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Weather Works: What is Lake Effect Snow and how does it form?

Meteorologist Taylor Stephenson explains how your weather works!

MACON, Ga. — Historic snowfall covered the ground in Upstate New York in November.

Places like Orchard Park received more five feet of snow in 24 hours.

That's about as tall as Meteorologist Taylor Stephenson!

This was all caused by lake effect snow, something we will probably never see in Central Georgia.

For lake effect snow to form there are two major components that need to be in place: warm air right above the lake and cold air aloft.

The cold air rolls above the warm lake waters. This causes the warm, moist air to rise from the lake and form clouds.

The water droplets freeze within those clouds and fall as snow over the lake.

The snow clouds continue to grow and move across the lake and eventually end up as big snow clouds over nearby land.

Depending on the direction of the wind blowing the cold air over the warm lake some cities may get feet of snow while others may only see a couple of inches.

There is a caveat though.

If the cold air is too cold the air itself cannot hold a lot of moisture so heavy snow bands are unlikely to form.

And that's how your weather works.

If you have any questions on weather phenomena and why they work, be sure to email us at news@13wmaz.com.

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