Is your town in the snowbelt?

Youngstown Weather

It is the time of the year that lake effect becomes a big player in the weather throughout our region of the country.

You will hear Storm Team 27 Meteorologist mention the snowbelt throughout the late fall and winter. The snowbelt is a region that picks up heavy snow from the Great Lakes due to colder air moving over the warmer water of the lakes. This will create clouds big enough to produce rain or snow. The clouds are pushed inland from the wind dropping rain and snow.

There are areas that generally get the bulk of these Lake Effect showers, and they are known as the snowbelt.

The snowbelt in northeastern Ohio is generally east of Cleveland and runs along the shoreline of Lake Erie into northwestern Pennsylvania. The snowbelt also drops south toward Portage County and swings into Mahoning County, traveling east through northern Lawrence county in northwestern Pennsylvania.

The snowbelt can be broken up into two sections. The primary snowbelt is the northern belt. It is mainly north of Warren to the Sharon/Mercer line. The secondary snowbelt is south of the primary snowbelt and pushes as far as northern Columbiana County.

Lake effect snowfall is dependent on wind direction and speed to deliver the rain/snow to different locations. This is why we have two snowbelts. If the wind is mainly out of the west, the primary snowbelt will pick up most of the precipitation. If the wind shifts to the northwest, the bands can travel south and impact the secondary snowbelt.

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