Lake shadow keeps the shoreline sunny

Weather

SYRACUSE, NY (WSYR)- We have a couple neat things happening in our atmosphere today!

Take a look at this satellite image, taken on Sunday, April 18, 2021. The dark represents clear skies and the white represents cloud cover.

Areas near Lake Ontario are seeing full blown sunshine while cotton ball clouds are growing everywhere else.

This is a good example of what a lake shadow looks like!

A westerly wind is blowing over the cool waters of Lake Ontario (the average surface temperature of the lake is about 43°). The cool air is being pushed on land, not only keeping the temperatures near the shoreline cool and in the 40s, but also keeping the air stable.

Image courtesy of the NYS Mesonet.

Where the air is more unstable, is where we had the sun heating the ground Sunday morning.

The air at the ground warms up, the warm air rises, and as it does so it cools. It then condenses to change water vapor into water droplets. The water droplets form on tiny particles to create those cotton ball clouds you see on the satellite image. Gather enough water droplets, and you can have some rain showers too.

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