Thank Lake Erie for the snow Northeast Ohio could see in a few weeks

Thank Lake Erie for the snow Northeast Ohio could see in a few weeks

CLEVELAND,Ohio -- It isn't unexpected, but snow could be in the forecast the first couple weeks of November in Northeast Ohio and everyone can thank Lake Erie for it.

Early November is typically when the Cleveland-area sees its first accumulation.

"Last month, the Climate Prediction Center issued a La Nina watch was issued for cooler Pacific Ocean waters," said Cleveland 19 News Chief Meteorologist Jason Nicholas. "Historically, when that happens, northern parts of the U.S. usually see cooler and wetter winters -- meaning more snow."

It's been pretty warm in Northeast Ohio with a record-breaking end to summer and a warm start to fall.

That warm weather has contributed to a warm Lake Erie -- the lake temperature is in the upper 60s right now, Nicholas said.

"That means it'll be warmer later in the year and when cold air pours over it in the coming weeks, we open up chances for significant lake effect snows," he said.

Lake effect snow forms when cold air passes over the warmer waters. Water holds on to heat more than air.

Freezing air passes over much warmer water and viola, the lake water evaporates and turns into snow if the air is cold enough and dumps it onto land.

Lake effect snow doesn't really hit Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, however, and that's where weather data is recorded.

Nicholas said he thinks the first measurable snow will be at the airport Nov. 11. Meteorologist Jeff Tanchak guessed the airport would see snow Nov. 20.

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