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Synoptic Climatology of Lake-Effect Snow Events off the Western Great Lakes

Department of Geosciences, Mississippi State University, 75 B. S. Hood Road, Starkville, MS 39762, USA
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Climate 2021, 9(3), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9030043
Received: 18 February 2021 / Revised: 4 March 2021 / Accepted: 4 March 2021 / Published: 5 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extreme Weather Events)
As the mesoscale dynamics of lake-effect snow (LES) are becoming better understood, recent and ongoing research is beginning to focus on the large-scale environments conducive to LES. Synoptic-scale composites are constructed for Lake Michigan and Lake Superior LES events by employing an LES case repository for these regions within the U.S. North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR) data for each LES event were used to construct synoptic maps of dominant LES patterns for each lake. These maps were formulated using a previously implemented composite technique that blends principal component analysis with a k-means cluster analysis. A sample case from each resulting cluster was also selected and simulated using the Advanced Weather Research and Forecast model to obtain an example mesoscale depiction of the LES environment. The study revealed four synoptic setups for Lake Michigan and three for Lake Superior whose primary differences were discrepancies in a surface pressure dipole structure previously linked with Great Lakes LES. These subtle synoptic-scale differences suggested that while overall LES impacts were driven more by the mesoscale conditions for these lakes, synoptic-scale conditions still provided important insight into the character of LES forcing mechanisms, primarily the steering flow and air–lake thermodynamics. View Full-Text
Keywords: lake-effect; climatology; numerical weather prediction; synoptic; mesoscale; winter weather; Great Lakes; snow lake-effect; climatology; numerical weather prediction; synoptic; mesoscale; winter weather; Great Lakes; snow
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wiley, J.; Mercer, A. Synoptic Climatology of Lake-Effect Snow Events off the Western Great Lakes. Climate 2021, 9, 43. https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9030043

AMA Style

Wiley J, Mercer A. Synoptic Climatology of Lake-Effect Snow Events off the Western Great Lakes. Climate. 2021; 9(3):43. https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9030043

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wiley, Jake; Mercer, Andrew. 2021. "Synoptic Climatology of Lake-Effect Snow Events off the Western Great Lakes" Climate 9, no. 3: 43. https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9030043

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