An intense band of lake-effect precipitation developed over Oswego County in upstate New York on 2 December 2005. The National Lightning Detection Network recorded 5 cloud-to-ground (CG) flashes during this event. However, National Weather Service snow spotters located on the SUNY Oswego campus noted total (intracloud + CG) flash rates of 1 flash (2 min)-1 for approximately 30 minutes (total flashes during this period ~ 15). Heavy graupel was observed several times during this period, consistent with charge separation hypotheses. There is also evidence that a synoptic-scale short-wave interacted with the band during its electrically active state. This likely deepened the boundary layer and the cumulus growth.
We plan on presenting data from other cases, but the 2 December 2005 event was the most electrically active lake-effect event in recent memory for Oswego. We will also show how often these events occur throughout the lake-effect season in the eastern Great Lakes region. Lastly, we propose the implementation of a total lightning network (e.g., LMA, LDAR II) in this region to better understand the charge structure in lake-effect clouds and how lightning initiates within them. This is an important problem as the public is at risk because they don't expect lightning during winter precipitation. Lake-effect clouds are not as turbulent as summertime convection, hence lending them more susceptible to study by research aircraft and balloon soundings.