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Waters of the Great Lakes Warm for Later November
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Nov 28, 2016
Waters of the Great Lakes Warm for Later November

According to data from NOAA Coastwatch's Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, the temperatures of the Great Lakes are the warmest they've been since at least 2010 for this late in the month of November. Created with data from several satellites, this animation compares Great Lakes surface temperatures in 2014 with 2016. As you can see, the surface temperatures in November 2016 are several degrees warmer than those of this time two years ago.

As weather watchers -- and residents of the Great Lakes region -- know, the combination of warm lake waters and cold winter winds blowing across them is a perfect combination for lake effect snow, which NOAA defines as "snow showers that are created when cold, dry air passes over a large warmer lake, such as one of the Great Lakes, and picks up moisture and heat."

The last time that the Great Lakes were this warm was November 2010. That year, the lake surfaces remained mostly ice-free for the entire winter. Of course, just how much snow particular areas of the Great Lakes region will receive depends on which direction the winds blow.

To see annual comparisons of various factors pertaining to the Great Lakes, visit the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory's website.

To see graphs depicting the average surface water temperatures of the Great Lakes for the past 5 years, click here.

More information on satellite-derived measurements of sea (and lake) surface temperature is available here.

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