National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Lake Effect Summary - December 12-13, 2013 

Lake Effect Snowfall - December 12-13, 2013


Maximum Snowfall: Lake Erie 27" (Perrysburg); Lake Ontario 23" (Copenhagen)

Duration: 48 hours +/-

Prime feature: Long duration snows.

Our second lake effect event came fresh on the heels of our first lake effect snow event.

On Thursday, December 12th, a near repeat scenario of the first lake effect event of the season played out, with the same band that clobbered Southern Erie County forecast to move north again. The band was expected to move about 5-15 miles north of the Wednesday band and remain just south of the city and the airport, but instead it moved about 15-25 miles north.  The result was heavy snow over the Buffalo Metro area during the rush hour commute.  The airport received a quick 6" for this event, and similar to the lake band on Tuesday, areas to the north and west received more, up to a foot, as the band stalled and headed back to the south, where it weakened overnight, but not before dropping another half foot or so for the distant Southtowns.  

On Friday, the band remained generally in place with some orographic enhancement.  Most areas only received a few inches, although places like Perrysburg picked up 1.5'.  Meanwhile, to the north, an arctic front moved south and dropped 1-3 inches from Niagara County east past Monroe county during the morning before it weakened and stalled over Northern Erie County.  The main lake band finally weakened overnight, but not before dropping 2-4' in the most heavily hit areas far northwest Cattaraugus, Northern Chautauqua County, and Southern and Central Erie Counties.  

After a lull in activity Thursday morning, a shoreline band redeveloped and sent a mesolow across the Eastern Lake Ontario region.  Another strong lake band developed behind this feature and intensified just north of Watertown. Later in the afternoon, the band moved south back over the Tug Hill region toward the evening hours, and remained in place through daybreak Friday morning. This left the Tug Hill region with another 1.5-2 feet of snow. Finally the band dropped south across Oswego county and dissipated during before noon as an arctic dry airmass settled into the region. Tallied up, the most heavily hit areas had received 4-6 feet of snow.

Off Lake Erie...

27 inches... Perrysburg
23 inches... Glenwood
22 inches... Warsaw
14 inches... Dunkirk
8 inches... Marilla
6.4 inches... Buffalo Airport
Off Lake Ontario...

23 inches... Copenhagen
22 inches... Redfield
21 inches... Highmarket
17 inches... Lowville