MODIS Satellite Shows Recent Lake Effect Snow over Upper Michigan

Clearing skies during the afternoon of November 13th allowed the Aqua MODIS Satellite Imagery (from SSEC at University of Wisconsin-Madison) to clearly show the areas that received lake effect snowfall from the afternoon of November 12th through the morning of November 13th.

MODIS Aqua Image from November 13, 2012

Snowfall reports from Cooperative Observers, Spotters, and Social Media indicated anywhere from 2-6 inches of snow fell over Northwest Upper Michigan as of the morning of 11/13. In addition, locations east of Munising near Lake Superior received up to 3 inches of snow (seen through the clouds from Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore to Newberry).

The widespread area of Lake Effect Snow highlights the areas that are favored by West to Northwest winds, as the snow quickly diminished after passing over the Huron Mountains (produced just a light dusting in Marquette). This was due to the combination of downslope wind off the higher terrain and the snow showers being removed from the influence of Lake Superior.  This lack of snow continued to the east of Marquette until the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, where the West-Northwest winds allowed a long enough residence time over Lake Superior to produce lake effect snow.

To see a listing of snowfall reports from this lake effect snow, click here.

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