Washington State might get some more snow next Tuesday, but nothing compared to the crazy amount of snow they are getting right now in New York. Is it possible for Washington to suffer a lake effect snowstorm like New York is going through this weekend?
How Much Snow is Forecast for New York State This Weekend?
There is an extreme lake effect snowstorm happening right now in the Great Lakes region with up to 5 or 6 feet of snow is expected by this Sunday. Yes, I said 5 to 6 feet of snow. There are parts of New York State that have already received close to 3 feet already and the storm is just getting started.
What is a Lake Effect Snowstorm?
This lake effect snowstorm is caused by cold air rushing over the Great Lakes causing a large and long-lasting snow event in the New York area. The cold air picks up moisture form the warmer water of the Great Lakes and that fuels huge amounts of snow. The bigger the difference in temperature from the air/water mix, the bigger the storm it can make. Scientists claim the sweet spot for temperature difference must be at least 25 degrees between the air and warmer water.
How Bad Can the Lake-Effect Snowstorm Get?
The National Weather Service has issued a warning saying, “the snowfall will produce near zero visibility, difficult to impossible travel, damage to infrastructure, and paralyze the hardest-hit communities.” Snowfall was collecting at a rate of 2 inches per hour in the Buffalo and surrounding areas of New York on Thursday and Friday. 2-4 inches per hour is expected in areas through the weekend. that equals to around 5-6 feet or more by Sunday morning at that rate.
Can Washington State Suffer a Lake-Effect Snowstorm?
Washington State does not have any warm lakes or bodies of water the size of the Great Lakes so the answer to that question is no. The Pacific Ocean is the only body of water close to that scenario however the temperature difference is much less. The ocean temperature is much lower than the Great Lakes. In order for a lake-effect snowstorm to happen with the ocean, the air temperature running over the ocean would need to be much colder than it is.
How is the Lake-Effect Storm Effecting New York State?
Schools have already closed, some commercial travel is outlawed, airline flight have been canceled in Buffalo, and the Buffalo Bills game this Sunday has been moved to Detroit all because of the storm.
Are You Glad to Live in Washington State This Weekend?
See, I told you we are lucky to be living in Washington State this weekend. I have friends that are already stuck in the snow at home. Be glad you are not suffering through digging out of 5 feet or more of snow and your kids complaining they have to still do school with Zoom. You just have a few bags of leaves to clean up at the worst! Don’t worry, our snow will be here soon enough, maybe next Tuesday according to the Washington forecast.