Lake-Effect Snow A Fair weather event Occurs after

Lake-Effect Snow  A Fair weather event  Occurs after

Lake-Effect Snow A Fair weather event Occurs after the passage of a mid-latitude cyclone Areas downwind of relatively warm lakes

can receive *incredibly heavy snow* while nearby areas have improving weather Up on the roof!

Where is my car? Snowed in!

Ten foot Wall of Snow, 77 Up on the roof again 77 Sea of snow and cars, 77

Average Temps: Lake Vs. Air Unstable season

LAKE EFFECT: Conceptual Model Green/Red arrows? LAKE EFFECT: Conceptual Model Snow intensity: Factors?

How cold is air? (Temp. diff Lake to Air) How deep is cold air? How long is air over lake (fetch)?

LAKE EFFECT: Conceptual Model <-North Narrow bands of heavy snow

2-20 miles wide, 50-250 miles long South-> SEASONAL SNOWFALL

PA Average Annual Snowfall 92 120 50 65

47 5 41 10

19 0 Red number is amount thats lake-effect snow

TERRAIN AND PRECIPITATION LAKE EFFECT: Conceptual Model LAKE-EFFECT SNOW LONG FETCH

Bands oriented parallel to the mean wind from sfc to 850mb LAKE-EFFECT SNOW SHORT FETCH

Bands oriented parallel to the mean wind from sfc to 850mb LAKE-EFFECT SNOW: WESTERLY WIND MULTIPLE BANDS Short fetch

SINGLE BAND Long fetch COLD AIR

Bands oriented parallel to the mean wind from sfc to 850mb LAKE-EFFECT SNOW: NORTHWEST WIND

COLD AIR Bands oriented parallel to the mean wind from sfc to 850mb Great Lake Snow Bands

Great Lake Snow Bands? Great Lake Snow Bands?

Great Lake Snow Bands? Great Lake Snow Bands LAKE-EFFECT SNOW BAND

CURTAIN OF DEATH!!! LAKE-EFFECT SNOW

Lake-Effect Snow Location wind direction/speed Intensity Stability Tlake-T850mb>13C, less if synoptic support

Larger the difference, generally heavier the snow Depth of cold air consult mr. sounding! Deeper cold air Deeper cloud Heavier snow! Fetch

Longer distance/time more modification heavier snow Need ~40 mi. of fetch, over 120mi.can bring intense snows Single bands vs. multiple bands Wind Shear

Little or no directional shear heavier snow Topography Upslope regions favored for heavier snow

Best events have synoptic-scale support Approaching 500mb shortwave lifts inversion ->> deeper convection 700mb RH >70% . Good indicator of synoptic support

Right conditions can bring >3/hour rates !!! Distance inland: multiply 850mb wind speed by ~1.5 Where else does LE occur?

CLASSIC BIG LAKE EFFECT: Surface pattern Cold Advection

Canadian High - cp, Arctic air * TLAKE-T850mb>=13C

-general rule * Occurs if -8 to -12 C diff. in certain situations CLASSIC BIG LAKE EFFECT:

Surface pattern CLASSIC BIG LAKE EFFECT: 500mb pattern

500mb Pattern LAKE EFFECT with Synoptic Support High RH is a good indicator of Synoptic support

Buffalo Snow: Christmas 2001 Buffalo Snow: Christmas 2001

Buffalo Snow: Christmas 2001 Lake-Effect? Lake-effect?

WINTER WX: LAKE EFFECT IMPORTANT ELEMENTS:

Caused by cold air over warm lake (* Tlake-T850mb>13C) * less if synoptic support 850mb Ts < -7C, If warmer -> rain Bands // to mean wind from sfc to 850mb

Longer fetch -> more intense the snow Need ~40 mi. of fetch, over 120mi.can bring intense snows

Single bands: more intense, wind // to long axis of lake Multiple bands: less intense, wind // to shorter axis of lake

Low vertical wind shear is favorable Best events have synoptic-scale support Approaching 500mb shortwave lifts inversion ->> deeper convection

700mb RH >70% . Good indicator of synoptic support Right conditions can bring >3/hour rates !!! Distance inland: multiply 850mb wind speed by ~1.5

Lake effect: NGM model Lake effect: ETA coarse model Lake effect: ETA fine res

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