Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Chautauqua County land of Lake Snows

I live in Chautauqua County, in the southwestern corner of New York State.It is located along the New York-Pennsylvania border, is the westernmost of New York's counties. Chautauqua Lake is located in the center of the county, and Lake Erie is its northern border.

Part of the Eastern Continental Divide runs through Chautauqua County. The area that drains into the Conewango Creek (including Chautauqua Lake) eventually empties into the Gulf of Mexico; the rest of the county's watershed empties into Lake Erie and out into the North Atlantic Ocean. This divide, known as the Chautauqua Ridge, can be used to mark the border between the Southern Tier and the Niagara Frontier. It is also a significant dividing point in the county's geopolitics, with the "North County" being centered around Dunkirk and the "South County" centered around Jamestown.

The snow we are getting right now is Lake effect snow. When cold air moves across Lake Erie it picks up moisture from the warm lake which has not yet frozen and then dumps it as snow as it flows over the land and up over Chautauqua Ridge often hammer us here in Stedman on the hilltop with lots of snow like its doing this week.

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