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dmc76

Lake effect snow thread

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The radar station based in Montreal River was recently upgraded and added to Wunderground's weenie map.

 

You can track this stuff now.

I do like to watch the bands off that radar as well, I use it when I am up in the paradise area as it sees the LES better off superior then does the APX radar due to its distance. 

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Wawa is too far north along the lake and too low of Elevation.

 

50 miles straight south of Wawa... In the 1500+ Ft neighborhood.... That's where the magic happens.

 

300 mile lake fetch.

The area I'm talking about is the southern end of Lake Superior Provincial park. Basically between Wawa and SSM

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I will chime in on this topic. I use to live/snowmobile in Gaylord and spent a lot of time in the Eastern UP and also in Soo Canada and have traveled to Searchmont and along the Superior shoreline during lake effect snowstorms.   I have spent a lot of time looking at snow depth data and local Soo radar(For example..look at it now! https://weather.gc.ca/radar/index_e.html?id=WGJ )  during lake effect events and familiar with all the climatology data that is available. I even bought a cabin at Lakes of the North in Antrim county near Gaylord simply because that area gets the most snow in all of lower Michigan and I wanted to enjoy it! :)  I am very confident that the area just North of Batchawana Bay at the 2000 feet level gets a phenomenal amount of snow and likely surpasses the Tug Plateau in an average year. (As a general rule of thumb..one should add at least 10" of snow per each 100 feet raise in elevation in that area.(I seen this number used in some local lake effect research papers)  If we start with an average of about 175" in the area around T. Falls...adjust for elevation...275" then acknowledge that the fetch/shear number of snow events just North of Batchawana Bay is considerably more/better than T. Falls...a seasonal average of 300"+ is a very reasonable assumption. The snow depth numbers are crazy high in that area compared to the extremely snowy areas of the U.P. as a rule as well although part of that can be attributed to the generally consistently colder temperatures. Overall, lake effect snow storms that develop from Lake Superior have been little studied and certainly don't get much media attention like the lake effect events from Lake Ontario but nevertheless they are kickass and relentless and occur at a much higher frequency than in the lower lakes. Freezing up of the lake isn't a problem most years either.  The amount of synoptic snow is certainly pretty good as well.  

 

Worth looking at Searchmont.  They only average 130" of snow. http://www.searchmont.com/trail-map-stats/ (Note: I'm not sure at what elevation they measure the snow at but it is probably at the base which is only at 898 feet and not at the summit which is at 1601 feet.)

 

However, if you look at the location closely, one will note that they are about 15 miles from the bay portion of Lake Superior itself but more importantly a moist parcel of lake modified air must cross 15 miles of rather hilly terrain that is as high or higher than the resort to reach it which will likely put Searchmont in a snow shadow such as seen just East of Gaylord or on the Eastern side of the Tug. Further, the very common Westerly wind events generally pass just North of Searchmont and the intense banding common from NW wind events often passes just to their SW. I have witnessed this on trips to Searchmont.

 

One other thing to add...the steepness of relief at the Lake Superior shoreline & the nearby mountains is much steeper than the topography near Lake Ontario.  West winds would create rather intense vertical velocities in the low clouds hugging the mountains especially since the wind is often perpendicular to the land mass.

 

(As per a NOAA publication, "“In the atmosphere, vertical velocity can be the result of numerous processes. Some vertical velocities are driven by thermal instabilities, such as surface heating or horizontal temperature advection. Other vertical velocities are driven by atmospheric dynamics, such as large-scale trough-ridge interactions or jet streaks. This study quantifies the vertical velocity which develops when the horizontal wind at the surface is forced to ascend as it encounters changing topography. The vertical velocity produced when the horizontal surface wind impinges upon enhanced terrain is a function of two variables: 1) the wind speed at the surface, and 2) the slope of the terrain in the direction the wind is blowing. The vertical velocity will tend to be greatest when the wind speed is high, and/or when the terrain is steeply sloped. The vertical wind component near the surface wo is given by the equation:”)

 

I suspect this generates very intense snows locally right at the ridge top a few miles from shoreline during windy lake events but probably not extending that far inland. (Note: The relief is very similar to the abrupt raise from Lake Superior to the Keweenaw Peninsula that has produced those 400" snows near Delaware, MI despite usually having a rather limited fetch to work with.) 

 

This article has some great radar images that demonstrate this effect during the ongoing NASA research out in the Olympic mountains.(Obviously the effects would be more subtle in the hills east of Lake Superior compared to the Olympics but even modest elevation changes can have a dramatic effect on the windward most hill.)

 

 http://olympex.atmos.washington.edu/archive/reports/20151203/20151203Science_summary.html

 

The research project they are doing there is the same one they did in Western N.C. on my mountain but at different location.

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Gotta love NWS APX they put out some of the most entertaining AFD's.

 

 

 

