Submitted by Oswego County BOCES
Granby Elementary School sixth-graders received an early dose of lake-effect snowfall Monday morning as local meteorologist Jim Teske offered his expertise on the subject.
Teske, a meteorologist with News Channel 9, discussed the forces responsible for generating lake-effect snow and the difficulties in forecasting snowfall totals because there are so many factors that come into play.
“It’s tough to try to forecast this because it could be snowing heavily in one area and the sun could be shining just a few miles away,” Teske said, noting that lake-effect bands are typically narrow and not as wide ranging as Nor’easter storms.
Teske detailed the role Lake Ontario plays in generating the snow that bears its namesake. Any unfrozen, large body of water can cause lake-effect snow, Teske told the students.
“If you take a cold air mass and bring it over a relatively warm body of water, the lake adds heat and moisture to the atmosphere, and that helps create lake-effect snow,” Teske explained.
In addition to learning about the factors responsible for generating lake-effect snow, students learned about various resources used to help forecast the weather phenomenon. Barometers, thermometers, radar and upper air balloons all provide additional assistance to help meteorologists determine if a lake-effect event is on the horizon.
With winter just around the corner, sixth-grade teacher Joe McNamara said he thought Teske’s visit was the perfect way to introduce students to a subject that inevitably affects them beyond the classroom.
“Since we live right in the middle of it, I thought it was very appropriate,” McNamara said. “It will go a long way to help explain it when we get our two feet of snow in a couple of months. “I thought Mr. Teske did an excellent job, and I think the kids walked away with a better understanding of how lake-effect works.”