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Ask Todd: Lake effect

11:08 PM, Jan 31, 2013   |    comments
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For this Ask Todd, we're settling a bet between friends. Paul Kirk writes: "I work in Farragut and every time snow is in the forecast a co-worker comments that because of the lake the snow will be heavy. My opinion is the lake is too small to affect the weather. Who is right?"

Paul, you are right and your friend is wrong.

Lake effect snow showers are created when cold, dry air passes over a large warmer lake and picks up its moisture and heat. The key word there is "large."

Lake effect happen near very large lakes, such as the Great Lakes. Storms gain strength greatly impacted by the size of the great lakes which are huge, much larger than what we have here in East Tennessee.

Bottom line, lake effect snow requires a large body of water, something we just don't have here in East Tennessee.

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