The storm caused by the “Great Lake Effect” buried the region in snow


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dated: 2022-11-20 13:08:59 .

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast from The Weather Network’s Chris Mei that features stories about people, communities and events and how the weather has affected them.

Between Wednesday, November 19 and Thursday, November 20, 2014, a very favorable environment was created for heavy lake-effect snow over the lower Great Lakes.

A surface low pressure system, centered over the upper Great Lakes Wednesday afternoon, extended across southern Ontario into the Ottawa Valley Thursday morning and the St. Lawrence in the evening. But at dawn Thursday, two belts of moderate to heavy snow headed east from Lake Ontario to the races, dropping heavy snow along the way.

The band initially moved over Kingston and parts of southern Quebec just after midnight on the 19th, but as the flow turned from the west to the northwest, it reversed the direction of the most focused band, allowing it to remain stationary as it discharged in New York state.

Lake-effect snow on the Great Lakes, Arthur, Ontario, 2014/UGC

In November 2014, a very favorable lake effect was created with heavy snow above the lower Great Lakes. (Scott Farhood/Arthur, ON)

Snowfall rates were heavy, falling 5-10 cm (2-4 inches) per hour, averaging 1-1.5 feet of snow within this belt before the early hours of Friday, November 21.

Lake effect continued as a multiple band of snow developed southeast of Lake Ontario by midday Friday as it continued to weaken to winds and very weak lake currents. Small additional accumulations of snow were recorded on Friday, but the damage had already been done. Then it was time to clean up.

In today’s podcast, Chris Mei discusses the conditions that fueled the two-day storm that dumped large amounts of lake-like snow on the Great Lakes, how it unfolded on both sides of the border, and the cleanup efforts.

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The storm caused by the “Great Lake Effect” buried the region in snow

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