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  • Author or Editor: Erin Jones x
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Carrie E. Lang
Jessica M. McDonald
Lauriana Gaudet
Dylan Doeblin
Erin A. Jones
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Neil F. Laird


Lake-effect storms (LES) produce substantial snowfall in the vicinity of the downwind shores of the Great Lakes. These storms may take many forms; one type of LES event, lake to lake (L2L), occurs when LES clouds/snowbands develop over an upstream lake (e.g., Lake Huron), extend across an intervening landmass, and continue over a downstream lake (e.g., Lake Ontario). The current study examined LES snowfall in the vicinity of Lake Ontario and the atmospheric conditions during Lake Huron-to-Lake Ontario L2L days as compared with LES days on which an L2L connection was not present [i.e., only Lake Ontario (OLO)] for the cold seasons (October–March) from 2003/04 through 2013/14. Analyses of snowfall demonstrate that, on average, significantly greater LES snowfall totals occur downstream of Lake Ontario on L2L days than on OLO days. The difference in mean snowfall between L2L and OLO days approaches 200% in some areas near the Tug Hill Plateau and central New York State. Analyses of atmospheric conditions found more-favorable LES environments on L2L days relative to OLO days that included greater instability over the upwind lake, more near-surface moisture available, faster wind speeds, and larger surface heat fluxes over the upstream lake. Last, despite significant snowfalls on L2L days, their average contribution to the annual accumulated LES snowfall in the vicinity of Lake Ontario was found to be small (i.e., 25%–30%) because of the relatively infrequent occurrence of L2L days.

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