Sunday, January 11, 2015

Cool Lake Effect Snow Images From Space

A lake effect snow squall off Lake Ontario
gets picked up by a cold front and extends
the line of snow squalls into Vermont.
Also note the southern extent of the snow cover
in southern Ohio and central Indiana and Illinois.  
I'm a little bit on a lake effect snow roll in this here blog thingy, but here goes another one.

Lake effect snows are fascinating enough from the ground, especially if you're clobbered with five feet of snow in as many days.

They're also interesting from space.

The first image in this post was taken Friday. If you click on the image to make it bigger, you see a lake effect snow band coming off of Lake Ontario.

You can kind of follow it as it appears to go through the Adirondacks, curving northeastward through Vermont's Champlain Valley.

An Arctic cold front was making its way south from Quebec. As the front approached New York and Vermont, it captured some of that lake effect snow and helped create a line of snow squalls that marched southeastward in tandem with the cold front front during Friday afternoon.

A long lie of snow squalls extends from Lake Huron down across
Pennsylvania in this satellite image taken last week.  
In the same first image, you can also see the southern extent of snow cover on the ground in southern Ohio and central Indiana and Illinois.

The second image is an overall view of the Great Lakes in full lake effect snow producing mode this week.

One interesting aspect is a band that comes southeastward off of Lake Huron, picks up a little extra boost as it goes over Lake Erie, then continues on as a line of squalls into Pennsylvania.

That's another example of a lake effect band hooking up with a cold front, that at the time was heading south through Pennsylvania.

Those squalls in Pennsylvania contributed to some nasty pileups on highways as they blustered through with their low visibility mixed with the added danger of roads quickly icing up. One of those crashes killed three people near Clarion, Pa. 

You can also see clear skies over the western side of Lake Michigan, with clouds quickly filling in over the lake as clouds and snow forms.  
Lines of snow squalls form on the Black Sea and move
south toward Turkey as this satellite image taken
last week shows.  

The air flow is perpendicular to the longest fetch of the lake. Instead of one single, intense snow band with snowfall at the rate of up to four inches an hour, you get a mess of dense, weaker snow bands that cover a much larger area, but don't dump the deep snow like single bands do.

If the distance across the water is relatively short, you get these numerous weaker bands.

If the wind goes along the longest stretch of water in a lake, you often get a single, intense band, the kind that dropped up to five feet of snow in upstate New York near Lake Ontario this week.

The third image is of the Black Sea. Really a pretty image. There's numerous bands of snow moving southward across the Black Sea. As I noted yesterday, these bands were persistent, and dumped a couple feet of snow in parts of northern Turkey.
Nightime photo taken last week of the Great Lakes, lake
effect snow bands and the lights of the cities

The fourth image is of the Great Lakes and Northeast taken at night last week.

You can still see snow bands coming off of Lake Superior, and another strong, single band coming off Lake Ontario into the Watertown, N.Y. area.

You can see the lights of the cities, and that same line through southern Ohio and in Indiana and Illinois separating areas with snow on the ground to the north, and bare ground to the south.

Just a neat image to share.

No comments:

Post a Comment