Christmas Day was record-breaking in terms of lake-effect snow for some towns near the Great Lakes. In Erie, PA, they received 34 inches of snow, making it the snowiest day on record!
Erie, PA received 34″ of snow on Christmas Day! This is a new all-time daily snowfall record. The previous record was 20″ set on 11/22/56. For reference, the greatest 3-day snowfall in Erie was 30.2″ (12/29-31/2002), greatest 7-day snowfall is 39.8″ (12/27/01-1/2/2002) #pawx
— NWS Cleveland (@NWSCLE) December 26, 2017
Now on Tuesday, the lake-effect machine will continue. We’re thinking the hot spot of where the heaviest totals will be is at the Tug Hill Plateau. That’s where over two feet of snow will likely accumulate through this evening, but all of the Great Lakes will be in play for snow this Tuesday. Winds will be out of the west, making for a west to east orientation of the snow bands. The activity today will be found along the northern coast of the Upper Peninsula and the west coast of Lower Michigan, between Buffalo and Cleveland, and near Watertown, NY. In these other areas, very localized areas, especially near Erie, PA, but receive over a foot of snow.
Overnight Tuesday, winds will begin to take on a northerly component, therefore changing the orientation of the squall lines from the northwest to southeast. This will put more locations in play for snow while areas that got snow during the day will experience an end to the snow. Snowfall rates will be lower than during the day, although the band coming off from Lake Ontario will likely have a rate at one to two inches per hour as it shifts into Syracuse.
Then on Wednesday, the snow will continue across similar areas: the southern side of Lake Superior and the western coast of Lower Michigan. Along Lake Erie, multiple smaller bands may develop from Cleveland through Buffalo. The band off of Lake Ontario will also continue, but will be oriented from nearly the north to the south. Cities like Rochester may be in play with this snow band. These snow bands will gradually die down in intensity as the day progresses with snowfall rates mainly below one inch per hour. Therefore, whiteout conditions are not expected if you encounter any of these bands.
The snow bands will begin to shut off Wednesday night as a new storm system insides from the west, beginning to enter into the western Great Lakes region.