1/10)SUNDAY...THE STORM MOVES INTO QUEBEC AND OUT OF THE LOWER
GREAT LAKES DURING THE DAY, AND AS THE 500 MB TROUGH MOVES EAST OF
THE REGION THE 850-700 MB LAYER RH FALLS TO AROUND 50% OR SO(MAINLY
FROM THE 700 MB RH FALLING TO LESS THAN 40%. THE 850 MB MOISTURE IS
STILL UP AROUND 90%. TYPICALLY THIS WOULD BE A PROBLEM AS THE
MOISTURE STRIPPING OUT ABOVE 850 MB WOULD MEAN THAT THE MOISTURE
DEPTH TO -10C OR -15C WOULDN`T BE THERE. HOWEVER, THIS IS DIFFERENT.
AS HAS BEEN STATED THE LAST FEW DAYS, SOME OF THE COLDEST AIR IS
BEGINNING TO DESCEND ON THE UPPER GREAT LAKES. AT 12Z, THE 850 MB
TEMPERATURES OVER LAKE MICHIGAN AND LAKE SUPERIOR ARE AROUND -15C
WITH THE DOWNSTREAM 850 MB TEMPERATURES (IN THE SE COUNTIES) AROUND
-5C. THINGS QUICKLY COOL BY 18Z WITH THE -15C AIR ALMOST DOWN TO
SAGINAW BAY, AND IT IS THERE BY 00Z. WHILE THE 850-700 MB LAYER HAD
DRIED OUT INITIALLY, BY 00Z, A STREAM OF MOISTURE IS RIDING DOWN THE
NW FLOW ON ALL OF THE MODELS. THE HIRES ARW, IS SHOWING HINTS BY 00Z
THAT THERE COULD BE A DECENT NW FLOW LAKE MICHIGAN BAND WITH A LAKE
SUPERIOR CONNECTION THAT WOULD STRETCH FROM THE VICINITY OF CVX TO
MANCELONA TO NE CRAWFORD COUNTY AND BEYOND. HOWEVER, AS ALSO STATED,
THE WINDS SHIFT THROUGH THIS PERIOD. FROM ALMOST NNW TO NW TO WNW BY
06Z. THE IDEA IS THAT THE SNOW WILL PROBABLY AMOUNT LIGHT TO
MODERATE AMOUNTS, EXCEPT WHERE THE BAND SETS UP, IF IT DOES, AND
THEN POSSIBLY HEAVY AMOUNTS WOULD RESULT, ONLY TO BE PUSHED AND
REALIGNED TO A WNW FLOW DURING THE NEXT 6 HOURS. BY 12Z, THE BANDS
ARE W TO WNW AND WOULD, FOR THE MOST PART, CONCENTRATE THE BANDS
NORTH OF M-32, WITH SOME LIGHTER BANDS SOUTH.

(1/11)MONDAY...THERE IS A BREAK IN THE 850-700 MB LAYER MOISTURE
(RH< 50%), BUT THE 850 MB TEMPERATURES CONTINUE CLOSE TO -20C SO
WILL EXPECT THAT THE BANDS WILL BE PRODUCING MINOR TO LIGHT AMOUNTS
WHILE STILL MOVING FROM W TO WSW (18Z) AND THEN SW BY 00Z. THIS IS
IN ADVANCE OF THE NEXT SYSTEM WHICH IS A BROAD AREA OF LOW PRESSURE
AT THE SFC WITH 500 MB SHORTWAVE TROUGH IN THE BOUNDARY WATERS
REGION. THE SFC LOW, HELPS TO BRING ALL THE MOISTURE TOGETHER BY 06Z
OVER THE UPPER GREAT LAKES. WINDS SHIFT DRASTICALLY BETWEEN 00Z AND
06Z FROM SW TO NW AS THE SFC LOW MOVES INTO LOWER MICHIGAN. 850 MB
TEMPERATURES CONTINUE AROUND -15C WITH LOTS OF MOISTURE AND THE
INVERSION SHOOTING UP PAST 7000 FT. MAIN CONCERN IS THAT WITH THE
LOW MOVING THROUGH THAT THERE WILL BE LAKE ENHANCEMENT MONDAY NIGHT
AND THAT SOMEONE IS GOING TO GET THUMPED. RIGHT NOW HAVE CATEGORICAL
POPS OVERNIGHT ON THE WEST SIDE OF THE STATE AND CHANCE ON THE EAST
SIDE. HOWEVER, THIS MAY NEED TO BE RE-THOUGHT AS THE SFC LOW GETS
SOME EAST FETCH GOING ON LAKE HURON, LAKE ENHANCED BANDS COULD
AFFECT AREAS EAST OF I-75.

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Just had a very intense snow shower.

Probably picked up a quick 0.3" but I have no clue because it's going sideways.

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There's a couple intense streamers in SEMI one going on right over ARB and one that just passed to the north of me in northern Oakland. Additional 0.5"-1" for sure tonight if your under them for a while.

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That's Kalkaska. That area competes with Gaylord for snowiest in the lower peninsula.

Mancelona says hello.

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Cranking again, wind are begining to veer more from NW to the WNW losing our lake superioir connection but doesnt seem to be hurting the bands.

 

Starting to do the same down here.

 

WNW winds are great for my location.

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Those are some long streamers showing up on the 4km NAM.

 

nam4km_ref_neus_3.png

 

Band off Huron looking to do some serious work around Southampton, ON.

 

rgem_asnow_ncus_12.png

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Squally night.
 

SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENTNATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DETROIT/PONTIAC MI1145 PM EST SUN JAN 10 2016MIZ068-069-075-076-110700-LIVINGSTON-OAKLAND-WASHTENAW-WAYNE-INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...HOWELL...PONTIAC...ANN ARBOR...DETROIT1145 PM EST SUN JAN 10 2016...BANDS OF LAKE EFFECT SNOW CONTINUE OVERNIGHT...BANDS OF LAKE EFFECT SNOW WILL CONTINUE TO SHIFT ACROSS THE AREATHROUGH THE EARLY MORNING HOURS. THE HEAVIEST BANDS WILLCONCENTRATE BETWEEN THE I-96 AND I-94 CORRIDORS THROUGH 2AM...WHERE BRIEF BUT INTENSE BURSTS OF SNOWFALL WILL OCCUR. THISMAY RESULT IN A QUICK DUSTING OF ACCUMULATION. IN ADDITION...AGUSTY WESTERLY WIND WILL LEAD TO SOME BLOWING OF THISSNOW...REDUCING VISIBILITY BELOW 1 MILE AT TIMES. CAUTION ISADVISED IF TRAVELING TONIGHT.$$MR

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