|News - Snow|
|Written by Reed Patrick Timmer|
|Monday, 29 November 1999 18:00|
Blizzard conditions were experienced today from parts of the Central Plains east to the Great lakes, to eastern Maine, with especially heavy snowfall downwind of Lakes Michigan, Erie, and Ontario. Earlier this afternoon, TornadoVideos.net was documenting 3-4 inch per hour snowfall rates under particularly heavy lake effect bands in northwest Lower Michigan, and averaged about 15 miles per hour in the whiteout conditions. A nearly 100 car pileup occurred on I-94 in southwest Lower Michigan, injuring five people and closing the interstate for several hours. Travel has been treacherous in these areas to say the least.. The image below shows the winter storm watches, warnings, and advisories across the US:
The radar image below shows the heavy lake effect bands pounding Northwest Lower Michigan at around 3:30 pm EST earlier this afternoon, as the TornadoVideos.net team was travelling east on SR 115 in 3-4 inch per hour snowfall rates. While it may look like there was little or no precipitation at our location (white circle) at the time of the radar image, some of the heaviest snow I've ever seen was falling. This is because WSR-88D radars have a very hard time picking up lake effect snow bands further away from the radar site, because the convective clouds that produce LES typically have low cloud tops, and the radar beam was overshooting the lake effect bands at our location.
Thankfully the WSR-88D radars at Buffalo and Watertown, NY have no problem resolving the powerful single-band lake effect events that pound the snow belts downwind of Lakes Erie and Ontario given WSW-ly flow. These textbook examples of single-band LES from Sunday evening can be seen in the radar images below:
Shown below are several pictures we took while streaming the Thursday night into Friday snow storm in Grand Rapids, MI last week, where nearly a foot of snow fell in a 12 hour period. Accidents were plentiful, with people trapped in ditches and deep snow all over the place. I'll be uploading video from this day, and the 3-4 inch per hour lake effect event tomorrow. The lake effect should die down tonight downwind of Lake Michigan, and tomorrow for Lakes Erie and Ontario...but more significant snow will be on the way next week! Stay tuned for updates..