A severe 5-day lake-effect storm resulted in eight deaths, hundreds of injuries, and over $3 million in damage to a small area of northeastern Ohio and northwestern Pennsylvania in November 1996. In 1999, a blizzard associated with an intense cyclone disabled Chicago and much of the U.S. Midwest with 30–90 cm of snow. Such winter weather conditions have many impacts on the lives and property of people throughout much of North America. Each of these events is the culmination of a complex interaction between synoptic-scale, mesoscale, and microscale processes.

An understanding of how the multiple size scales and timescales interact is critical to improving forecasting of these severe winter weather events. The Lake-Induced Convection Experiment (Lake-ICE) and the Snowband Dynamics Project (SNOWBAND) collected comprehensive datasets on processes involved in lake-effect snowstorms and snowbands associated with cyclones during the winter of 1997/98. This paper outlines the goals and operations of these collaborative projects. Preliminary findings are given with illustrative examples of new state-of-the-art research observations collected. Analyses associated with Lake-ICE and SNOWBAND hold the promise of greatly improving our scientific understanding of processes involved in these important wintertime phenomena.

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aIllinois State Water Survey, Champaign, Illinois.

bThe Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania.

cUniversity of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

dUniversity of Washington, Seattle, Washington.

eNational Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado.*

fUniversity of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois.

gWestern Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan.

hColorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado.

iUniversity of Wisconsin—Madison, Madison, Wisconsin.

jSouth Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Rapid City, South Dakota.

kUniversity Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado.

lState University of New York College at Brockport, Brockport, New York.

mCurrent affiliation: The Weather Channel, Atlanta, Georgia.

nMember of Lake-ICE or Snowband Scientific Steering Committees.

*NCAR is supported by the National Science Foundation.