January 15, 2005

Lake Flake scale: ** 2 Flakes


Maximum Snowfall: Lk. Erie: < 2"; Lk. Ontario: 19" (Lacona).

Duration: 18 Hours +/-

Prime Feature: Brief. Localized in Lake Ontario snowbelt.

Lake Flake Scale: ** 2 Flakes

After a three week period of generally unseasonably mild weather, the lake effect machine turned on following the passage of a strong cold front Friday the 14th. Temps plunged from near record highs in the 60s on the 13th, but model progs indicated too little wind and too much shear for much activity, but winds became well aligned out of the west and cold air deepened enough Friday night to initiate a decent single band over Lake Ontario which pushed into northern Oswego and southwest Lewis counties by midnight. The band remained fairly stationary, oscillating slightly, Saturday morning and midday before weakening and lifting north as winds backed during the afternoon. The band tried to briefly re-establish itself during the evening but dissipated before midnight as winds became light and even easterly ahead of an approaching low from the Ohio Valley.

Inversion levels were at 6-7 k feet at the peak of this event, there was no shear and winds lined up at 270. delta-t’s were 15-18c. Moisture levels were only moderate but obviously enough, snow growth parameters were good. There were some good upstream indications, on Huron and Superior, that westerly bands were possible, but the question was whether Lake Ontario would be enough in the westerly flow or would be under a surface ridge nearer Lake Erie.

All of these conditions were present on Lake Erie, but to a lesser degree, winds were lighter, inversion lower, and low levels drier, so only a few hours of weak snow shower activity occurred, giving a couple inches to ridges near Perrysburg.

The event was very localized...occurred on a weekend in a snowbelt area, but did drop up to 19". It therefore earns ** 2 starts **.

Off Lake Ontario


19 inches
Pulaski 16 inches
Sandy Creek 10 inches
N. Osceola 8 inches
Hooker 5 inches
West Monroe 4 inches