Lake Superior Water Temperature Drops Significantly

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Though Lake Superior consistenly had above average water temperatures throughout the summer, the recent gale event significantly decreased those temperatures. Comparison of surface temperature analyses from 10/04-10/06 show the overall change.


2pm EDT on 10/04/2012 2am EDT on 10/05/2012 2pm EDT on 10/05/2012 2am EDT on 10/06/2012 2pm EDT on 10/06/2012


Below is data taken from the northern buoy (~40mi north of Copper Harbor). It shows a drastic drop in water temperature (7°F) over just one day as waves up to 18ft churned up much cooler water from deeper in the lake. This drop ultimately reduced the lake effect snow that was expected Friday night. This is just an example of one of the many things that are difficult to quantify while forecasting.


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