precipitation coming off the Great Lakes, as seen from NEXRAD.

Lake effect snow, which can be a type of snowsquall, is produced in the winter when cold, artic dry winds move across long expanses of warmer lake water, picking up water vapor which freezes and is deposited on the lee shores.The Lake Effect snow mostly occur in the northern states. This effect is enhanced when the moving air mass is uplifted by the orographic effect of higher elevations on the downwind shores. This uplifting can produce narrow, but very intense bands of precipitation, which deposit at a rate of many inches of snow each hour and often bringing copious snowfall totals. The areas affected by lake effect snow are called snowbelts. This effect occurs in many locations throughout the world, mostly in the Northern Hemisphere, but is best known in the populated areas of the Great Lakes of North America. The lake effect from the Great Salt Lake in Utah helps to create "The Greatest Snow on Earth". Since the Great Salt Lake never freezes, the lake effect can affect the weather along the Wasatch front year around. Image File history File links LakeEffectSnowBuffalo101206. ... Image File history File links LakeEffectSnowBuffalo101206. ... The Great Lakes from space The Great Lakes are a group of five large lakes in North America on or near the Canada-United States border. ... NEXRAD Radar at NSSL NEXRAD or Nexrad (Next-Generation Radar) is a network of 158 high-resolution Doppler radars operated by the National Weather Service, an agency of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in the United States. ... A Snowsquall is a suddent snow shower with blowing snow due to high winds. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with steam. ... Lee (red) and windward (green) shores, given wind from due east (blue arrows) The terms lee shore and weather or windward shore describe a stretch of shoreline with respect to the wind direction, and is of particular importance when sailing. ... This wave cloud pattern formed off of the ÃŽle Amsterdam in the far southern Indian Ocean, due to orographic lift of an airmass by the island, producing alternating bands of condensed and invisible humidity downwind of the island as the moist air moves in vertical waves and the moisture successively... A snowbelt is a region, many of which lie downwind of the Great Lakes, where heavy snowfall is particularly common. ... The Northern Hemisphere is the half of a planets surface (or celestial sphere) that is north of the equator (the word hemisphere literally means half ball). On the Earth, the Northern Hemisphere contains most of the land and about 88-90% of the human population. ... The Great Lakes from space The Great Lakes are a group of five large lakes in North America on or near the Canada-United States border. ... World map showing North America A satellite composite image of North America. ... Great Salt Lake, located in the northern part of the U.S. State of Utah, is the fourth largest terminal lake in the world,[1] and the largest salt lake in the Western Hemisphere. ... Official language(s) English Capital Salt Lake City Largest city Salt Lake City Area  Ranked 13th  - Total 84,876 sq mi (219,887 km²)  - Width 270 miles (435 km)  - Length 350 miles (565 km)  - % water 3. ... The Wasatch Range (also seen as Wasatch Mountains and Wahsatch Range) is a mountain range that stretches from southern Idaho and Wyoming south through central Utah in the Western United States. ...


If the air temperature is not low enough to keep the precipitation frozen, it falls as lake effect rain. In order for lake effect rain or snow to form, the moving air must be cooler and also less humid than the surface air. Specifically, the air temperature should be 15 to 25°C cooler than the water, and the dew point at the altitude where the air pressure is 850 mb should be 13°C lower than the dew point of the air at the surface. Lake effect of extremely cold air over still warm water in early winter can produce thundersnow, snow showers accompanied by lightning and thunder. For the singer, see Rain (singer). ... Thundersnow is a particularly rare meteorological phenomenon that includes the typical behavior of a thunderstorm, but with snow falling as the primary precipitation instead of rain. ... Double lightning. ... Thunder is the sound of the shockwave caused when lightning instantly heats the air around it to up to 30 000 °C (54 000 °F). ...

Contents

Cause

Lake effect snow produced as cold winds blow clouds over warm waters.
Lake effect snow produced as cold winds blow clouds over warm waters.

Even when precipitation is not produced, whenever cold air passes over warmer water it produces cloud cover. Fast moving cold fronts, known as Alberta clippers often cross the Great Lakes. After the passage of a cold front, winds tend to switch to northwest, and a frequent pattern is for a long lasting low to form over the Canadian Maritimes which may pull cold northwestern air across the Great Lakes for a week or more. Since the prevailing winter winds tend to be colder than the water for much of the winter, the southeastern shores of the lakes are almost constantly overcast, leading to the use of the term The Great Gray Funk as a synonym for winter.[1] These areas allegedly contain populations that suffer from high rates of seasonal affective disorder, a type of psychological depression thought to be caused by lack of light.[2] Image File history File links Lake-derived-snow. ... Image File history File links Lake-derived-snow. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The Maritimes or Maritime provinces are a region of Canada on the Atlantic coast, consisting of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. ... Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, also known as winter depression is an affective, or mood, disorder. ...


