Climatology of cold season lake‐effect cloud bands for the North American Great Lakes
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Climatology of cold season lake‐effect cloud bands for the North American Great Lakes

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  • Journal Title:
    International Journal of Climatology
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    Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) visible imagery was used to identify lake‐effect (LE) clouds in the North American Great Lakes region for the cold seasons (October–March) of 1997/1998 through 2013/2014 to provide a comprehensive climatological description of the seasonal and interannual variability of LE cloud bands. During the average cold season, at least 60% of days each month had LE clouds over some portion of the Great Lakes region and nearly 75% of all LE days had LE clouds present over several lakes simultaneously. Wind‐parallel bands (WPB) are observed far more frequently than any other type of LE over Lakes Superior, Michigan, and Huron during the months of December, January, and February. Over Lake Erie, the occurrence of days per month with WPB was found to be approximately 5–10% greater than days with shore‐parallel bands (SPBs) throughout the entire cold season. The greatest frequency of SPB occurrences in the Great Lakes region was over Lake Ontario during the months of January and February (∼20% of days). In addition, Lake Ontario was the only lake where the frequencies of WPB and SPB occurrences were fairly similar each month. The annual frequency of WPB occurrences are the most variable among the Great Lakes, decreasing in frequency from the western lakes toward the eastern lakes. Lake Ontario has the largest annual frequency of SPB occurrences and the greatest variation in SPB annual frequency. Lake Huron has the second largest annual frequency of SPB days with small interannual variation. The primary differences of the annual frequency of lake‐to‐lake (L2L) LE occurrences when compared with previous research were a greater variability in the L2L annual frequency of Superior‐to‐Michigan connections, greater frequency of Michigan‐to‐Huron connections, and less frequent occurrences for Superior‐to‐Huron and Michigan‐to‐Erie connections.
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    International Journal of Climatology, 37(4), 2111-2121
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    Accepted Manuscript
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