Lake Effect Summary - December 4-6, 2008

Maximum Snowfall: Lake Erie 11" (Dunkirk); Lake Ontario 17" (Pulaski) 

Duration: 36 hours +/- 

Prime Feature: Decent post-frontal event. Hugged lakeshore.

The active lake effect season continued with the seventh event in less than a month getting underway immediately following a cold frontal passage on Thursday Dec 4th. A well aligned westerly flow set off lake effect snows off Lake Ontario Thursday afternoon which intensified and continued Thursday night into early Friday, mainly from northern Oswego county into the western Tug Hill. Over a foot fell at Lacona and Pulaski.

After some diminishing of the activity Friday morning, a deep westerly flow set up again during the day with a band of intense snow setting up off Lake Erie over the lakeshore area near Dunkirk-Silver Creek. This band remained intense as it drifted north up the lake into the Buffalo South Towns by dark, then lifted quickly across the Buffalo metro area during the evening and then stalled in a weakened form up over Niagara county and Niagara Peninsula before dissipating Saturday morning. An unusual feature with this event was that there was a sharp cutoff in amounts as one went inland, when the band lifted north the eastward extent was minimized, so Buffalo's eastern suburbs only got 1-2", while up to 4" fell in the city.

Off Lake Ontario, a single intense band lifted north to the Watertown area during the evening and remained until about 2 am when it lifted north and weakened. 9-12" fell across the Watertown area, bringing season totals to over 30" there.

The event ended by mid morning Saturday (6th) as southerly winds increased ahead of the next clipper.

The event was a decent one, but manageable. It did affect a sizeable population base. It therefore earns two ** stars.

Here are some representative reports. 

Off of Lake Erie...

Location Snowfall
Dunkirk 11 inches
Mayville 10 inches
Derby 8 inches
Blasdell 8 inches
East Aurora 7 inches
Buffalo city 2-4 inches

Off of Lake Ontario...

Location Snowfall
Pulaski 17 inches
Lacona 13 inches
Watertown 9-13 inches
Harrisville 13 inches
Oswego 6 inches


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