Phenomenon in northeast United States

Cold winds in the winter typically prevail from the northwest in the Great Lakes region, producing the most dramatic lake effect snow falls on the east to south shores of the Great Lakes. This lake effect produces a significant difference between the snow fall on the eastern and western shores of the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes from space The Great Lakes are a group of five large lakes on or near the United States-Canadian border. ...


Lake effect snows on the Tug Hill Plateau (east of Lake Ontario) frequently set the daily records for snowfall in the United States. Syracuse, New York is directly south of the Tug Hill Plateau and receives significant lake effect snow from Lake Ontario (although less than the Tug Hill Plateau by as much as 200 inches). In fact, Syracuse receives so much snowfall it is often considered the "snowiest" large city in America, averaging 115.6" of snow a year. Syracuse has frequently won the "Golden Snowball" award, a NOAA regional contest for greatest annual snowfall among large Upstate New York snowbelt cities. The communities of Redfield, in Oswego County and Montague and North Osceola, in Lewis County, all on the Tug Hill Plateau, average over 300 inches of snow a winter, with more than 400 inches falling during harsh winters. A 24 hour record for the contiguous United States occurred on January 11th-12th 1997 when 77" of snow fell in Montague NY, a total of 95 inches of snow fell in that storm between the 11th and 14th. (Source, National Weather Service, Buffalo.) Lake effect snow from the Finger Lakes occurs here as well, until those lakes freeze over. The Appalachian Mountains and Atlantic Ocean largely shield New York City and Philadelphia from picking up any lake effect snow; snow there tends to come from storm systems mixing with cold weather. The Tug Hill Plateau is a upland region in upstate New York in the USA. The Tug Hill Plateau is west of the Adirondack Mountains and is separated from the Adirondacks by the Black River Valley. ... Lake Ontario (French: lac Ontario), bounded on the north by Ontario and on the south by Ontarios Niagara Peninsula and by New York State, is one of the five Great Lakes of North America. ... Nickname: The Salt City Location of Syracuse within the state of New York Coordinates: City  - Mayor Matthew Driscoll Area    - City 66. ... The Golden Snowball Award is an annual award presented to the Upstate New York city that receives the most snowfall in a season. ... The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is a scientific agency of the United States Department of Commerce focused on the conditions of the oceans and the atmosphere. ... The areas highlighted in YELLOW and GREEN are those which are considered to be a bona fide part of Upstate New York from the perspective of New York City. ... A snowbelt is a region, many of which lie downwind of the Great Lakes, where heavy snowfall is particularly common. ... Redfield is a town located in Oswego County, New York. ... Montague is a town located in Lewis County, New York. ... Lewis County is a county located in the state of New York. ... The Tug Hill Plateau is a upland region in upstate New York in the USA. The Tug Hill Plateau is west of the Adirondack Mountains and is separated from the Adirondacks by the Black River Valley. ... The continental United States refers (except sometimes in U.S. federal law and regulations) to the largest part of the U.S. that is delimited by a continuous border. ... The Finger Lakes, a major tourist destination in the west-central section of Upstate New York, are actually eleven in number, but only seven of the largest are commonly identified as such. ... A rainy day in the Great Smoky Mountains, Western North Carolina The Appalachian Mountains (French: les Appalaches) are a vast system of North American mountains, partly in Canada, but mostly in the United States, forming a zone, from 100 to 300 miles wide, running from the island of Newfoundland some... Nickname: Big Apple, Gotham, NYC, City That Never Sleeps, The Concrete Jungle, The City So Nice They Named It Twice Location in the state of New York Coordinates: Country United States State New York Boroughs The Bronx Brooklyn Manhattan Queens Staten Island Settled 1676  - Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R) Area    - City... Nickname: City of Brotherly Love, Philly, the Cradle of Liberty, the City That Loves You Back, the Quaker City, The Birthplace of America Motto: Philadelphia maneto - Let brotherly love continue Location in Pennsylvania Coordinates: Country United States State Pennsylvania County Philadelphia Founded October 27, 1682 Incorporated October 25, 1701  - Mayor...

