Orographic Effects in Simulated Lake-Effect Snowstorms over Lake Michigan

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  • 1 Institute of Atmospheric Sciences, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Rapid City, South Dakota
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Abstract

Numerical simulations of lake-effect snowstorms over Lake Michigan show that orography enhances precipitation rates and mesoscale updrafts and strengthens the land breeze. The mild orographic changes east of Lake Michigan as modeled with an 8-km horizontal grid are not sufficient to overcome the dominance of the lake-land temperature difference for any of the cases simulated. However, significant local effects are observed in areas of more prominent topographic features. These local effects are strongly affected by wind direction.

Abstract

Numerical simulations of lake-effect snowstorms over Lake Michigan show that orography enhances precipitation rates and mesoscale updrafts and strengthens the land breeze. The mild orographic changes east of Lake Michigan as modeled with an 8-km horizontal grid are not sufficient to overcome the dominance of the lake-land temperature difference for any of the cases simulated. However, significant local effects are observed in areas of more prominent topographic features. These local effects are strongly affected by wind direction.

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