Good Example of Lake-Effect

Bill’s Blog

Posted: Jan 17, 2020 / 12:45 AM EST Updated: Jan 17, 2020 / 12:45 AM EST

Lake Michigan satellite picture Thu. 1 16 20

This is a satellite picture from around 2:30 pm Thursday afternoon. It’s a great example of lake-effect. You’re looking at clear skies in Wisconsin and N. Illnois. There is snow on the ground north of a line from Dubuque to Milwaukee. You can see the clouds forming over Lake Michigan and moving into West Michigan. The wind is from the west-northwest at 10-20 mph.

Chicago Thurs. 1 16 20

This picture from the Chicago Water Intake shows clear skies and sunshine in Chicago on Thursday.

South Haven 1 16 20

Contrast Chicago to South Haven, Michigan, where it was cloudy all day with occasional lake-effect snow flurries. The clouds and snow showers/flurries isn’t the only lake-effect. The lake also warms the air. The water temperature of Lake Michigan Thursday morning was 34.9°. When the satellite picture was taken, the temperature in Sheboygan WI was +9° and the temp. at Green Bay WI was +10°. At the same time, the temperature in Muskegon MI was 20° and Grand Rapids was 22°. The average January temperature in Milwaukee is 22.3°, while the average January temperature across the lake in Muskegon MI is 25.4°. In the summer, the prevailing west-southwest wind off the relatively cooler water makes the West Michigan shoreline cooler than the Wisconsin shoreline.