Tuesday, February 02, 2021

Lake Erie Ice Update. Could Lake Ice Shut Down Lake Effect Snow?

Lake Erie ice coverage has bounced from under 5% last week to just over 20% this past weekend. Now its down to 10%.

Crib Cam - February 2, 2021

Ice thickness is mainly under an inch

The water temperature is much lower than 3 weeks ago so it won't take much nudging for ice to develop.

The last time we went from very little ice to over 80% in a week's time was in 2016.

Look at the temperatures vs normal across the US over that period in early February 2016. The high and low temperatures in Cleveland were in the teens and single digits overall.

The forecast temperatures from this weekend through late next week will be WELL BELOW NORMAL across the northern half of the US.  This image looks similar to the one above.

So I would expect Lake Erie ice coverage to increase to 50-60% by next Wednesday minimum.

Here is an experimental forecast from the GLERL (Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab)

Could we see this again along the northcoast before the end of the month?  Could ice cover significantly impact lake effect snow development in the next 2 weeks?  You bet.