LAKE EFFECT STORM "FERMI"
December 21, 2002
Lake Flake scale: ** 2 Stars
Maximum Snowfall: Lk. Erie: 10" (Bennington); Lk. Ontario: 6" (Hooker).
Duration: 10 Hours +/-
Prime Feature: Very marginal temps; unusually long eastward extent.
Lake Flake Scale: ** 2 Flakes
"Fermi" was an unusual event in two respects. Temperatures were very marginal with 850 readings in the -8 to -9c range...and lake temps around +3c..giving delta-tís of 11-12c. But the synoptic features were very favorable...very moist lower layers, relatively high inversion levels...lifted by a short wave, and perfectly aligned winds from about 255-260 degrees. The 850 winds were 50-60 kts...and the Erie snowband reached across the Rochester metro area and even as far as Oneida County for a time.
The event began just after midnight on Saturday Dec 21st...peaked during late morning/midday and rapidly shut down by mid afternoon. Timing was 3-6 hours later off Lake Ontario. Due to the marginal temperatures...the activity remained cellular within a 20-30 mile wide area off both lakes..with single bands never really developing. Snow did fall at 1-2 inches per hour in the peak time period. The activity was a bit more intense off Lake Erie than Lake Ontario.
This was a very rare case where Rochester received more snow (5") than Buffalo (2") off Lake Erie!!
This was not a major event...but because of its unusual nature it earns two ** stars.
Here are some representative amounts ....
|E. Aurora||9 inches|
Off Lake Ontario