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Egret, Vol. 75, #1
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by the Outrider
“If there was a defining moment when snow emerged as anything
more than an awkward form of liquid precipitation, it's more easily
dated than explained. In 1814 army surgeons began counting snow
and in 1870 Congress established the US Army Signal Service, within the
War Department, to issue storm warnings based on thrrice-daily weather
observations telegraphed to a central forecast office, in Washington.
As part of their duties, observers noted the dates of the season's
first and last snows."
its not lake effect, its not real snow
“What makes lake-effect snow
distinctive is not so much its depth as its frequency. Although the
Great Lakes snowbelts occasionally receive a foot or more of snow in a
single event, the most distinctive feature is a pattern of repeated
snowfalls, often just one or two inches a day, but enought to require
shoveling walkways and plowing streets and driveways."
Tales of Large Lakes, Arctic Winds, and Recurrent Snows
by Mark S. Monmonier
Syracuse University Press, 2012
This book offers an in-depth and personal look at a natural phenomenon
shaped by geography and weather patterns and how it affects human
history. A "lake-effect snow" occurs when narrow bands of
formed in cold, dry arctic air pass over a large, relatively warm
inland lake, producing intense snowfalls lasting
from a couple of minutes to two days. Such snowfalls occur famously
along the Great Lakes, the Great Salt Lake, and Hudson Bay; this
narrative focuses on the Great Lakes and the Buffalo area east of Lake
Erie in particular.
NASA satellite photo
showing the Great
Lakes lake effect.
Computer models of
climate change predict that increasingly warm winters will
significantly stifle snowfall by the end of the century.
the short run, though, global warming does not preclude sever winters
like 1976-77, when repeated assaults of Acrtic air with a northwesterly
flow brought record snow to areas downwind of the relatively warm Great
to The Nature Pages
Meteorologists Learned to Map, Predict, and Dramatize Weather