Lake effect snow

General Discussions: ASK John: Lake effect snow

By sledhd1 on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 10:29 am: Edit Post

does this show up on the radar

By admin on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 12:13 pm: Edit Post

Sometimes yes and sometimes no. It all depends on how close the radar is to the LES and if there is anything that is blocking the view of the lower levels of the atmosphere.

Much of LES activity (clouds and the snow falling from them) happen in relatively low levels of the atmosphere, say 1500-8000 feet up, whereas a system type snow may have the clouds and precip all the way up to 20,000 feet.

Because of the earths curvature, the radar has a hard time seeing things that are close to the ground the further you get away from the object close to the ground you are trying to see. So LES that is happening more than around 70 miles from the radar can sometimes not even be picked up because the radars "beam" of energy is shooting over the tops of the LES clouds.

Also in the case of the Keweenaw, there are some hills directly in the path of the radar in Marquette that block out the radars ability to see things that are happening close to the earths surface (like LES) over the Keweenaw. So most of the time when LES is happening in the Keweenaw, it is not being picked up by radar. That is when the web cams become very important!


By sledhd1 on Friday, January 11, 2008 - 07:05 pm: Edit Post

Thanks for the info. I wish I had a dollar for every time I clicked on a snow fake.

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