Lake-effect snow is a common occurrence downwind of the Great Lakes during the fall and winter seasons. It forms within a convective boundary layer that is generated as cold air flows over the relatively warm lake water. While the total snowfall produced in lake-effect events can be significant, previous research has primarily focused on understanding the lake-effect boundary layer and the convective structures that develop within it. Numerous modeling studies of lake-effect snow storms include cloud and snow processes, but there are few detailed observations to which the model results can be compared. The goal of this work is to better understand the evolution of clouds and snow across Lake Michigan during a lake-effect snow event.
Data collected over Lake Michigan on 10 January 1998 during the Lake-Induced Convection Experiment (Lake-ICE) is used to explore the evolution of the lake-effect boundary layer and the clouds and snow that developed within it. Aircraft and satellite observations indicate that this lake-effect event remained in a quasi-steady state for much of the observational period, allowing observations from both research aircraft to be combined to construct an overall view of the lake-effect clouds and snow. In addition to providing an overview of the evolution of clouds and snow across the lake, two unexpected features will be discussed. First, snow was frequently observed near the upwind shore even though very few clouds were detected. Second, low level snow particle concentrations peaked near the middle of the lake before decreasing toward the downwind shore.