December 2015 Issue

Lake Effect

The downwind sides of any large body of water—and especially the Great Lakes—can be perennial winners of the rotten-weather-in-winter prize. The air moving across them picks up moisture, then dumps it in the form of snow from heavy, ice-laden clouds over the downwind land area. The cloud cover almost invariably harbors ice and generates localized heavy snow fall, especially in the roughly 10-mile strip of land nearest the lake. …

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