Buffalo, NY after 82.3 inches of snow fell from December 24, 2001 to December 28, 2001.
Buffalo, NY after 82.3 inches of snow fell from December 24, 2001 to December 28, 2001.

Lake Erie produces a similar effect for a zone stretching from the eastern suburbs of Cleveland to Erie to Buffalo, with a southern limit around Pittsburgh. Remnants of lake effect snows from Lake Erie have been observed to reach Garrett County in western Maryland. Lake Erie has the distinction of being the only great lake to completely freeze during the winter as a result of being very shallow, although this does not happen every winter. Once frozen, the resulting ice cover temporarily alleviates lake effect snow from originating there. Image File history File links Buffalo2001-20. ... Image File history File links Buffalo2001-20. ... December 24 is the 358th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (359th in leap years). ... 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar. ... December 28 is the 362nd day of the year (363rd in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 3 days remaining. ... 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Lake Erie (pronounced ) is the eleventh largest lake on Earth[2] and, of the five Great Lakes of North America, it is the fourth largest by surface area, the southernmost, shallowest, and smallest by volume. ... Cleveland redirects here. ... Nickname: The Flagship City Location in Pennsylvania Coordinates: County Erie County Founded 1795  - Mayor Joseph Sinnott Area    - City 72. ... Nickname: City of Good Neighbors, Queen City, City of Light Location of Buffalo in New York State County Erie County  - Mayor Byron Brown Area    - City 136. ... City nickname: The Steel City Location in the state of Pennsylvania Founded 1758 Mayor Tom Murphy (Dem) Area  - Total  - Water 151. ... Garrett County is the westernmost county of the state of Maryland. ... Official language(s) None (English, de facto) Capital Annapolis Largest city Baltimore Area  Ranked 42nd  - Total 12,417 sq mi (32,160 km²)  - Width 90 miles (145 km)  - Length 249 miles (400 km)  - % water 21  - Latitude 37°53N to 39°43N  - Longitude 75°4W to 79°33...


Another snowbelt is in the Upper Peninsula (UP) of Michigan, near the cities of Houghton, Marquette, and Munising. These areas frequently average over 200 inches, and may receive close to 300 inches of snow a year (for comparison, on the western shore, Duluth, Minnesota receives only 77 inches). Lake Superior and Lake Huron rarely freeze due to their size and depth; lake effect snow can fall continually in the UP and the Ontario, Canada snowbelts during the winter months. Western Michigan and north-central Indiana can get heavy lake-effect snows as winds pass over Lake Michigan and deposit snows over Traverse City, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and South Bend, but these snows abate significantly before Lansing or Fort Wayne, Indiana.[[Image:Sat1.gif|thumb|250px|Visible Satellite image showing a large single lake effect band with vigorous vertical motion. This band produced 20cm of snow in the eastern and northern suburbs of Toronto affecting places such as King City and Markham. Cities such as Toronto, Hamilton, Detroit, Milwaukee, and Chicago frequently miss out on lake effect events because they are not on the leeward shore of a lake during a northwest wind. However Toronto and Hamilton are close enough to Georgian Bay and Lake Huron that they receive small amounts of lake effect snow each winter. Even so, a less frequent easterly or northeasterly wind can deposit heavy snows on Chicago or Milwaukee much as a northwest/westerly wind does for the opposite side of Lake Michigan. A snowbelt is a region, many of which lie downwind of the Great Lakes, where heavy snowfall is particularly common. ... The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is the northern of the two major land masses that comprise the U.S. state of Michigan. ... Official language(s) None (English, de-facto) Capital Lansing Largest city Detroit Area  Ranked 11th  - Total 97,990 sq mi (253,793 km²)  - Width 239 miles (385 km)  - Length 491 miles (790 km)  - % water 41. ... Houghton is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan and largest city in the Copper Country on the Keweenaw Peninsula. ... Marquette is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan. ... Munising harbor Munising is a city on the southern shore of Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. ... Duluths canal connects Lake Superior to the Duluth-Superior harbor and the St. ... Lake Superior (known as Gichigami in an Ojibwe language), bounded by Ontario and Minnesota to the north and Wisconsin and Michigan in the south, is the largest of North Americas Great Lakes. ... Ipperwash Beach, Lake Huron. ... Motto: Ut Incepit Fidelis Sic Permanet (Latin: Loyal she began, loyal she remains) Official languages English (de facto) Flower White Trillium Tree Eastern White Pine Bird Common Loon Capital Toronto Largest city Toronto Lieutenant-Governor James K. Bartleman Premier Dalton McGuinty (Liberal) Parliamentary representation  - House seats  - Senate seats 106 24... Traverse City is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan. ... Grand Rapids is the name of several places in the United States of America: Grand Rapids, Michigan Grand Rapids, Minnesota Grand Rapids, Ohio Grand Rapids, Wisconsin is the former name of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin Grand Rapids is also the name of a town in Canada: Grand Rapids, Manitoba. ... Kalamazoo is a city located in Kalamazoo County in southwest Michigan. ... South Bend is the name of the following places in the United States of America: South Bend, Indiana South Bend Township, Kansas South Bend Township, Minnesota South Bend, Nebraska South Bend Township, Pennsylvania South Bend, Washington This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Nickname: The Summit City Location in the state of Indiana, USA Coordinates: Country United States State Indiana County Allen Founded October 22, 1794 Incorporated February 22, 1840  - Mayor Graham Richard (D)  - City Clerk Sandra Kennedy (D)  - City Council John N. Crawford (R) Samuel J. Talarico, Jr (R) John Shoaff (D... King City is an affluent, unincorporated village in King Township, Ontario, Canada, located just north of Toronto. ... Markham is a town in York Region, directly north of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. ... Motto: Speramus Meliora; Resurget Cineribus (We Hope For Better Things; It Shall Rise From the Ashes - this motto was adopted after the disastrous 1805 fire that devastated the city) Nickname: The Motor City and Motown Location in Wayne County, Michigan Founded Incorporated July 24, 1701 1815  County Wayne County Mayor... Nickname: Cream City, Brew City, Mil Town, The City of Festivals Location of Milwaukee in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin Coordinates: County Milwaukee  - Mayor Tom Barrett Area    - City  97 sq mi (251. ... Nickname: The Windy City, The Second City, Chi Town, City of the Big Shoulders, The 312, The City that Works Motto: Urbs In Horto (Latin: City in a Garden), I Will Location in Chicagoland and Illinois Coordinates: Country United States State Illinois County Cook & DuPage Incorporated March 4, 1837  - Mayor... Georgian Bay (French: baie Georgienne) is a large bay of Lake Huron, located in Ontario, Canada. ... Ipperwash Beach, Lake Huron. ...


