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Expect more lake effect snow until Lake Erie freezes over
Open water off Northeast Ohio's shore is a snow generator, but there's still time for ice to form

Kevin Niedermier
In The Region:

Lake-effect snow could be an issue for a while longer here in Northeast Ohio. Lake Erie has not completely frozen over, allowing cold winds from the north to suck-up moisture and dump loads of snow across the area.

Meteorologist Curt Lombardi of the National Weather Service in Cleveland says ice has formed along the Lorain, Cuyahoga and Lake county shorelines. But that’s not enough to decrease lake effect snowfalls, because beyond that band of ice, the lake remains open.

And though the forecast calls for temperatures near 60 degrees later this week, Lombardi says the existing ice should survive.

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“There could be some deterioration with the wave action when the wind picks up Wednesday and Thursday, but the general ice fields should stay the way they are -- with the water temperature still around freezing at 32 to 34 degrees.”

Lombardi says ice formation on Lake Erie can vary widely from year to year, and so far, this winter is not unusual. He says last winter was exceptionally warm.

Over the last four decades, researchers say ice cover has dropped significantly across all the Great Lakes.

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