Lake Effect Snowstorms

The past couple days I have been doing some research into Lake Effect snowstorms (LES). They are really extreme events, dumping huge amounts of snow over small areas. Does anybody know the climatological maximum for Great Lake events? I'm considering a drive up to the Tug Hill Plateau in New York if a big event begins to unfold.

What was the final verdict on the record Montague, NY event in January, 1996? A co-op observer measured a 24 hour snowfall of 77". The standing 24-hour record is in Silver Lake, CO at 76". I see conflicting information that the co-op observer cleaned his snow board 6 times in 24 hours while other reports say he only cleaned it 4 times. Of course, you are only allowed to clean the board every 6 hours. During the 76" snowfall in Colorado they only cleaned the board once in 24 hours. If they followed today's standards their record would be much more than 76".

Everyone knows that the Great Lakes produce LES, but most people don't know that the Great Salt Lake is responsible for some significant LES. Salt Lake City and Tooele have had 24-36" LES. The Wasatch mountains also benefit from lake moisture that helps contribute to 600"+ annual snowfalls.
 
Bill,

I know people who have chased Lake Ontario snow storms. They actually are VERY common. 6-12" of snow in 1 day happens on average probably every couple of weeks. Definitely a great weather phenomena where you can get 3-4" per hour with thunder and lightning many times. Look for Forecast Discussion from NWS Buffalo and look for areas downwind of Lake Ontario. Boonville, NY is also a bullseye winner many times...
 
Thursday and Friday of this week could feature some pretty heavy Lake Effect snow totals. Areas East to East Northeast of the Lakes could see 8-14" of snow with Thundersnow if the MM5 pans out.
 
Areas of Michigan's Upper Peninsula will likely get 24-36 inches of snow... Current winter storm watch is broken down into three periods of 5-10 inch accumulations. I should have went up there for Thanksgiving!

I guess that's the start... Our location up there averages around 250 inches per year.
 
NWS Grand Rapids mentions isolated thunderstorms
in the my area, with thundersnow, the snow totals
could add up quickly.

Also predicted, near blizzard conditions at times.

7-12 inches of snow possible.

Grand Rapids Michigan Season Snowfall Total so far 11.1 inches
5.6 inches above normal for this time period.

Blizzard Warnings in the Upper Peninsula

Mike
http://mgweather.com
I must find a way to move to the Great Plains (Norman or Lincoln)
 
I really wish the NWS MQT (Marquette) would issue a statement indicating snowfall accumulations.

I was watching a heavy lake effect snow band which remained nearly stationary over a city named "Chatham" for 36-42 hours. I looped the L3 data over a period of 36-42 hours (using 30 minute timesteps), and for that entire 36-42 hour period, they never dropped below 20 dbz! In fact, they were at >30 dbz several times. Using the NTP product, the highest dbz were definitely over that location for an extended period. Even if you figure a modest accumulation of 1 inch per hour, that's 36-42 inches. I would be willing to bet that snowfall rates were more along the order of 2 inches per hour, with peaks at 3 inches. I would also bet that Chatham received several FEET of snow (3-5 feet)!

I sent an e-mail to one of the forecasters at MQT, we shall see if I get a response, and whether or not that little town even has spotters (their population is just over 200, LOL).
 
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