Lake effect snow outcomes from the interaction between cold wait passing end warmer lake water generating snow that is deposited in localized areas downwind native the lake. Lake result snow usually occurs during the late fall and also winter months and is qualified of producing as much as 2-3 inch of eye an hour with event totals ranging from 60-100 inches. Extreme events are regularly highly localized, such as the Buffalo, NY occasion that emerged in November 2014 (NWS, Niziol et al. 1995). This very same phenomenon additionally occurs over other water bodies such as bays and also seas wherein it is called bay effect and also sea result snow.
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Data Source: NASA LANCE Terra/MODIS true shade image of cloud sheets and also snow on the great Lakes gained on February 11, 2016
Image Source: NOAA national Weather Service
Why go lake result snow occur?
When cold, dried air move across large areas that warmer water, the cold air close to the surface ar warms and begins to take it on humidity from the lake. Because of differences in between the colder air aloft and also warmer air near the surface, instability reasons water molecule to climb upwards, condense and eventually kind clouds. The water molecules in this clouds freeze and also are at some point deposited downwind, on the leeward side of this lakes as snow and also other varieties of winter precipitation. Lake effect snow occurrence and also location is mainly dependent ~ above wind (speed and also direction) and also topography. Because that instance, wind direction and also speed can influence how small or broad a eye band is, as well as its length; conversely, topography have the right to influence snowfall rate.
Where go lake result snow occur?
The term “lake effect snow” was first used to define the snow events of the north American good Lakes region in the unites States and Canada, wherein lake effect snow occurs to the leeward (downwind) side of every lake. Lake Erie is the only lake that frequently freezes every winter, and also once the does, lake result snow rarely occurs. In the U.S. Lake result snow commonly occurs throughout northern Wisconsin, western Michigan, northwestern brand-new York, northwestern Pennsylvania and the great Salt Lake in Utah.
Image Source: department of location at Hunter College, CUNY
HOW IS LAKE impact SNOW OBSERVED?
Instruments set up aboard satellites, aircraft and positioned on the ground room used throughout scientific research tasks to monitor, measure and far better understand lake result snow processes. Satellite monitorings are provided to examine cloud motion, extent, content and snow cover. Vice versa, ground-based and aircraft monitorings provide much more details about the precipitation characteristics, processes and quantities of snowfall. Many of the satellite and also aircraft tools rely on remote sensing, i beg your pardon employs various wavelengths in ~ the electromagnetic spectrum come monitor, track and also retrieve information around lake result snow events. Clearly shows satellite imagery depends on sunlight reflected native clouds come track and monitor lake effect snow systems during the daytime in order to identify attributes such as clouds and snow bands. Infrared satellite imagery detects cloud peak temperatures, which deserve to be provided at night to monitor snow systems. Both satellite and also ground-based microwave radiometers can identify clouds the contain snow, map eye cover and also determine the water content of snow. Ground-based weather radars assist determine wherein snow/precipitation is occurring and also how intense it is fallout’s over different areas. Number of other instruments are provided to research the size, shape and structure of eye particles (disdrometers, Precipitation video Imagers and particle probes), snow depth (snow tubes), and also the water content (precipitation gauges) the the snow that drops to earth’s surface.
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|GPM Cold-season Precipitation Experiment (GCPEx)|| |