Friday, March 22, 2013

Lake-Effect Miscellany

Some musings about lake effect, beginning with observations of yesterday's lake band.  First, here's a video of the snow squall that came through late yesterday morning, courtesy of George Wilkerson and Steve Krueger.

Here are a few photos from Peter Veals of the event as well.  

Source: Peter Veals 
Today we have snow showers in the area, but the role of the lake is debatable.  There is some evidence of more frequent and persistent returns downstream of the lake, but it is relatively unorganized and there is scattered precipitation in areas not downstream of the lake as well (this precipitation extends northward into southeast Idaho).  I'll call today weakly lake enhanced.  

The models suggest a pattern favorable for lake-effect tonight, with cold, moist, northwesterly flow moving over the Great Salt Lake as shown, for example, in the NAM forecast for 1200 UTC (0600 MDT) tomorrow morning).

Historically, such patterns very frequently produce lake effect.  However, that assumes the NAM forecast is accurate.  In addition, the chaotic nature of lake-effect precipitation makes determining the precise position, structure, and intensity of these storms a crapshoot.  A small shift in wind direction or relative humidity makes a big difference.  About all we can say is that we have a good chance for lake effect tonight, but we will have to see if Mother Nature delivers.  Your guess is as good as mine.  

1 comment:

  1. In upper LCC today we kept having waves of snow followed by breaks with sun. Hope the lake can still spit some more waves out. Skiing was GREATLY improved.