LES from Lake of the Woods in northern MN?

General Discussions: ASK John: LES from Lake of the Woods in northern MN?

By matti on Monday, November 24, 2008 - 03:20 pm: Edit Post

Hi John. I love the site. I'm not a snowmobiler, but I am an avid xc-skier. I know several skiers like myself that look forward to getting the "real scoop" from you!

I was watching my local weather forecaster last week and there was an LES advisory (or similar) for the county adjacent to Lake of the Woods in northern MN. I had never heard of LES off of that lake. Are you aware of this ever occurring? Any insight is very much appreciated. Thanks.

By admin on Monday, November 24, 2008 - 05:10 pm: Edit Post


Given the lake is open and conditions are very favorable for LES, then I would say that Lake of the Woods is just big enough to create lake effect snow. I know that Lake Nipigon to the north of Lake Superior is big enough to create LES before it freezes over.

Typically I'd say that the LES produced by Lake of the Woods would not be heavy enough to bring heavy snow, but I suppose it is possible to get enough to have an advisory issued.


By matti on Tuesday, November 25, 2008 - 08:36 am: Edit Post

Thanks John.

By crossfirelow on Tuesday, November 25, 2008 - 08:00 pm: Edit Post

I am in Baudette, and we did get measurable LES, about 3-4 inches of fluffy snow on Nov 17th. At times I would guess it was snowing at the rate of 1" an hour. I did not think it was possible to get LES here, but the wind was from the NNW at the time with 35+ miles of open water to work with, it was cool to see. A few miles to west of town got no snow at all.

You can kind of see the result southeast of Lake of the Woods from satellite a few days later:

http://www.ssec.wisc.edu/modis-today/index.php?satellite=a1&product=true_color&d ate=2008_11_23_328&overlay_sector=false&overlay_state=true&overlay_coastline=tru e&sector=USA3&resolution=1000m

By tomk on Tuesday, November 25, 2008 - 10:44 pm: Edit Post

I teach in onamia on the south west side of mille lacs and I would be willing to be that we got lake effect there about two weeks ago. it snowed all day, on and off, pretty hard at times too, very, very fluffy flakes, sometimes even when the sun was shining it was snowing. the wind was coming out of the NE that day at about 7 mph and most of the lake was still open. When I left at 330 in the afternoon, i got about 5 miles out of town and it quit and you could tell it hadnt snowed there at all. just close to the lake

By revman on Wednesday, November 26, 2008 - 01:27 pm: Edit Post


We're coming up there on Dec 12. Any chance there will be enough ice to fish on? With the temps being up and enough wind, I'm beginning to prepare myself for the worst.



By crossfirelow on Wednesday, November 26, 2008 - 11:02 pm: Edit Post


Its really a toss up for ice conditions. I heard a rumor of people walking out from the shore today, they are nuts if its true. The bad thing for the ice conditions would be if it snows on top of the thin ice.

By tomk on Wednesday, November 26, 2008 - 11:42 pm: Edit Post

the kids have been saying people have been out in the bays fishing, They say there is a good 3 inches of ice in most of the big bays and even on parts of the main lake, other lakes in the area like shakopee people have been out on for a week already.
alot of people were planning on going out this weekend and trying to fish

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