Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Lake effect snow

I was digging around in some old files and came across this satellite photo that TheCommish sent me of a massive lake effect snowstorm that covered most of the Great Lakes states. I believe this photo is of the blizzard of 1999 when Northwest Airlines, who I am at war with at present, was sued for 'imprisoning' people for up to 8 1/2 hours in aircraft that had been routed into Detroit even though no gates were available to deplane the passengers.

The average surface lake temperature at this point in the winter is about 33.9F(1.05C) and there is less ice than last year. This means the cold winds can sweep out of the northwest as they are in the photo, pick up moisture, and dump it as snow once it hits the colder land. In the photo the north shore of Lake Superior is snow free and northern Wisconsin and the UP of Michigan are getting hammered. You can see the snow taper off so that most of eastern Wisconsin, Door County, Green Bay, and Milwaukee are relatively snow free. The cold air then hits Lake Michigan, picks up more moisture and dumps it all the way through Michigan, Ohio, and into Pennsylvania.

Spring is indeed on the way, Canoecopia is just around the corner, and some lakes should be open in another month. We here in the midwest are aware however, that the usual state hockey tournament blizzard is right around the corner and that winter will most certainly have one last blast....or two.

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