LAKE EFFECT STORM "IMES"
January 13-14, 2003
Lake Flake scale: * 1 Star
Maximum Snowfall: Lk. Ontario: 10" (Macedon); Lk. Erie: Non-event.
Duration: 20 Hours +/-
Prime Feature: Persistent convergence band seeded from upper lakes. Mainly Lake Ontario feature.
Lake Flake Scale: * 1 Flake
A cold front crossed the region during the morning and midday hours of Monday January 13. It was accompanied by a burst of snow..which accumulated an inch or so across most areas...but a few inches fell over upslope higher elevations of the western southern tier and the Tug Hill. There was strong subsidence immediately following the front and skies generally cleared.
However, very cold air (-22c) moved in during the day and the low level wind flow was well aligned. Winds were very strong though (50 kts at 850 mb) and several streamers from the upper lakes swept across southern Ontario and on into Lake Ontario. One of these settled across the south shore of the lake by evening with locally heavy snow. Those strong winds allowed the band to extend well inland Monday night,. The composite radar imagery showed the band all the way across the Catskills south of Albany. The winds diminished late Monday night...the Huron connection began to weaken...but the band was strong enough to maintain itself off Lake Ontario. This snowband continued generally in place through Tuesday morning before breaking up Tuesday afternoon. Accumulations were not extreme...but did amount to 5 to 8 inches across suburban Rochester and across much of southwest Wayne County. 3 to 6 inch totals were reported from Niagara and Orleans counties...mostly between Route 104 and the Thruway.
This was a marginal but interesting event, as it transformed from a Lake Huron feeder band...to a Lake Ontario band. Shear and subsidence killed it Tuesday afternoon. It earns a single one * star.
Here are some representative amounts ....
Off Lake Ontario