WhadayaKnow? What is lake effect snow?


By Erica Hamling and Amber McDonald

Every Monday Great Lakes Echo runs video clips of random people answering questions that experts believe environmentally literate citizens should understand. In the last clip an expert explains the correct answers.

This week’s question is “What is lake effect snow?”

Related content:



This week’s expert is Jonathon Schramm, ecologist and professor at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich.

Schramm is also a post-doctoral researcher at the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, where he studies different ways for students to better understand current issues in bioenergy and sustainability.



  • http://GreatLakesEcho.org David Poulson

    Hi Dave,
    Good points. Thanks for the additions. We’ve just added links to two related stories Echo published earlier about lake effect snow and ice cover.

  • Dave

    It’s too bad that this spot didn’t draw a link between lake-effect snow and the decline in surface ice over the past decades. It could be a good learning moment. Ice decline, and the increased evaporation in the winter, is a significant contributor to the decline in the levels of Lakes Huron and Michigan – generating the lake-effect snow.

    For Lake Michigan, this effect is mitigated by the fact that most of its lake-effect snow lands back in the Huron/Michigan watershed. Lake Huron, on the other hand, has much of its lake-effect snow land in the Erie/Ontario watersheds, losing that water forever from the upper Great Lakes.

    Echo might want to do a “Whadayaknow?” piece on the declining percentages of ice cover in the winter and both the causes and consequences of that phenomenon.