I spend a lot of time talking about the onshore snow across Cape Breton and P.E.I., the wind-driven snow bands in the Valley and the heavy snow squalls along the west coast of Newfoundland.
I thought I would share a few interesting facts about them with you:
- They start with a strong wind carrying cold, dry air across a warmer body of water.
- They gather moisture over the relatively mild water and dump snow when they make landfall.
- Lake-effect or ocean-effect snow falls in the form of light to moderate flurries and spreads over a limited area.
- The stronger the wind, the farther inland the snow will carry.
- Individual squalls of heavy snow can sit over one small area for several hours, even days; nothing changes until the wind direction does.
- A shift in the wind direction will drop the snow on another area.
- Satellite observations show that ocean-effect snow clouds most often occur in bands resembling streamers.
- Since dry, cold air usually comes from a west to northwesterly direction, the north- and west-facing coastlines are most likely to experience this ocean-effect snow.
Knowing which way the wind blows is always very important when you live by the water. Perhaps a weather vane would be a good gift idea for that hard-to-buy-for person on your Christmas list.