DISCUSSION: Similar to the way by which lake effect snowfall is generated to the east or northeast of the Great Lakes region of the United States, other areas of the world also experience impressive lake-, bay-, or ocean-effect snowfall events under the right conditions. In the wake of the low-pressure system discussed in the previous post concerning the "winter wonderland" which many woke up to yesterday morning across parts of northern Finland, there was strong northerly flow which developed (also referred to as return flow) in the wake of the passing cold front associated with the aforementioned low-pressure system. As a consequence of the cold front passage, very cold air emanating from northern Sweden and northern Sweden passed over the warmer waters of the Gulf of Finland. The combination of this cold southward-moving air passing over the Gulf of Finland and sufficient low-level moisture being picked up by the southward-moving air parcels allowed for the development of a prolonged lake-effect snowfall event which impacted northern sections of Estonis (e.g., as shown in the image above which was captured yesteday in Karivärava, Estonia).
If you are ever caught in an area forecast to be or already is being impacted by a prolonged lake-effect snowfall event, it is imperative to be cognisant of factors including (but not limited to) increased pressure of snowfall on the roofs of businesses, homes, schools, etc. In addition, there is always an inherent threat tied to severely reduced visibilities which often makes most forms of travel incredibly hazardous and sometimes even life-threatening. Therefore, if you are ever caught in such a situation, always try to stay on the safe-side and avoid traveling if you do not absolutely have to do so!
To learn more about other high-impact weather events from across Europe, be sure to click here!
~Meteorologist Jordan Rabinowitz