MARCH 18-20, 2006

Lake Flake scale: * 1 Flake

Maximum Snowfall: Lk. Erie: 4" (Warsaw). Lk. Ontario: 7" (Syracuse area).

Duration: 30 Hours +/-

Prime Feature: Marginal late season event, moisture advecting from north.

Lake Flake Scale: * 1 Flake

The season's 13th event was a very marginal one, but was interesting for two reasons, its lateness in the season (second latest ever in our 11 years of record, to 3/21-23/98) and its source and evolution.

The region was enveloped in a cold but very dry airmass prior to the event, as a northwest flow of unseasonably chilly air (850 mb temps in -16c range) deepened across the eastern Lakes region. There were scattered snow showers, but the strong late March sun resulted in daytime diurnal effects, and the snow showers were scattered and cellular. Also, the airmass was very dry with dew points in the 0-10F range.

A huge upper low over eastern Canada began to retrograde and send a surge of moisture westward and eventually southwestward later Friday and Friday night. This served to moisten up the lower levels and eventually allowed lake snows to develop closer to the lakeshore from Wayne to Oswego county. There was an upslope component to it as well, with snows hanging on a bit more over the more elevated areas from the Thruway southward in the Syracuse area. The activity continued into Sunday morning (19th) before weakening into snow showers Sunday afternoon due to diurnal factors. There was some redevelopment overnight 19-20th with another inch or two in the same areas before drier air and crashing inversions shut it down by midday Monday (20th).

The focus of this event was Lake Ontario, although Lake Erie did provide some moisture to add to a general upslope, enough for 2-4 inche s over high ground in ski country. Another interesting feature was the short lived snowband which extended from Lake Huron, east across the Niagara Peninsula and on across the Buffalo metro for a couple of hours Sunday morning, dropping a quick inch.

This was a marginal late season event, on a weekend, with snow melting off pavements quickly. It caused little or no disruption, so barely earns a single * Star.

Off Lake Erie


4 inches
Bennington 3 inches

Off Lake Ontario


7 inches
Clay 7 inches
Syracuse 6 inches
Constantia 6 inches
W. Monroe 6 inches
Newark 6 inches