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    Record Snow Pummels Northern Indiana

    By By Meghan Evans, Meteorologist
    January 11, 2011, 2:30:59 AM EST

    A snow emergency was declared in South Bend, Ind., on Saturday as record-setting lake-effect snow came down by the foot in northern Indiana.

    According to the Chicago Tribune, the South Bend Mayor declared the first snow emergency for the city in more than a decade on Saturday, asking people to stay off the snow-clogged roads and out of the way of snow-removal crews and emergency workers.

    On Saturday, 26.0 inches of snow buried South Bend, Ind., bringing the two-day snowfall total for the town to a record-breaking 36.6 inches.

    Snow showers are expected to continue through today, dropping up to an additional coating to an inch of snow.


    The previous record for snowfall in a day for South Bend was 20.0 inches set way back on Jan. 30, 1909, while the previous daily record snowfall for Jan. 8 was 15.0 inches set in 1903. The old two-day snowfall record was 29.0 inches, also set on Jan. 30 to 31, 1909.

    Weather Factors for Hefty Lake Snow

    The stage was set for hefty snowfall in northern Indiana as frigid air poured across a long distance of the relatively mild Lake Michigan on a northerly-northwesterly wind.

    That is the perfect wind direction to produce heavy lake-effect snowbands over South Bend. The farther the distance that the cold air travels over the water, the more unstable the air becomes.

    The instability is caused by evaporation of water from the lake and warming of the air as it travels over the mild water. As the air becomes more unstable, it rises, and as the air rises, it cools and condenses, creating clouds that can dump heavy lake snow.


    Furthermore, with such cold air in place, the snow that has been falling is of a fluffy, powdery variety, meaning that it does not take much liquid in the atmosphere to produce heavy snow amounts.

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