LAKE EFFECT SUMMARY

JANUARY 18-19, 2006

Lake Flake scale: * 1 Flake

Maximum Snowfall: Lk. Erie: 4" (E. Aurora). Lk. Ontario: 11" (Hooker).

Duration: 12 Hours +/-

Prime Feature: Brief post-frontal event.

Lake Flake Scale: * 1 Flake

After an absence of a month, enough cold air wrapped around a departing low to produce a brief lake effect event late on 18th and early 19th.  Rain changed to snow from west to east during the afternoon of the 18th and gusty winds produced slippery conditions. Most areas received an inch or less of general snow, but as the cold air deepened, the snow became lake enhanced and then just "effect" for several hours in the evening off Erie and overnight off Ontario . 850 mb temps were only marginally cold enough, in the -9C range off Erie but did fall to -12C off Ontario, creating just enough instability over the 2-3C open lakes. Other lake parameters were favorable, good moisture and relatively high inversion. But, warm advection quickly moved in later at night and early Thursday (19th) to shut down the process. Winds were very strong, at 50-55 kts just off the deck, and this may have contributed to the broken up bands off Erie which got all the way into the Rochester area. 

Snowfall totals ranged from 2 to 4 inches from just south of Buffalo to Rochester, and over 6 inches on the Tug Hill. Nothing extreme, but after a month of unseasonably and almost record mild weather, this was a quick and brief return to reality. It was also a rare event for Lake Erie to have more impact on Rochester than it did on Buffalo . This was another brief event with little impact. It affected little population so earns just * 1 Star *.

 

Off Lake Erie

East Aurora

4 inches
Bennington 4 inches
Rochester 3 inches

Off Lake Ontario

Hooker

11 inches
N. Osceola 9 inches
Highmarket 8 inches
Lowville 8 inches