Lake Effect Summary - January 30-31, 2009

Maximum Snowfall: Lake Erie 5" (West Seneca); Lake Ontario 14" (SW Oswego) 

Duration: 24 hours +/- 

Prime Feature: Relatively brief transitional event. Lake Erie ice a factor.

This busy season's 12th event was a brief and transitional one. A cold west to southwest flow ahead of a slow moving mid level trof brought some general light snow which was enhanced by the lakes during the morning of the 30th, this activity remained in place through the day, amounting to 2 to 4 inches off a mainly frozen Lake Erie but strong winds caused drifting and disrupted the morning commute in the Buffalo area. Off Ontario a similar situation occurred over Jefferson county. When the trof passed, winds veered to 280 and a single intense streamer formed over Lake Ontario and extended across Oswego county much of the night before dissipating during the morning of the 31st as it moved south. It remained over one spot only a few hours as it was transitional, but was intense enough to drop a foot on western Oswego county.

Again, this was a good example of the ameliorating effect of Lake Erie's ice, it dampens the lake effect substantially, but does not cut it off completely.

This event was relatively minor and brief, but did have a major impact on the morning commute. It therefore earns two ** stars.

Here are some representative reports. 

Off of Lake Erie...

Location Snowfall
West Seneca 5 inches
Elma 4 inches

Off of Lake Ontario...

Location Snowfall
SW Oswego 14 inches
Oswego 7-11 inches
Watertown 6-9 inches
Carthage 6 inches


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Page last modified: December 18, 2013
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