Hoosiers across the state are waking up to a snowy scene or even just some snowflakes flying around. Areas in northern Indiana picked up measurable snowfall. All of this snow is lake-effect snow.

What is lake-effect snow?

The National Weather Service’s definition of lake effect snow is “snow that occurs when cold air, often originating from Canada, moves across the open waters of the Great Lakes.” The cold air passes over the warmer, unfrozen waters of the Great Lakes. The warmth and moisture are transferred into the atmosphere, the warm air rises, and clouds form and grow into narrow bands that can produce heavy snowfall very quickly. Wind direction is key when it comes to determining where the snow will fall.

Snowfall totals in Indiana

Areas in northern Indiana, including Kosciusko, Whitley, and Allen counties, picked up anywhere between a dusting to up to 4 inches of snowfall! Indianapolis is looking at a dusting on grassy and elevated surfaces.

Average first measurable snowfall across the state

  • Indianapolis: November 19
  • Fort Wayne: November 14
  • South Bend: November 8
  • Evansville: December 8

Indy’s earliest date for the first measurable snowfall was on October 18, 1989. The first day of measurable snowfall during the 2021 season was November 14, not far from the average first measurable snowfall.

Fort Wayne’s earliest first measurable snowfall was on September 25, 1942. South Bend’s earliest first measurable snowfall was on September 25 in both 1942 and 1994. Evansville’s earliest measurable snowfall was October 19, 1989.

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