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September 25, 2018

Granby Sixth Graders Explore Lake Effect With TV Weatherman


An isolated snowstorm fell on Granby Elementary School recently, as Channel 9 TV weatherman Jim Teske delivered a lesson on lake effect.

Granby student Jaden Harrington recites “Teske’s 4 Laws of Lake Effect Snow,” to meteorologist Jim Teske.

Granby student Jaden Harrington recites “Teske’s 4 Laws of Lake Effect Snow,” to meteorologist Jim Teske.

Sixth graders learned the science behind forecasting lake-effect snow.

There must be at least a 13-degree Celsius difference between the lake temperature and the air temperature for lake-effect snow to even be a possibility.

Other key factors are precipitation, elevation and wind direction, Teske said.

“When we’re trying to forecast lake effect, we need to gather a lot of data,” the meteorologist said. “We have all kinds of programs that help us look at what’s going on in the atmosphere.”

The students explored some of these forecasting tools as they analyzed weather maps, reviewed computer models and saw how upper air balloons are used to gather data.

Students in Joe McNamara’s class at Granby Elementary School are all smiles as they pose for a photo with TV meteorologist Jim Teske.

Students in Joe McNamara’s class at Granby Elementary School are all smiles as they pose for a photo with TV meteorologist Jim Teske.

Even with all these scientific tools available, Teske noted that each storm behaves differently, and one minor atmospheric change can alter the course of a particular storm.

“Any slight change in the atmosphere can change the forecast,” Teske said. “That’s why we use a combination of our computer models with our knowledge and past experiences to come up with a forecast.”

With such unpredictability in the weather, Granby sixth graders presented the TV weatherman with “Teske’s 4 Laws of Lake Effect Snow,” which was a spinoff to Newton’s Laws of Motion.

The nonscientific laws included humorous forecast predictions for Fulton.

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