How far west and south can lake-effect snow extend into the suburbs?

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Dear Tom,

How far west and south can lake-effect snow extend into the suburbs?

Thanks, Steve Casper, Palos Heights

Dear Steve,

Lake-effect snow that spreads west and south into the Chicago area occurs with a northeast wind flow. Cold air that arrives from this direction is usually not as intense and does not travel as far inland as cold air that is transported on northwest flow, which can extend inland for hundreds of miles, and on rare occasions has been tracked by satellite as far as the Appalachian highlands of northern Georgia. In the Chicago area, lake-effect snow generated by northeast flow can reach the Fox Valley with vigor but generally weakens or dissipates by the time it reaches the I-39 corridor in north-central Illinois. On rare occasions with a very strong northeast wind flow, snow showers have approached the Mississippi River.   

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