Published: 4:36 PM GMT on January 22, 2013
A classic January North American cold wave has plunged much of the continent into the deep freeze and brought epic lake effect snows to the shores of the Great Lakes. The intense cold was centered over central Ontario this Tuesday morning, where a remarkable low temperature of -49°F (-45.0°C) was observed at Lansdowne House, Ontario. This was the coldest temperature measured at a major observing station in all of North America today. In the U.S., below-zero temperatures were recorded Tuesday morning in eleven states east of the Rockies. The coldest air was centered over Northern Minnesota, where the temperature plummeted to -35°F (-37°C) at Crane Lake at 7 am CST, with calm winds. The coldest wind chills were observed in Southern Manitoba, Northern Wisconsin, and Michigan's Upper Peninsula, where the clockwise flow of air around a high pressure system centered over Iowa brought bitter cold winds. The wind chill at Ironwood, Michigan hit -42°F at 7 am this morning, thanks to a temperature of -17°F combined with a wind of 17 mph. The wind chill hit -40° F (-40°C) at Rhinelander, Wisconsin.
Figure 1. Visible satellite image from 10:45 am EST January 22, 2013 shows multiple bands of lake effect snow streaming off of Lake Erie (lower left), and one very concentrated band of snow affecting the east shore of Lake Ontario over Oswego, New York (center right of image.) Image credit: NOAA.
Figure 2. Radar image of the band of very heavy lake effect snow affecting Oswego, NY (circle with a "+" symbol in it) at 11:08 EST January 22, 2013. The echo intensity of 25 dBZ (light blue colors) is very intense for a snow storm, and snowfall rates of up to 5" per hour may be occurring in this band.
The frigid Arctic air blasting over the unusually warm Great Lakes have created very heavy lake effect snows, and snowfall amounts in excess of a foot have hit the snow belts in the lee of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York. The heaviest snows on Tuesday morning were falling along the eastern shore of Lake Ontario in New York, where the National Weather Service is warning that snowfall amounts of 2 - 4" per hour, possibly up to 5" per hour, will occur today. More than a foot of snow is also expected in along the shores of Lake Superior near Munising over the next day. As of 7 am EST Tuesday, here were the top snow amounts so far from this epic lake effect snow event:
18" Ripley, NY
13" Perrysburg, NY
12.7" Lacona, NY
12" Sinclairville, NY
12" Collins, NY
17" Fairview, PA
15" Colt Station, PA
14" Erie, PA (6 miles SW)
13" Girard, PA
12" Millcreek TWP, PA
13" Geauga, OH
13" Montville, OH
12" Thompson, OH
12" Montville, OH
Snow in southern Ohio on Monday created whiteout conditions near Cincinnati, causing a 79-car pile-up on I-275, and a 50-car pile-up on I-75. The CIMSS Satellite Blog shows the conditions during the event nicely.
Although the current Arctic air outbreak is severe, it has broken very few records. Only 11 daily minimum low temperature records were tied or broken in the U.S. on Monday; none of these records were set at stations east of the Rockies. In fact, there were more daily high temperature records set in the U.S. yesterday--fifteen in all, including new high temperature records at Los Angeles, Burbank, and Shasta in California.
Still flowing even at -5 degrees. "I wish I could have focused my attention on getting better photos than trying to keep my nose from freezing off."
Ice shove's out on the bay, not what the ice Fishermen likes to see, the icy build up
Makes it very hard to get there ice shanties out to where the fish are.