In February, 2007 a prolonged lake effect snow event left over 100 inches on snow on the Tug Hill Plateau.[3]


Phenomenon elsewhere in United States

Fulton, New York after a snowburst dropped 4-6 feet of snow over most of Oswego County between January 28-31, 2004.
Fulton, New York after a snowburst dropped 4-6 feet of snow over most of Oswego County between January 28-31, 2004.

The southern and southeastern sides of the Great Salt Lake also receive significant lake effect snow. The Finger Lakes of New York also are long enough for lake effect precipitation. The twin cities of Sherman, Texas and Denison, Texas are also known to have experienced lake effect snow from Lake Texoma in rare instances. Image File history File links Fultonles. ... Image File history File links Fultonles. ... Great Salt Lake, located in the northern part of the U.S. State of Utah, is the fourth largest terminal lake in the world,[1] and the largest salt lake in the Western Hemisphere. ... The Finger Lakes, a major tourist destination in the west-central section of Upstate New York, are actually eleven in number, but only seven of the largest are commonly identified as such. ... NY redirects here. ... Sherman is a city in Grayson County, Texas, United States. ... Motto: A jewel at the crossing of a great river! Location of Denison, Texas Coordinates: Country United States of America State Texas County Grayson Founded 1872  - Mayor Robert Brady Area    - City  22. ... Graphic map of Lake Texoma. ...


