What is that lake steam? Learn more about the phenomenon

Posted at 5:44 PM, Jan 16, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-17 23:41:47-05
  • Video shows lake steam in Manitowoc
  • Meteorologist Lauren Larsen explains why it happens

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

I'm your Manitowoc Reporter Preston Stober with Meteorologist Lauren Larsen here on a very icy lakeshore. Now Lauren, what exactly are we seeing? I know it's a phenomenon out here.

Absolutely beautiful out here! We are looking at cloud streaks, which is kind of lake effect clouds. I know you've probably heard of lake effect snow.

Explain it like you're talking to your Manitowoc neighborhood reporter. Dumb it down just a little.

Absolutely! Our air temperature is only about 2 degrees in Manitowoc, but the surface of the lake is about 37 degrees to 40 degrees right now. Which, I know 37 degrees isn't all that warm, but it is much warmer than the air. So, when the wind blows this dry air from the surface of the ground over the surface of the warm lake, you get some of this convective lake clouds.

Awesome! Well, it is a phenomenon, I think it looks pretty fantastic. It is very cold, but it is very beautiful. I'm Preston Stober, this is Lauren Larsen. NBC 26