Lake Effect Summary - February 19-21, 2009

Maximum Snowfall: Lake Erie 13" (Warsaw); Lake Ontario 35" (Redfield) 

Duration: 36 hours +/- 

Prime Feature: Prolonged late season WNW event. Evolved from upslope situation.

After a 3 week break, the season's 13th lake effect event smothered areas east and southeast of Lake Ontario from Thursday Feb 19-Saturday the 21st. This event began as an upslope situation, as wraparound moisture pinwheeled around a departing storm system with snows increasing during the afternoon of the 19th. The snows amounted to several inches during Thursday evening before evolving into more pure lake effect overnight and most of Friday. The activity was most pronounced off the open waters of Lake Ontario and settled south Friday night as winds veered, affected areas near Lake Ontario back to Niagara county, with several inches falling in the Rochester area, especially near the lake. The activity wound down on Saturday as ridging moved in with lowering inversions.

Totals topped two feet over portions of Oswego county and a foot back to northern Cayuga and down into the Syracuse area. Two foot totals also were recorded on the western Tug Hill, but much less fell along the immediate lakeshore in city of Oswego. Over 6 inches also feel over far southern Erie and Wyoming counties off Erie, mainly an upslope situation.

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 a decent one affecting a sizeable population. It therefore earns three *** stars.

Here are some representative reports. 

Off of Lake Erie...

Location Snowfall
Warsaw 13 inches
West Falls 9 inches
East Aurora 5 inches

Off of Lake Ontario...

Location Snowfall
Redfield 35 inches
Lacona 29 inches
West Monroe 27 inches
Palermo 25 inches
Fulton 24 inches
Barnes Corners 22 inches
Fair Haven 18 inches
Syracuse 10-14 inches
Oswego 6-14 inches
Rochester 4-7 inches


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