Lake Effect Summary - January 19-21, 2008

Maximum Snowfall: Lake Erie 25" (Perrysburg); Lake Ontario 37" (Fulton) 

Duration: 60 hours +/- 

Prime Feature: Classic westerly flow event. Very dry and cold airmass, but great parameters ohterwise. Longevity and little shear.

Our next event was easily the most intense of the tame 2007-08 season and was a "Classic" westerly flow event. It occurred during the first real prolonged and fairly intense cold spell since mid December. It began soon after the passage of a strong cold front early on Saturday 19th, with lake enhanced snow which occurred in conjunction with the front over the Buffalo and Watertown areas settling south and evolving into single bands off both Lakes. The Erie activity never became particularly intense as very dry air upwind worked against the shorter fetch off Lake Erie, but the longevity and steady placement along the Chautauqua ridge brought two day totals up to near 2 feet. There was one last gasp at the end of the event on afternoon of Monday 21st as winds backed in the warm advection, sending the last vestiges of the plume north across the Buffalo metro area where 1 to 3" fell in an hour.

The activity off Lake Ontario was very intense from Saturday evening through Monday morning, with a single plume settling over western Oswego and Cayuga counties for about 6 hours and dropping 15 to 20 inches early Sunday, then lifting north to Tug Hill and northern Oswego county, dropping a foot during the afternoon, then settling south to near the exact spot as the previous night early Monday, dropping another 15 to 20 inches in the same area. This activity weakened later Monday as it lifted north. Total amounts were close to 3 feet over a large portion of Oswego county, quite impressive for such a dry airmass.

The event dropped impressive amounts of snow and affected a good sized population area. It did occur on a holiday weekend, but still earns four **** stars.

Here are some representative reports. 

Off of Lake Erie...

Location Snowfall
Perrysburg 25 inches
Stockton 23 inches
S. Dayton 14 inches
Mayville 14 inches
Warsaw 6 inches
Buffalo 3 inches

Off of Lake Ontario...

Location Snowfall
Fulton 37 inches
Mexico 36 inches
Fair Haven 36 inches
Oswego 28 to 36 inches
Palermo 33 inches
Pulaski 30 inches
W. Monroe 28 inches


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