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Lake Effect Snow Season

As the first few Arctic outbreaks of the season swoop over the Great Lakes, heavy snows begin to pile up… This is a way of life in the winter for folks that live around some of these areas. Our latest Arctic outbreak is responsible for some pretty hefty snow tallies as of late, here are some of the latest images and info:

Here are some of the more recent tallies that piled up through midday Tuesday.

How Does Lake Effect Form

There are only a few ingredients needed for this interesting weather phenomena to occur. The first thing you need is cold air! Of course, that cold air has to be colder than the water temps. When the temperature difference is great enough (typical setup from the water surface to the 850mb level should be around 13°C), then you can start to see the makings of this unstable shallow atmosphere becoming more conducive for lake effect. The next thing you need is a “Fetch” of wind to carry the steam or moisture rising off the lake. This wind will gather the moisture into columns of growing clouds that begin precipitating downwind. If the air is cold enough for snow, then voila!

Average Annual Snowfall

Interestingly, some areas in the lake effect snow belts can get quite a bit of snow during the winter. Here’s a looks at some of the highest tallies for some select cities.

Thanks for checking in and have a great rest of your week.

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