Lake Effect Snow 2015

All Photographs Brian & Nancy Morganti

Lake Ontario - Oswego & Jefferson County New York

Ellisburg - Henderson - Adams - Adams Center

Saturday January 10, 2015

The second major lake effect snow event of the season took place on January 9th & 10th, 2015.  This would also be my second trip to the eastern shore of Lake Ontario in less than two months.  Nancy and I left home early Saturday morning and arrived in Pulaski, NY by noon.  By this time the snow band had widened some, but was still rather intense a few miles to our north.  We started north on highway 3 and stopped to overlook the lake from Rainbow Shores.  The scene was much changed from my previous trip as the shoreline was now covered with massive hills of ice and snow that appeared as if an angry sea had frozen solid.  This would be the only time we could overlook the lake as all the other entrance roads were blocked by feet of snow! 

We spent the rest of the day intercepting white out conditions within the snow band and photographing snowy scenes.  Our deepest snow was encountered in the Adams & Adams Center region where 3 to 4 feet of fresh snow buried these towns!  I didn't see the convective clouds like I did on my previous trip, but the ferocity of the snow band and the major snow depths encountered made the overall trip the better of the two!


First Look - Rainbow ShoresThis was our first and only view of the lake a few miles south of an intense snow band.  A steady 35mph was blowing off the lake and right into our faces, and coupled with a temperature of only 12F we hung around just long enough to snap off a few images! 


Frozen Waves - Rainbow Shores:  These frozen hills of ice were created by the spray of the crashing waves being carried inland during strong snow squalls.  This is looking north towards the snow band that we would soon encounter.


Crashing Wave - Rainbow Shores:  Nancy captured this great image of the shoreline with a crashing wave lofting chunks of ice and spray skyward.  Back in November this same beach was relatively flat and easy to navigate, but is now covered with crazy hills of frozen ice spray several feet deep!


Intense Snow Band - Highway 3 northbound Near white out conditions were occurring as we tried to make our way  into the strongest part of the snow band which was slowly moving north. 


Out of the White!:  Whiteout conditions along highway 3 made it impossible to see anything, including oncoming vehicles until they were right in front of us!


Snowy Barn Scene - Jefferson County One of the many "Christmas Card" scenes we encountered on our way north. 


Snowy Wreath:  A frozen Christmas wreath awaiting the spring thaw for removal.


Farmhouse Scene in Snow :   A typical rural farmhouse takes on festive look when surrounded by snow.


Crazy Big Icicles Massive icicles threaten to one day come crashing down when the home owner slams the door!

Snowy Farmstead - Ellisburg, NY:  Keeping driveways such as this one clear can be quite a challenge as they can be quickly blown shut by drifting snow. 

Pretty Farm SceneA lull from the snow and wind reveals this idyllic farm scene near Ellisburg, NY. 

Lull in Snow:   We came across this house outside Ellisburg  just as the snow band lifted north and before anyone had a chance to start cleaning up.

Digging Out A typical scene as we drove through the town of Ellisburg, NY. 

Snowed InAfter leaving Ellisburg we continued back north on highway three and once again entered the southern edge of the snow band that was still moving north.  Wind whipped snow almost buried this house. 

Snowed In Cabin Another typical scene as we continued north on highway 3 towards Henderson, NY. 



Snow Whipped:  The red color of this barn was one of the few objects that stood out among all the white.  Henderson, NY.


Snowing Heavily:  The snow was coming down at the rate of about 3" per hour when we spotted this weathered barn just outside Henderson, NY. 


Snowy WindowA snow overhang from the roof threatens to soon block the occupants view to the outside world!


Deep Snow Buries the town of Adams, NY in up to four feet of snow!  The road crews did a good job of keeping the main street clear of snow and ice however. 


Deep Snow Everywhere:  Another view of downtown Adams, NY buried under mountains of snow.


Barn Scene:  Another farm covered in snow near Adams Center, NY. 


Closed:  A path through the snow is maintained in hopes of opening for business soon.  Adams Center, NY 


Heavy Snow on RoofAnother view of the same business showing the heavy snow overhanging the roof.


Adams Center New York:  Every house in town took on a fairly tale "Ginger Bread" look such as this one along highway 11. 


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