Lake Effect Snows

November 22, 2000


Provided by: NOAA
Summary authors & editors: Jim Foster

Lake effect snows have been widespread this week on the down-wind side of each of the Great Lakes. Buffalo got creamed with 25 inches of snow on Monday, making this the snowiest November ever recorded. Relatively warm lake water and cold polar air pouring across the lakes are the main ingredients for producing lake effect snows. The above visible satellite image of the Great Lakes region was taken on the afternoon of Tuesday the 21st of November. Notice the northwest-southeast trending cloud streaks moving across Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Erie, and Lake Ontario. Lake effect snow storms are responsible for much of the annual snow accumualation on the lee side of each of the Great Lakes. Additionally, higher elevation areas in West Virginia, Virginia and Maryland can also pick up significant snowfalls from lake effect storms.

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