Mille Lacs Lake - lake effect snow

Southern Mille Lacs Lake on Monday. A rare lake-effect snow arrived to give the area a good dusting.

What meteorologists call a “very rare” occurrence happened on Monday on Mille Lacs Lake.

National Weather Service meteorologist Bill Borghoff said on Twitter that he expected 2 to 4 inches of snow over the weekend through Monday and that it was a very “good setup” for this type of weather.

He explained that very cold air travels over warm water (from the lake), steam evaporates and causes clouds and snow downstream. “It’s very rare because the difference between the air temp and the lake temp has to be significant, and this time of year, we don’t get cold enough to produce accumulating snow,” said Borghoff in a Twitter exchange. “When we get the required air temps, the lake is already frozen.”

Experts say to not expect your neighborhood pond to produce any snow. A body of water has to be large enough for the atmosphere to build some clouds and drop some snow on the downwind shoreline. Fox 9 News stated. “Several of Minnesota’s largest lakes will have the opportunity for some snow bands to develop on the south side of the lake. Mille Lacs, Lower Red, Winnibigoshish, Leech, and Lake of the Woods all have the opportunity to see some accumulating lake effect snow.”

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