DECEMBER 6-7, 2005

Lake Flake scale: **** 4 Flakes


Maximum Snowfall: Lk. Erie: 29" (Perrysburg). Lk. Ontario: 16" (Mexico).

Duration: 21 Hours +/-

Prime Feature: Intense classic westerly flow lake storm.

Lake Flake Scale: **** 4 Flakes

Our events continue to come fast and furious as we continue our most active early season Lake effects in ten years. Our brief fourth event barely had ended during Monday (5th) as a coastal storm disrupted the wind fields, but they set up during Tuesday morning (6th) out of the west and strengthened during the afternoon. The lower levels were very moist and shear was non existent and with a weak secondary trof over the upper lakes slowly dropping southeast and providing for a rising inversion, conditions were optimum for lake effect. 850 temps of -15C over a +6 deg lake provided extreme instability and by mid afternoon an intense band was sweeping in off Lake Erie on a 260-270 vector as our fifth lake storm of the season was underway. The activity focused on northern Chautauqua, northern Cattaraugus, far southern Erie and southern Wyoming counties and moved little all night, consolidating a bit, then weakening rapidly Thursday morning as winds lightened and shear increased quickly as a passing trof disrupted the bands. Over 20 inches fell in a narrow band along the 3 county line inland, but unlike the past events, even the lakeshore shared in the heavy amounts with the Dunkirk-Fredonia area smothered by 12-15 inches. Perrysburg caught 29 inches.

A similar scenario played out off Lake Ontario although the band was a bit more transient. It began over central Jefferson and northern Lewis counties Tuesday afternoon and gradually settled south into the Tug Hill Tuesday night before settling further south across Oswego county and eventually down to eastern Wayne and Onondaga counties by midday Wednesday (7th). Again, it was disrupted as a secondary trof passed during Wednesday afternoon. Over a foot fell on the Tug Hill for the second time in three days! But as on Erie, even the lakeshore shared in heavy totals with Oswego catching a solid foot.

It should be noted also that the snow never stopped completely between the previous event and this one. Light snow hugged the lakeshores south of Buffalo and near Watertown during the night of 5-6th but only amounted to an inch or two. The new lake effect event developed shortly after noon Tuesday.

This was a classic intense but relatively brief event. It had very high accumulation rates and fell over some populated areas like Dunkirk and also ski country. It earns **** 4 Stars ****.


Off Lake Erie


29 inches
Arcade 24 inches
Chafee 22 inches
S. Dayton 15 inches
Dunkirk 13 inches
Colden 8 inches
Ellicottville 7 inches

Off Lake Ontario


16 inches
Highmarket 14 inches
Constantia 13 inches
Oswego 12 inches
Lowville 6 inches
Syracuse 6 inches