August 15, 2012
Jennifer Kalish of the Great Lakes Echo writes that our summer heat could produce more winter snow:
The record high temperatures this summer could mean some Great Lakes coastal residents will get buried in snow this winter.
“There’s certainly a lot of evidence to suggest that we will go into this fall with warmer than normal lake temperatures,” said Jeff Andresen, state climatologist for Michigan. “That could lead to an increase in the amount of lake-effect precipitation we see, but it isn’t certain.”
Lake-effect snow happens when cold dry air that moves south over Canada meets the warm waters of the Great Lakes, Andresen said.
The cold air picks up moisture as the warm water evaporates from the lake, forms into clouds and then dumps snow onto nearby cities and towns, Andresen said. The greater the difference in temperature between the warm water and cold air, the more snow will fall.
That means the warm summer is only part of the recipe for lots of lake-effect snow.