First Snowfall Driven By Warmer Than Average Great Lakes

While Windsor-Essex has been spared what was expected to be our first wintry blast of the season, that is not the case for other areas.

And part of that is the temperature of the Great Lakes.

An unusually mild September and October kept the lake water from cooling off and it's between 2C and 3C above normal.

Environment Canada Senior Climatologist David Philips says the cold front that's moved in from the north is the other part of the equation.

He says that combination of cold wind and warm water creates the snow.

"The Jet Stream moves over the Great Lakes and what we see are the ushering of cold air and Arctic winds and sometimes that can produce a very early coming to the lake effect snow."

He says this system explains why the snow belt areas are getting hit.

"If it's cold then you have that lake effect snow engine gets turned on," explains Philips. "You can get almost Paul Bunyan snowfalls, some early heavy dumps of snow can occur.  They've done it in the past and there's potential for the same this year."

He says a taste of winter is just what we need.

"I think it's a perfect kind of first snow. It'll be snow in the air reminding you to get the lawn furniture put away, put the snow tires on and think about what season we're going into."

The forecast calls for temperatures well above freezing early next week.