Great Lakes water temps warm, big factor in upcoming snow storm

This article is from


Written by: Mark Torregrossa

Original article published on January 7th, 2016 @ 12:50 PM


MICHIGAN — The Great Lakes surface water temperatures are very warm compared to normal. This will be a big player in next week’s heavy lake effect snow.

The warmer water gives off more energy, and is one piece of the recipe for heavy lake effect snow.

Lake Michigan is currently three degrees warmer than the 20-year average. Three degrees may not sound like a lot, but it will enhance lake effect snow tremendously. Lake Michigan is currently over three degrees warmer than this date last year.

Lake Michigan is the lake that most influences Lower Michigan’s lake effect snow.

Lake Superior obviously plays the biggest part in the Upper Peninsula’s lake effect, but is also a contributor to moisture for Lower Michigan lake effect.

Currently, Lake Superior is two degrees warmer than the 20-year average, and over three degrees warmer than this time last year.

Although northeast winds are only expected for a short time Sunday, Lake Huron is also primed to produce lake effect. Lake Huron is four degrees warmer than normal.

The ice cover is very low on the Great Lakes, obviously due to the very warm December. Currently only 2.3 percent of the Great Lakes is covered in ice. Last year 11.6 percent was ice covered, and 23.9 percent on this date back in 2014.

Warm water will help produce snow
Arctic cold is set to pounce on Michigan next week. The cold air, combined with warm water should set off heavy lake effect snow.

Watch for further posts on how much snow can be expected, and where the heaviest snow is expected.


The original article can be found at the following link:

Great Lakes water temps warm, big player in next week’s heavy snow

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