Lake Effect Summary - December 31, 2013-January 1, 2014
Maximum Snowfall: Lake Erie 23" (Perrysburg); Lake Ontario 13.5" (Highmarket)
Duration: 24 hours +/-
Prime feature: West wind lake snows.
Our 6th lake effect event of the season started in the lingering hours of 2013 and carried over into the new year of 2014. A cold westerly flow aligned over the lake waters and produced multi banded lake effect snow across the northern Southern Tier and into portions of Ski Country east of Lake Erie. This same flow organized a band of snow off Lake Ontario that brought brief periods of blizzard like conditions across the Tug Hill and into southern Lewis county.
Snowfall rates of one inch per hour were found in the heavier bands of snow falling downwind of Lake Erie Tuesday night. These bands began to diminish in the early daylight hours of New Years Day as high pressure expanded over the lake and disorganized the lake snow bands.
Off Lake Ontario a single band of snow continued to impact the southeast shoreline of Lake Ontario, as well as the Tug Hill region through the daylight hours Wednesday. The snow ended first across the southeast shoreline as winds backed on the leading edge of a bubble of high pressure. Then through the afternoon hours, a few inches of snow fell across the Tug Hill region before the snow ended here too.
Overall snow totals for this event were moderate, with a solid foot falling across southern Erie county and southwestern Wyoming in addition to the northern portions of Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties. A few hilltops received up to a foot and a half east of Lake Erie. Similar amounts of around a foot of snow fell across southern Lewis county, while 3 to 6 inches of snow fell across northern Cayuga county and western Oswego county.