Thursday, December 28, 2017

Massive Lake Effect Snow Over Great Lakes made worse by global warming

By Sydney Pereira On 12/28/17

More than 65 inches of snow fell in Erie, Pennsylvania this week from the record-breaking lake effect storm that started on Christmas Eve. There are plenty of photos of the storm on the ground, but views from space reveal bizarre parallel clouds crossing over the Great Lakes.

The “lake effect” snow storm in Erie happened when cold air, often from Canada, mixed with the relatively warm waters of the Great Lakes.


The record-breaking lake effect snow in Erie seemed odd in the wake of one of the hottest years on record, especially with recent snow as far south as Florida and Texas. But the seeming paradox has a pretty simple explanation. All the extra snow, specifically in the Great Lakes region, is related to those warmer temperatures.

The temperature of the Great Lakes is expected to increase due to climate change, and the lakes will remain ice-free for more time throughout the year, according to NOAA’s Tom Di Liberto, who explained the paradox back in January. So long as Arctic air from Canada is mixing with the relatively warm waters of the lakes, there will be lake effect snow. Though, Di Liberto points out, once the cold air from the north becomes warmer over time, there would eventually be less lake effect snow. Instead, it would be rain.

tags: extreme weather, severe weather

No comments:

Post a Comment