The Lake Ontario Winter Storms (LOWS) Project

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Snowstorms generated over the Great Lakes bring localized heavy precipitation, blizzard conditions, and whiteouts to downwind shores. Hazardous freezing rain often affects the same region in winter. Conventional observations and numerical models generally are resolved too coarsely to allow detection or accurate prediction of these mesoscale severe weather phenomena. The Lake Ontario Winter Storms (LOWS) project was conducted to demonstrate and evaluate the potential for real-time mesoscale monitoring and location-specific prediction of lake-effect storms and freezing rain, using the newest of available technologies. LOWS employed an array of specialized atmospheric remote sensors (a dual-polarization short wavelength radar, microwave radiometer, radio acoustic sounding system, and three wind profilers) with supporting observing systems and mesoscale numerical models. An overview of LOWS and its initial accomplishments is presented.

* NOAA/Wave Propagation Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado

+Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation, Environmental Affairs Department, Syracuse, New York

#NOAA/National Weather Service Forecast Office, Buffalo, New York

** State University of New York, College at Brockport, Brockport, New York

++The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania

##State University of New York, College at Oswego, Oswego, New York

*** Galson Technical Services, Inc., East Syracuse, New York

+++Atmospheric Environment Service, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

###Kaman Sciences Corporation, Colorado Springs, Colorado

Snowstorms generated over the Great Lakes bring localized heavy precipitation, blizzard conditions, and whiteouts to downwind shores. Hazardous freezing rain often affects the same region in winter. Conventional observations and numerical models generally are resolved too coarsely to allow detection or accurate prediction of these mesoscale severe weather phenomena. The Lake Ontario Winter Storms (LOWS) project was conducted to demonstrate and evaluate the potential for real-time mesoscale monitoring and location-specific prediction of lake-effect storms and freezing rain, using the newest of available technologies. LOWS employed an array of specialized atmospheric remote sensors (a dual-polarization short wavelength radar, microwave radiometer, radio acoustic sounding system, and three wind profilers) with supporting observing systems and mesoscale numerical models. An overview of LOWS and its initial accomplishments is presented.

* NOAA/Wave Propagation Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado

+Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation, Environmental Affairs Department, Syracuse, New York

#NOAA/National Weather Service Forecast Office, Buffalo, New York

** State University of New York, College at Brockport, Brockport, New York

++The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania

##State University of New York, College at Oswego, Oswego, New York

*** Galson Technical Services, Inc., East Syracuse, New York

+++Atmospheric Environment Service, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

###Kaman Sciences Corporation, Colorado Springs, Colorado

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