Influence of Lake Superior Surface Temperature on Thunderstorms

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Sunday, 4 January 2015
Kevin M. Haas, Northland College, Ashland, WI; and L. P. Van Roekel

Lake breezes exert a strong control on weather experienced by near shore communities. This influence has been examined by numerous authors. Recently the influence of Lake Superior on propagating squall lines has been examined. It was found that the lake breezes modify convergence zones and low level stability, which can have a dramatic impact on squall lines. In this study the weather research and forecasting (WRF) model is used to simulate the response of organized convection to changing lake land temperature gradients. Two cases are considered. In the first, the temperature is altered across all of Lake Superior. In the second, the temperature is only altered in Chequamegon Bay. Modification of the lake surface temperature has a strong influence on lake breeze convergence zones which modifies convective activity.