It’s not super rare to measure lake effect snow in the Upstate New York snow belt in feet, but this event is a real dandy! A long duration golden setup of lift, moisture and instability with very favorable wind direction. is across parts of the Great Lakes.
The key to a couple days of a great lake effect setup? Just look at the map. Lot’s of moisture around a strong low pressure system is wrapping around the Great Lakes. Follow the arrows. They take us across Superior, Michigan, Huron, and over Lake Ontario resulting in a “firehose band” of heavy snow. That’s a lot of moisture being funneled into the high terrain around Watertown, Carthage, and Sabbattis New York. The band even extends into Burlington, Vermont and eastward.
There is a pretty good chance a widespread 2-3 FEET occurs in the Tug Hills to the east of Lake Ontario.
The same setup will mean major snow of at least a foot of additional snow for the southeast side of Lake Erie. South of Buffalo gets hit very hard.
These type of events normally need a few important ingredients to line up and that’s what we have. A very strong low pressure is sitting and spinning over SE Canada. A high is over western Ontario. This synoptic setup allows for moisture, winds and cold air to be in place.
There will be several inches of snow possible in Northeast Ohio from this event also. The wind direction does not have the same length of the lake to work with as it does in New York, but that won’t stop the highest terrain from getting at least a half foot.
If you service those areas – happy plowing!