Kevra: How lake effect snow forms and lands all the way over in Detroit

It's February in Michigan, which means snow. This year, especially recently, we've dealt with a ton of lake effect snow - and it's all from Lake Michigan. Here's how it forms.

It all has to do with the difference in temperature.

The water is "warm." And by warm, we mean 42 degrees so it's not time to go swimming yet. The air, meanwhile, has to be at least 23 degrees colder than the water to form lake effect snow. So it's got to be at least 19 degrees.

Ok - so the cold air blows over top of the "warm" water, picking up that moisture. The strong winds we've experienced recently have pushed the lake effect snow all the way from Lake Michigan to the Detroit area.

Those lake effect bands can really pile up and, historically speaking, we've gotten several feet of snow in the past in southeast Michigan. 

That brings big, moist snowflakes our way. The stronger the winds, the longer the lake effect snow can move. So all the snow we saw Wednesday was lake effect snow.