Truly extreme lake-effect snows gather their energy from a wide temperature differential between the lake temperature and the air temperature. That temperature contrast produces atmospheric instability—the warm air immediately over the lake wants to surge upward through the colder air on top, bringing with it heaps of evaporated moisture. That moisture is quickly converted to snowfall in massive quantities...As the Great Lakes warm due to climate change, there’s now more evaporation, and more of an opportunity for that drastic water-air temperature difference to manifest itself, especially during the kinds of intense cold air outbreaks that we’ve been seeing seemingly more of over the last few years.
May 19, 2016 | Journal of Great Lakes Research
A new look at lake-effect snowfall trends in the Laurentian Great Lakes using a temporally homogeneous data set
May 19, 2016 | American Meteorological Society
Trends in twentieth-century US snowfall using a quality-controlled dataset
May 16, 2016 | American Meteorological Society
Increasing Great Lake–Effect Snowfall during the Twentieth Century: A Regional Response to Global Warming?
Feb 15, 2016 | American Meteorological Society
Temporal and Spatial Variability of Great Lakes Ice Cover, 1973–2010