How far inland does lake effect extend?

Dear Tom,
How far inland does lake effect extend?
— Arlene McFadden
Dear Arlene,
The inland extent of lake effect is quite variable and strongly dependent upon wind strength. In a light wind regime, lake cooling is limited to the beaches or areas within a few hundred feet of the water. When winds are less than 20 mph, the cooling can penetrate 5-10 miles inland. Strong onshore winds gusting to 40-50 mph can bring lake-enhanced cooling 40-plus miles inland. Lake-effect snow usually falls within about 50 miles of the lake, but with strong winds, snow showers can travel as far west as Rockford and Peoria, and on rare occasions the Mississippi River. With strong north winds, lake-effect snow has fallen in Champaign and southwest Indiana. Satellite images have even shown lake-effect snow extending all the way to the Appalachian Highlands of northern Georgia.