55 Profiling Doppler radar observations of lake-effect snow over the New York Finger Lakes during OWLeS

Monday, 3 August 2015
Back Bay Ballroom (Sheraton Boston )
Philip T. Bergmaier, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY; and B. Geerts, N. F. Laird, and N. D. Metz

Much of the current knowledge regarding lake-effect snow storms has been developed through investigations of systems associated with large water bodies, such as the Great Lakes. Lake-effect snowfalls and mesoscale circulations associated with smaller lakes, with fetches less than 40 km, have received less attention. The Finger Lakes region of New York State harbors a collection of small lakes with differing sizes. These lakes are marginally large enough to produce lake-effect snow. The two largest ones, Seneca and Cayuga, produced remarkably persistent lake-effect convection on 22 January, 2014 during the Ontario Winter Lake-effect Systems (OWLeS) field project. The event studied here was part of a multi-day cold-air outbreak with several time periods of lake-effect snow band activity under roughly northerly wind, aligned with the long axis of the Finger Lakes, as reported on in a companion paper at this conference, by Laird et al.. The University of Wyoming King Air with profiling radar and lidar collected some impressive transects across this convection. The analysis shows a solenoidal circulation with near-surface convergence over the lakes, a buoyant updraft ~ 1 km deep, and divergence aloft. Snow forms remarkably quickly in the first convective clouds at the upstream (north) end of the lake. Near the south end light snowfall becomes more widespread due to orographic ascent.
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