Saturday, November 10, 2012

Lake Effect!

Overnight we had a nice transition to lake-effect snow, which has been concentrated over the northern Wasatch Front and eastern Salt Lake County.

0707–1454 UTC 10 Nov 2012 KMTX Radar Loop 
As can be seen in the loop above, the event thus far has been what we call "non banded" in that there is a broad area of lake-effect precipitation rather than a narrow, isolated band.

MesoWest observations show what we often see during lake-effect events with strong westerly flow over the western half of the Great Salt Lake converging with a stagnant and cooler airmass along the Wasatch Front and over the eastern half of the Great Salt Lake.

This convergence serves as the trigger for lake-effect convection, with precipitation falling downstream to the east and southeast.

During the October lake-effect event, we discussed how lake effect tends to weaken during the day (click here).  This effect is greatest in the fall and spring and weakest during the winter.  It will be interesting to see if that happens today.  There is extensive snow cover around the lake thanks to yesterdays storm, and the sun angle is lower, both of which suggest the daytime heating will be limited. Perhaps we'll see some weakening this afternoon, but not a total demise.  In any event, it looks like periods of snow showers for the Wasatch Front and Mountains through tomorrow morning.  Let it snow!

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