The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration describes how lake-effect snow occurs:
- cold air masses move over warmer lake waters;
- the warm lake water heats the bottom air layer, causing lake moisture to evaporate into the cold air;
- the evaporated moisture rises, cools, condenses, and forms clouds;
- snow falls!
According to the National Weather Service, reported in a CTNews blog, although the air around the Sound can be cold enough, the area of open water is not long enough for the air to blow over and pick up the moisture needed to produce significant ‘Sound-Effect’ snow. (The longest area over Long Island Sound is 75 miles, whereas over Lake Erie it is 220 miles and over Lake Ontario it is 170 miles.)