Where does heavy lake effect snow fall from the Great Lakes?

Weather Blog

Dear Tom,
Buffalo, N.Y., receives much more snow than what falls in the Lake Michigan snow belt in northern Indiana. Where else does more snow fall from the Great Lakes?

Thomas Bellom

Dear Thomas,
Lake effect snows from Watertown to Syracuse, N.Y. far exceed annual snowfalls in nearby Indiana and Michigan. Upstate New York annual snows regularly exceed 200 inches — much of it lake effect. That’s more than three times the 60+ inches that blankets the area downwind of Lake Michigan. Michigan’s Upper Peninsula , especially parts of the Keweenaw Peninsula, probably rank a close second in annual snowfall. Buffalo’s annual lake snow often shuts down by mid or late winter because Lake Erie, the shallowest of the Great Lakes, usually becomes ice-covered by the third week of January.


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