The Effect of Lake Effect

We have had bands of Lake Effect Snow all day.  Lake Effect happens when there is a warm, open lake with very cold air flowing over it.  There are very few places in the world with the perfect conditions for this kind of weather.  Here on the south shore of Lake Erie, we are among the lucky ones! The temperature differential will be so great tonight that we may even have Thunder Snow.


I was driving along Lake Erie on the way home about 5 pm under gray skies.  There was no snow falling, streets were just wet, light snow on the ground.  I could see a “wall” of white over the lake, snow heading on shore.    I pulled into Mentor Beach Park and took a photo of the snow wall.  Note:  I did NOT get out of the car to take these photos.  The air temperature was 19 degrees with 20 mile per hour winds = a wind chill of (thinking, thinking) 3 DEGREES!  Yes, 3.

I then moved the car to another spot next to the picnic area to take photos of the woods because it was so pretty.  Light snow started to fall.


I took the next photo and thought, what happened?  I looked up and found I was in the middle of a whiteout!


This all happened in the space of one minute.  There is some camera shake because a gust of wind shook the car.  It’s also blurry because the camera was focusing on the flying flakes.  I drove home slowly, following my fog lights as the streets filled with snow.


About SallyK

A little blog about the ordinary and not so ordinary things our family does, places we travel, things we see. Like travel, cooking, family stories, book reviews, music? You will find it all here - comments welcome!
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7 Responses to The Effect of Lake Effect

  1. Patricia, Wellington Ohio says:

    Sally, I love the photograph in the center. I find it hard to get inspired to get outside and take photographs in the winter. You showed that some lovely photographs can be had this time of year.

  2. Mary Helmick says:

    My husband & I moved our family from Willowick to Vegas in 1995. I remember those Lake effect snows & chilling temps. I still enjoy reading about my hometown! Thank you so much for the great article & pictures! Miss the Ohio change of seasons & my Ohio family … but sure don’t miss the days of chipping the ice off the car windshield with an ice scraper! 🙂

  3. Reggie says:

    Oh my goodness, this looks freezing cold! Like living in the arctic! Glad you made it home safely in the white-out.

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