Lake-Effect Snow Hammering Great Lakes Region

Nick Wiltgen | TWC
Published: January 22, 2013

Lake-Effect Snow Breaking Records


Western Great Lakes Alerts

Western Great Lakes Alerts

Western Great Lakes Alerts

Western Great Lakes Alerts

Eastern Great Lakes Alerts

Eastern Great Lakes Alerts

Eastern Great Lakes Alerts

Eastern Great Lakes Alerts

With a blast of Arctic air crossing the mostly unfrozen Great Lakes, we're already dealing with heavy, at times record-breaking lake-effect snow. And more is on the way!

Various watches, warnings, and advisories are in effect for the lake-effect snow threat, which continues downwind of all five Great Lakes (although the Lake Huron snows will mostly affect Canada).

Lake-effect snow is especially tricky for drivers because it tends to organize into narrow, heavy bands that can cause road conditions and visibility to deteriorate rapidly over the span of just a few road miles.

Already, we've seen some locally impressive totals:

  • Erie, Pa., officially picked up 16.3 inches of snow at the airport Monday alone, making it the snowiest January calendar day on record, and the snowiest day in any month for Erie since Nov. 29, 1979! Snowfall records there began in 1893.
  • Other parts of the city of Erie received as much as 24 inches of snow Monday.
  • Up to 18 inches of snow fell Sunday through Monday morning in Oswego County, N.Y., north of Syracuse.
  • Another 19 inches fell in Pulaski, N.Y., during the 24 hours ending at 9 a.m. Tuesday.
  • In western New York, Ripley had a two-day total of 24.8 inches as of Tuesday morning with snow still falling.
  • A few places in northern Lower Michigan saw 10 inches of snow in the 48-hour period ending Tuesday morning.

Let's take a look at the next phases of this cold, snowy pattern for the Great Lakes, starting with Tuesday.

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