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Driving in lake-effect snow this winter

On Behalf of | Nov 18, 2022 | Auto Accidents

Those of us who live and work in proximity to Lake Erie must learn to cope while driving with lake-effect snow and adverse weather conditions. Let’s unpack what that all means.

Every driver who operates a vehicle around Lake Erie should be prepared for lake-effect weather conditions when the mercury drops. Below is some important information for all winter weather drivers in northern Ohio.

What is the lake effect?

When icy Canadian air comes sweeping down across the Great Lakes, a weather phenomenon occurs that produces lake-effect snow. This air drifts over the warmer water in Lake Erie and her sister lakes, dropping heavier air and humidity down to the atmosphere’s lowest region. As air rises, clouds develop into bands of heavy, wet snow that can accumulate over three inches in an hour.

It’s a localized weather phenomenon

The direction of the wind determines where this lake-effect snow will fall. The region may be very limited, with sunshine on the other three sides of this special lakeside storm. But lake effect snow creates havoc for those who must drive and navigate around in it.

This can lead to snow squalls

Sometimes the literal fallout from lake effect snow is a squall. These snow squalls are harbingers of cold fronts and don’t last very long. But the danger during a squall is severe because they cause whiteout conditions where roads ice within minutes. It’s no longer possible to see more than inches ahead. 

They can be fast and deadly

Snow squalls snarl traffic and can cause deadly pileups on interstates and highways. Leaving your vehicle and walking only a foot or two from it can cause disorientation. You could easily get lost.

If you get injured in a crash this winter due to another driver’s negligence, you have the right to pursue civil justice for your losses, damages and other injuries.