The Great Lakes And Their Impact On The Weather

The Great lakes have a huge impact in the weather for the cities that are near the lakes. In the fall and early winter months the lakes can create intense snowfall events known as “Lake Effect Snow”. The reason that this occurs has to do with the water temps of the lakes and also the temps of the air that is moving across them. When an Alberta Clipper system forms in Canada and moves Southeastward towards the US, it brings that cold air and strong Northwest winds over the warmer waters. It picks up that moisture and dumps it towns like Syracuse and Buffalo and other major cities along the lakes. This creates snowfall belts in these regions as they will tend to get very heavy snowfall amounts from just one of these events.

The summer time also provides a special event known as the Land and Lake breeze. What happens is that the cooler air moves off the lakes in the daytime towards the warmer land and creates sometimes t-storms over these regions during the afternoon hours, while in the overnight hours the land cools off and the water is still warmer forcing the land to push the air out over the lake. This leads to the potential of thunderstorms building over the lake.