Is there such a thing as “ocean-effect snow”?

Dear Tom,

Is there such a thing as “ocean-effect snow”?

David Halloran

Dear David,

There certainly is. Snow, caused by the passage of cold air over a substantially large body of open water can occur anywhere in the world. Some of the most significant ocean-effect snows occur in Japan and Korea off the Sea of Japan, in Scandinavia off the Gulfs of Bothnia and Finland, and in eastern Canada and the U.S. Atlantic Coast. Ocean-effect snow has even occurred in Florida at Daytona Beach as cold air blew in off the Atlantic. While lake-effect snow in synonymous with the Great Lakes, it also frequently develops downwind of the Great Salt Lake and has even occurred on a small scale off Bull Shoals Reservoir in Arkansas and Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana, when arctic air masses penetrate the Deep South.