Relentless Lake-Effect Snow to Depart Soon

By Courtney Spamer, Meteorologist
March 22, 2013; 8:41 PM ET
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The cold weather pattern for the month of March has included a great deal of snow for areas downwind of the Great Lakes into the Appalachians.

The snowiest spots east of Lake Ontario over the Tug Hill area of New York have received between 3 and 5 feet of snow this week.

The city of Buffalo, N.Y., has had falling snow every day since March 12.

The towns south of Buffalo, N.Y. have received more snow this week than they have all winter off of Lake Erie.

Two to three feet of snow has fallen over parts of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in recent days with five feet on the ground in some areas as of Friday.

Photo courtesy of FaceBook Fan Carolyn Yerdon. 51 inches of lake-effect snow have fallen in the Tug Hill area of New York State, east of Lake Ontario, since March 19.

Lake-effect snow has also been affecting areas farther south.

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Snow fell almost all day Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in Cleveland, Ohio, but only about three inches has fallen with less on the ground at any one time.

Over a half a foot of snow has fallen as of early Friday on part of northwestern Pennsylvania.

Just enough snow fell farther south in Ohio and southern Indiana to create slippery spots.

Several inches of snow fell as far south as the central and southern Appalachians.

This map shows expected additional snowfall for Friday night into Saturday morning.

All of these areas have been getting persistent rounds of snow, but there is a break in the snowy pattern in the near future.

While a storm ramps up in the southern Plains, high pressure will build over the Great Lakes, shutting down the snow machine for a while this weekend.

The above photograph is from

The pattern favoring the lake effect will shut down slowly from west to east later Thursday into Saturday afternoon.

Meanwhile, western and northern upstate New York, northwestern Pennsylvania and the northeast corner of Ohio will continue to get snow into early Saturday. Some areas can receive an additional half a foot of snow.

The break this weekend will not last as the overall abnormally cold weather pattern will continue and a flow of cold air over the Great Lakes will resume next week, triggering more lake-effect snow, snow showers and flurries.

Special thanks to the public and official spotters with the snow observations! Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski contributed to the content of this story.


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