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Heather’s Weather Whys: Lake Erie’s shadow

During the summer months, a lake breeze can keep areas close to the water mild. But a lake shadow can cover a much larger area and can chew apart thunderstorms.
Credit: WGRZ

Summertime cold fronts are often bringers of gusty thunderstorms. But as a weather-savvy Western New Yorker knows, not everyone here will get a storm, especially if the wind is coming from the southwest.

That’s often the case ahead of a cold front too. The southwest breeze draws warm and humid air into the area ahead of it. Those are two key ingredients for thunderstorms. But that same southwest wind will also push a bit of that warmer air over the cooler waters of Lake Erie. 

When that happens, a lake shadow often forms over the Buffalo metro area and much of the Niagara Frontier. Learn more about how the lake shadow works in this week’s episode of Heather's Weather Whys.

If you have a weather or climate question for Heather to answer, send it to her on Facebook or Twitter. Then be sure to subscribe to the WGRZ YouTube channel to see future episodes and re-watch your old favorites.

New episodes are posted every Wednesday and can also be seen Thursdays on Channel 2 News at 5:30.


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