Lake Erie Links
Beaches in Ohio
Facts and History
Great Lakes Compact
Lake Erie Literacy
Marine Forecast (NWS)
Nautical Chart (NOAA)
Experimental Harmful Algal Blooms Bulletin
Water Temps/Levels/ Currents/Winds (GLCFS)
Water Level (USACE)
Principle 1 – Great Lake, Many Features
Principle 2 - Natural Forces Formed
Principle 3 – Effects weather and Climate
Principle 4 - Freshwater Sustains Life
Principle 5 – Diverse Life & Ecosystems
Principle 6 - Humans and the Watershed
Principle 7 - Exploration is Ongoing
Principle 8 - Great Significance
Lake Erie affects weather and climate by impacting the region’s energy and water cycles. Changes in Lake Erie’s water circulation, water temperatures and ice cover can produce changes in local weather.
Lake Erie warms by absorbing solar radiation. Lake temperatures are also affected locally by the temperature of inflowing rivers and the warm water discharge of power plants and other industries located along the shore. Lake Erie loses heat by evaporation and by warming the overlying air when the atmosphere is cool. After water vapor is released into the atmosphere, it condenses and forms precipitation, some of which falls within the Lake Erie basin.
Lake Erie modifies the local weather and climate because water temperatures change more slowly than air temperatures. Lake water absorbs heat in summer and releases heat during cooler months. This results in cooler springs, warmer falls, delayed frosts and lake effect snow.
Lake Erie has a significant influence on regional climate by absorbing, storing and moving heat and water. Lake effect precipitation can occur downwind when weather systems move over the lake and absorb moisture from Lake Erie.
Lake Erie is influenced by global climate change affecting North America and the world. The climate in the Great Lakes region is changing with warmer temperatures and more variable precipitation patterns. The observed patterns of temperature increases and precipitation changes are predicted to continue. Winters are likely to become wetter and summers drier, increasing the frequency of floods and droughts.
Principle 3: Lake Erie influences local and regional weather and climate.