Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Binghamton, NY

Home | Current Version | Previous Version | Graphics & Text | Print | Product List | Glossary Off
Versions: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

NOUS41 KBGM 081302


Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Binghamton NY
800 AM EST Tues Nov 8 2016



The National Weather Service will feature a different educational
topic each day. Today`s topic is Lake Effect snow.

Lake effect snow is a common weather phenomena that develops often
along the great lakes region. Lake effect snow showers develop
across the state of Pennsylvania during the late fall and early
winter months, and during the spring months. The process how lake
effect snow generates is very unique as well. Lake effect snow
occurs when cold air, often originating from Canada, moves across
open waters of the great lakes. When "cold" and often Canadian air,
moves a non-frozen lake, the warm and moist air from the lake rises
quickly, then condenses, and forms a cloud. The cloud will continue
to grow as long as "cold" air is moving across the lake.  As the
cloud continues to grow, it will eventually grow so large it will
produce snow.

The direction of the wind is the most important factor of who will
see the lake effect snow. Heavy snow will be falling at one
location, while the sun may be shining just a mile or two away in
either direction. The physical geography of the land and water is
very important. That is why the Tug Hill Plateau, located in
upstate New York is a great example of how topography plays a role
of lake effect development. The Tug Hill Plateau sees often over
300 inches of snow per year.

Lake effect snow develops in two primary ways. In the form of a
"single band" and "multi-scattered bands." All dependent from the
direction of the wind. When the wind flows horizontally
(from the west) across the lake, a single band forms. These bands
can produce several feet of snow within a short period of time.
November 17-19, 2014, 65 inches of snow fell in Cheektowaga, NY.
The snow fell over a period of just 48 hours, all due to a single
band that developed along the eastern shore of Lake Erie.

Take extreme caution while driving through lake effect bands.
Snowfall in general can create low visibilities. Lake effect snow
is known to be narrow and intense bands. Visibilities can go from
5 miles to less than a hundred feet quickly without warning when
one drives into a band. Lake effect snow bands can also generate
snowfall rates over 2 inches of snow per hour. This can generate
hazardous driving conditions. If all possible, do not drive through
intense lake effect snow bands.

The following topics will be covered this week:
Wednesday: Nor`easters and Winter Storms.
Thursday: Flooding and Ice Jams.
Friday: National Weather Service Winter Products.

Additional information will be disseminated by social media
platforms: Facebook at, and
Twitter at,

Please join us by using the following hashtags:
#Winterprep, #Winter, and #AreYouReady.

For additional information on New York Winter Weather
Awareness Week:

You can also contact Dave Nicosia at,, or
Kat Hawley at,, for additional information
about NOAA`s 2016 National Weather Service Winter Weather
Awareness Week.


KAH is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.