Skip to main content
Log in

Spatial and temporal aspects of the lake effect on the southern shore of Lake Superior

  • Original Paper
  • Published:
Theoretical and Applied Climatology Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

A climate-monitoring network was implemented in a large private preserve along the southern shore of Lake Superior. The network uses a dense sampling design to assess the spatial and temporal influence of a large, cold body of water on adjacent terrestrial surfaces. Based on a 3-year record, near-shore sites are 1–2°C cooler than sites 5 km inland in spring and summer, and 1°C warmer in winter. Near the shore, winds are from the NNW most of the year, and are much stronger in winter. Inland, southwesterly flow is typical and overall wind velocity is lower and more consistent. This decoupling is attributable to the influence of the Huron Mountains, a topographic barrier that restricts the lake effect to a narrow coastal zone. A 2-year record of hourly air temperature measurements from 26–30 sites across the study area demonstrates that the mean daily temperature can differ by as much as 11°C, but the average difference is 2.5–3.0°C.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10
Fig. 11
Fig. 12
Fig. 13

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  • Assel RA (2009) Contemporary Lake Superior ice cover climatology. In State of Lake Superior. In State of Lake Superior. M. Munawar and I.F. Munawar (eds.). Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Management Society, Ecovision World Monograph Series, Canada, 51–66

  • Braun EL (1950) Deciduous forests of eastern North America. McGraw-Hill, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Changnon SA, Jones DMA (1972) Review of the influences of the Great Lakes on weather. Water Resour Res 8:360–371

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cole HS, Lyons WA (1972) The impact of the Great Lakes on the air quality of urban shoreline areas; Some practical applications with regard to air pollution control policy and environmental decision making. In: Proceedings, Fifteenth Conference on Great Lakes Research. Ann Arbor: International Association for Great Lakes Research, pp. 436–463

  • Committee on Developing Mesoscale Meteorological Observational Capabilities to Meet Multiple National Needs (2009) Observing Weather and Climate from the Ground Up: A Nationwide Network of Networks. National Academy Press, Washington, DC

    Google Scholar 

  • Conrad V (1946) Usual formulas of continentality and their limits of validity. T Am Geophys Un 27:603–604

    Google Scholar 

  • Eichenlaub VL (1970) Lake effect snowfall to the lee of the Great Lakes: its role in Michigan. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 51:403–412

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Eshleman CH (1921) Do the Great Lakes diminish rainfall in the crop growing season? Mon Weather Rev 49:500–503

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Fenneman NM (1938) Physiography of the eastern United States. McGraw-Hill, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Flaspohler DJ, Meine C (2006) Planning for wilderness: Aldo Leopold’s Report on Huron Mountain Club. J Forest Jan/Feb:32–42

    Google Scholar 

  • Hinkel KM, Nelson FE (2007) Anthropogenic heat island at Barrow, Alaska during winter: 2001–2005. J Geophys Res-Atmos 112(D6):D06118. doi:10.1029/2006JD007837

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hinkel KM, Klene AE, Nelson FE (2003) The summer climate of an arctic coastal village: preliminary observations from the Barrow Urban Heat-Island study. Polar Geogr 27:194–218

    Google Scholar 

  • Kopec RJ (1965) Continentality around the Great Lakes. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 46:54–57

    Google Scholar 

  • Kopec RJ (1967) Effects of the Great Lakes’ thermal influence on freeze-thaw dates in spring and fall as determined by Hopkins’ bioclimatic law. Agr Meteorol 4:241–253

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Laundre J (1974) An ecological survey of the mammals of the Huron Mountain area. Occasional Papers of the Huron Mountain Wildlife Foundation, 2, p 69.

  • Leighly JB (1941) Effects of the Great Lakes on the annual march of temperature in their vicinity. Paper Mich Acad Sci Arts Lett 27:377–414

    Google Scholar 

  • Oliver JE (1996) Maritime climate. In: Schneider SH (ed) Encyclopedia of climate and weather. Oxford University Press, New York, pp 491–496

    Google Scholar 

  • Petterssen S, Calabrese PA (1959) On some weather influences due to warming of the air by the Great Lakes in winter. J Meteorol 16:646–652

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Schaetzl RJ, Isard SA (2001) The Great Lakes region. In: Orme AR (ed) The physical geography of North America. Oxford University Press, New York, pp 307–334

    Google Scholar 

  • Schouten K (2009) Well grounded: science and history at the Huron Mountain Wildlife Foundation. History Works, Inc., Chicago

    Google Scholar 

  • Simpson TB, Stuart PE, Barnes BV (1990) Landscape ecosystems and cover types of the Reserve area and adjacent lands of the Huron Mountain Club. Occasional Papers of the Huron Mountain Wildlife Foundation, 4, p 128.

  • Verber JL (1955) The climates of South Bass Island, western Lake Erie. Ecology 36:388–400

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wells JR, Thompson PW (1976) Vegetation and flora of the Huron Mountains. Occasional Papers of the Huron Mountain Wildlife Foundation, 3, p 59.

  • Westover AJ (1971) The use of a hemlock-hardwood winter yard by white-tailed deer in northern Michigan. Occasional Papers of the Huron Mountain Wildlife Foundation, 1, p 59.

  • Whitbeck RH (1920) The influence of Lake Michigan upon its opposite shores, with comments on the declining use of the lake as a waterway. Ann Assoc Am Geogr 10:41–55

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

We are grateful to the Huron Mountain Club for the opportunity to work within its boundaries. The Huron Mountain Wildlife Foundation provided generous logistical support at the Ives Lake Field Station. HMWF Director Kerry Woods has been a source of consistent support and sound advice. Wayne Thorpe, Manager of the Ives Lake station, maintains the facility in a manner that maximizes its effectiveness, and provides a rich source of local history and lore. Instrumentation was provided through equipment-matching programs at the Universities of Cincinnati and Delaware. The paper greatly benefited from helpful comments by an anonymous reviewer.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Kenneth M. Hinkel.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Hinkel, K.M., Nelson, F.E. Spatial and temporal aspects of the lake effect on the southern shore of Lake Superior. Theor Appl Climatol 109, 415–428 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-012-0585-2

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-012-0585-2

Keywords

Navigation