The mechanism that produces the localized areas of rainfall is essentially the same as lake-effect snow. Cold air moves across the relatively warmer waters of the lakes and that creates a steep drop in temperature from the lake surface through the first several thousand feet in the atmosphere.
What is lake effect precipitation?
“Lake-effect” precipitation is a common event in the state of Michigan, occurring most often during the late autumn and early winter months. This form of precipitation is the result of rapid warming and moistening of cP (continental polar) air masses that regularly move southward from central Canada (Kunkel, 2000).
What causes lake-effect snow?
Lake Effect snow occurs when cold air, often originating from Canada, moves across the open waters of the Great Lakes. As the cold air passes over the unfrozen and relatively warm waters of the Great Lakes, warmth and moisture are transferred into the lowest portion of the atmosphere.
Is lake-effect snow wet or dry?
In contrast, Chicago’s lake-effect snow develops when frigid arctic air blows across Lake Michigan, and cloud temperatures where the snow forms are often below zero. This results in a dry, light and fluffy snow with a snow to water ratio of 20-40:1.
Why is lake-effect snow so bad?
The Physics of Lake-Effect Snow
Cool air cannot hold as much moisture as warm air. If there is enough moisture, some of it condenses and falls as snow or rain.
How does distance from the lake affect precipitation?
Snow and Ice Cover- Finally, snow and ice cover along the lake can gradually reduce precipitation since the distance an airmass can travel over the lake is reduced and there is less energy in frozen water to produce squalls that generate storms over land.
Is Chicago colder than London?
London’s weather is greatly influenced by the Gulf Stream, a warm ocean current with origins in the Caribbean. … London shares a similar latitude (51.5 degrees N) with cities like Warsaw, Kiev, and Winnipeg and is nearly 10 degrees north of Chicago.
What city gets the most lake-effect snow?
Syracuse, New York, directly south of the Tug Hill Plateau, receives significant lake-effect snow from Lake Ontario, and averages 115.6 inches (294 cm) of snow per year, which is enough snowfall to be considered one of the “snowiest” large cities in America.
Does lake-effect snow stop when lake is frozen?
Luckily for people living near large lakes, lake-effect snow generally slows down around February. That’s when the lakes freeze over, making it impossible for the air to steal moisture away from the lake.
Why is it often clear just upwind of a lake during a lake-effect snow event?
Why is it often clear just upwind of a lake during a lake-effect snow event? Air descends to compensate for the divergence occurring upwind, which results in clear skies on the windward side of the lake.
Why is Chicago so cold?
Climate – Chicago (Illinois) … Here, the climate is continental, with cold winters (when there are many periods below freezing) and hot summers. Although the city is located at a middle latitude, in winter it is cold because the North American land mass cools down a lot, and polar air outbreaks are frequent.
Can lake effect snow be predicted?
The HRRR is NOAA’s hourly updating, short-term weather model, and is the most commonly used weather model for predicting lake–effect snow. But the HRRR needs accurate water surface temperatures to properly estimate evaporation rates from lake surfaces, which is the main driver of lake–effect snow.
Why does lake effect snow occur quizlet?
In the winter, lake-effect snows form when cold air moves over warmer lake water. Lake moisture evaporates up into the cold air as the bottom layer of cold air is heated by the warmer lake water. This now-warmed air begins to rise and cool and the moisture within it begins to condense forming clouds and then snow.
Is Lake effect snow a concern in the spring?
Lake effect snow is mainly a numbers game. That magic number for Lake Erie being roughly 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Currently Lake Erie’s water temperature is, on average, 33º F.