National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Lake Effect Summary - February 27-28, 2014 


Lake Effect Snowfall - February 27-28, 2014



Maximum Snowfall: Lake Erie < 2" ; Lake Ontario 9" (Watertown)

Duration: 30 hours +/-

Prime feature: Marginal event, westerly flow.


Our 15th lake effect snow event of the season, and last one of the week, was again a minor event that occurred behind another arctic front. This front, along with some lake frictional convergence, blitzed western New York with several inches of snow, occurring during rush hour and snarling traffic on local highways.  True lake effect snow started later in the morning of the 27th with a band of snow forming off Lake Ontario over the northern portions of the North Country.  Lake effect parameters, like the Wednesday (February 26th) prior were moderate to good for snow formation, with 850 hPa temperatures again dropping down to -25C, with inversion heights upwards of 15,000 feet. However the arctic airmass was lacking deep moisture and a deep snow growth zone; and the transitory and brief nature of this band east of Lake Ontario left the region with less than 10 inches of snow at any given spot. 

The band of lake effect snow off Lake Ontario dropped across Jefferson County through the late morning and early afternoon, dropping upwards of 9 inches of snow. By late afternoon this band of snow was oriented towards the Tug Hill and as winds continued to veer behind a shortwave the band of snow dropped towards the southeast shoreline of Lake Ontario. By early evening snow was falling inland across Oswego County, and at times clipping the Monroe through Cayuga counties shoreline. By early Friday morning of the 28th, this band of snow lifted back northward and weakened with time.   

Off Lake Erie some light snow streamers fell across the western Southern Tier, and across southern Erie and Wyoming counties. Due to the frozen lake, accumulations of snow were light. 


Off Lake Erie...

Less than 2 inches
Off Lake Ontario...

9.0 inches... Watertown
6.0 inches... Fulton