Recap: Lake enhanced snow streamers dust D.C.
Mother nature keeps finding new ways to make it snow in 2010. Last night, parts of the District and Montgomery county received a dusting to about half an inch of snow from snow showers which originated over Lake Erie.
The snow arrived in a thin, narrow band oriented northwest to southeast between 11:00 p.m. and midnight. About 60 miles long but no more than 10 or so miles wide, areas to the band's west and east were left flakeless. But in the sweet spot, the fluffy snow briefly came down hard, wildly swept around by 20-25 mph winds. Every powdery flake stuck with air temperatures around 20 degrees.
Usually, lake effect or lake enhanced snow showers dry up before they reach the metro region as their moisture gets squeezed out by the mountains to our northwest. But last night, the impressively strong flow from the northwest coupled with plenty of lift in the atmosphere from upper level energy allowed some of the snow streamers to hang together.
Keep reading for more imagery and reports...
The satellite and radar imagery above from around midnight last night show the streams of snow originating over Lake Erie, with the bottom image a close-up of the culprit band stretching over the middle of the metro region. To the northwest in western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio, the snow bands were more intense. Several inches have already fallen there with up to eight inches in the forecast.
Lake effect snow forms when cold air flows over the relatively warm waters of the Great Lakes. Here are a couple good links about lake effect snow:
While flurries and snow showers came as a surprise to many, they were mentioned in the forecast overnight released at 3:30 p.m. It would not have been possible to pinpoint exactly where such a narrow band of snow would set up or the timing.
Here are some snow reports from CWG readers and Twitter followers:
@ishgebibble: quarter of an inch in Damascus area
@seoulfully: maybe 1/4" accumulation in Silver Spring (4 Corners ish)
@ebuie: About 1/4" in Wheaton
@debiguity: nothing at all in arlington or anywhere along my commute to lorton/newington.
@PlantDrEMB: Ashton, Md ¾" dry powder
@Georgetowner: a healthy accumulation in Georgetown. Half inch maybe?
| December 14, 2010; 11:00 AM ET
Categories: Latest, Recaps, Winter Storms
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