Monday provided picture perfect conditions for the polar orbiting weather satellite to snap a few images of Lake Erie. The shots show only a few small patches of ice remain on the lake with most accumulated along the edges. The captivating swirls you see are created by currents carrying sediment and slush.
Lake Erie reached a peak ice cover of about 35% twice this year... once in early January and again in early February. A warm mid month and several wind events have combined to break up the ice pack and return Lake Erie to open water for the end of the month.
Chautauqua Lake however still shows signs of ice cover, although this is becoming slushy and fractured. the upcoming warm weather will continue to reduce the ice cover on inland lakes and eliminate even some stubborn snow piles on area driveways.
While WNY is not out of the woods from lake effect snow, the current large scale weather pattern favors quick shots of cold but not frigid air which makes it difficult for strong lake effect snow bands to form.
After a a few more cold days from Saturday to Monday, there appears to be yet another warm up on the way to WNY next week!
Check out the latest 7 First Alert forecast here... http://wkbw.com/weather