Similar phenomena

Similar snowfall can occur near large inland bays, where it is known as Bay effect snow. Bay-effect snows fall downwind of Delaware Bay, Chesapeake Bay, and Massachusetts Bay when the basic criteria are met. Ocean effect snows are possible downwind of the Gulf Stream and the Sea of Japan.[4] Canadian Maritimes, in particular Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island provinces, are often affected by such snowsqualls when an arctic winter airmass moves over unfrozen waters. This effect is especially intense with very warm waters of the Gulf Stream or the Sea of Japan. An extreme occurrence of "ocean effect" snow occurred on January 24, 2003, when wind off the Atlantic, combined with air temperatures in the 20s (°F), brought snow flurries to the Atlantic coast of Florida as far south as Cape Canaveral.[5] Delaware Bay Delaware Bay is a large esturarial inlet of the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the Delaware River along the coast of the United States. ... The Chesapeake Bay - Landsat photo The Chesapeake Bay where the Susquehanna River empties into it. ... Massachusetts Bay is one of the large bays of the Atlantic Ocean that form the distinctive shape of the coastline of the U.S. state of Massachusetts. ... For the album by Ocean Colour Scene, see North Atlantic Drift (album) The Gulf Stream is orange and yellow in this representation of water temperatures of the Atlantic. ... The Sea of Japan (East Sea) is a marginal sea of the western Pacific Ocean. ... The Maritime provinces. ... Motto: Munit Haec et Altera Vincit (Latin: One defends and the other conquers) Official languages English, French (Canadian Gaelic) [] Capital Halifax Largest city Halifax Regional Municipality Lieutenant-Governor Mayann E. Francis Premier Rodney MacDonald (PC) Parliamentary representation  - House seats  - Senate seats 11 10 Area Total  - Land  - Water  (% of total)  Ranked... Motto: Parva Sub Ingenti The Small Protected By The Great) Official languages English Flower Pink Ladys Slipper Tree Red Oak Bird Blue Jay Capital Charlottetown Largest city Charlottetown Lieutenant-Governor Barbara Oliver Hagerman Premier Pat Binns (PC) Parliamentary representation  - House seats  - Senate seats 4 4 Area Total  - Land  - Water... For the album by Ocean Colour Scene, see North Atlantic Drift (album) The Gulf Stream is orange and yellow in this representation of water temperatures of the Atlantic. ... The Sea of Japan (East Sea) is a marginal sea of the western Pacific Ocean. ... January 24 is the 24th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Official language(s) English Capital Tallahassee Largest city Jacksonville Largest metro area Miami Area  Ranked 22nd  - Total 65,795[1] sq mi (170,304[1] km²)  - Width 162 miles (260 km)  - Length 497 miles (800 km)  - % water 17. ... Cape Canaveral from space, August 1991 Cape Canaveral (Cabo Cañaveral in Spanish) is a strip of land in Brevard County, Florida, United States, near the center of that states Atlantic coast. ...


A phenomenon similar to lake effect snow may also occur in other countries, near large lakes or sea regions. One example is the Aegean Sea in Greece, where cold northeast winds known as the boreas can produce heavy snowfalls over Euvia and Northern parts of Athens. These systems can have a duration of 3 days to 1 week and result snowcover of 40 inches or more. Similar effects also occur in the regions of the Black Sea and Turkey or the Adriatic Sea and Italy. A cold, dry airmass from Sweden can blow over the Baltic Sea and cause heavy snow squalls on areas of the southern and eastern coasts. There was one person and one god known as Boreas in Greek mythology. ... Nickname: City of Athena or Cradle of Democracy Location of the city of Athens (red dot) within the Prefecture of Athens and Periphery of Attica Coordinates: Country Greece Peripheries Attica Prefecture Athens Founded circa 2000 BC Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis Area    - City 38. ... The Baltic Sea is located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. ...


References

See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Lake effect snow

Warnings about lake effect snow: Image File history File links Commons-logo. ...


United States:

Canada: See Severe weather terminology for a comprehensive article on this term and related weather terms. ... See Severe weather terminology for a comprehensive article on related weather terms. ... A NOAA national weather map Note: See the category Weather warnings and advisories (at the end of this article) for articles about other nations weather terminology. ...

Snowsquall warning is a bulletin issued by Environment Canadas Meteorological Service of Canada to warn population of two types of snow events reducing visibilities in blowing snow: Lake effect snowsqualls which are generated by cold arctic air moving over unfrozen water of lake or sea. ... Note: This article is specifically for terminology used by the Meteorological Service of Canada. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Lake effect snow - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (603 words)
Lake effect snow, also called a snowsquall, is produced in the winter when cold winds move across long expanses of warmer lake water, picking up water vapor which freezes and is deposited on the lee shores.
Lake effect snows at the Tug Hill Plateau on the southeastern side of Lake Ontario frequently set the daily records for snowfall in the United States.
Lake Erie also produces a similar effect for a zone stretching from the eastern suburbs of Cleveland to Buffalo, but Lake Erie often freezes due to its shallowness, and ice cover stops the lake effect.
Snow - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (905 words)
Snow is precipitation in the form of crystalline water ice, consisting of a multitude of snowflakes.
Snow is commonly formed when water vapor undergoes deposition high in the atmosphere at a temperature of less than 0°C (32°F), and then falls to the ground.
Where snow is scarce but the temperature is low enough, snow cannons may be used to produce an adequate amount for such sports.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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