ASK TOM: Bodies of water besides the Great Lakes produce lake-effect snow?

Dear Tom, 

Do other bodies of water besides the Great Lakes produce lake-effect snow?

— Lew Lake, Wheaton


Dear Lew,

Lake-effect snow can occur anywhere in the world where cold air flows across a substantially large body of open water.


In the U.S. In addition to the Great Lakes region, lake-effect snows frequently develop downwind of the Great Salt Lake, and have even occurred on a small scale off Bull Shoals Reservoir in Arkansas and Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana when arctic air masses have hit penetrated the Deep South.


Worldwide, significant lake-effect snows occur in Japan and the Korean Peninsula off the Sea of Japan, in Scandinavia off the Gulf of Bothnia and the Gulf of Finland, and in Canada when cold air passes across Hudson Bay, the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Great Slave Lake, Lake Winnipeg and Lake of the Woods.