How did Connecticut get Great Lakes snow Monday?

Scott shot this photo after lake effect snow moved through the area early on 11/20/2017.

(WTNH) — Some winter storms are easy to predict. Others, however, can throw you for a loop with sudden temperature changes, sleet, and even ice.

And then there’s lake effect snow that can come suddenly and create big issues, even in Connecticut.

Dennis Millard, Superintendent of Streets for Winsted Public Works said, “About 3 a.m. I had about three trucks out and we were able to cover the whole town with either spot sanding and we applied the application.”

Related Content: New Haven police warn of snow removal enforcement

Road treatment was necessary with a dusting of snow in many towns in Connecticut. We received a number of pictures from viewers showing cars and grass covered. That small amount of snow melted onto the roads and then froze back up with overnight temperatures below freezing, causing it to be a very busy morning on the roads.

So, what caused this snow to fall here in Connecticut this morning?

It all starts 200 miles northwest of Connecticut on Lake Ontario. This time of the year, the water temperature is relatively warm, around 50 degrees. When cold air from Canada moves over this warm air, it causes that air to rise. As the warm air rises, clouds filled with moisture form. Those clouds are transferred over the land and, depending on the wind direction and speed, the snow can really pile up.

Now, typically this wind will bring snow to places like Buffalo, Syracuse, or other locations in upstate New York, but if the wind speed and direction are just right, it can go much farther and that’s exactly what happened last night in Connecticut.

While it’s virtually impossible for Connecticut to see feet of snow from the Great Lakes, we have seen inches fall in the past, like the sudden storm in 2010 in Litchfield County.

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