OWLeS: Ontario Winter (OW) Lake-effect Systems (LeS): December 2013-January 2014
LLAP Image

The OWLeS project examines the formation mechanisms, cloud microphysics, boundary layer processes and dynamics of lake-effect systems (LeS) at unprecedented detail using X-band and S-band dual-polarization (dual-pol) radars, an aircraft instrumented with particle probes and profiling cloud radar and lidar, a mobile integrated sounding system, a network of radiosondes,and a surface network of snow characterization instruments.


Lake-effect systems form through surface-air interactions as a cold air mass is advected over relatively warm (at least partially) ice-free mesoscale bodies of water. The OWLeS project focuses on Lake Ontario because of its size and orientation, the frequency of LeS events (especially intense single bands), its nearby moderate orography, the impact of Lake Ontario LeS hazards in particular on public safety and commerce, and the proximity of several universities with large atmospheric science programs.


The OWLeS project distinguishes between two primary modes, depending on prevailing wind direction:

         1) short-fetch LeS (those oriented at large angles to the long axis of the lake); and,


         2) long-fetch LeS (those more aligned with the lake’s long axis). A 3rd component of this project focuses on downstream coastal and orographic effects, particularly in the Finger Lake and Tug Hill Plateau regions.

More about OWLeS . . .

Science vehicles and platforms
Scientists will utilize in situ and remotely sensing instruments during OWLeS in order to obtain small- and large-scale kinematic and thermodynamic measurements of lake-effect snow bands

Scientists / Crew
OWLeS is a collaborative endeavour between eight academic institutions and the Center for Severe Weather Research

Photo Gallery: [Still under construction]

Latest News:

ImageOWLeS PI press release
Click here to read it.


ImageNational Science Foundation's OWLeS press release
Click here to read it.

Penn Yan Airport official press release
Click here to view it.

Follow OWLeS on Facebook
Click here to get the latest information about the OWLeS project on Facebook.

OWLeS information from U of Wyoming now available
More information about OWLeS

OWLeS blog now online!
Read more about the OWLeS project on the University of Utah's Wasatch Weather Weenies blog.

Press Release
Read more about OWLeS in Millserville University's 7 May press release.

Work In ProgressPreparations for OWLeS
Packing and testing of instruments is currently underway!

ImageOWLeS-related Media
The OWLeS project will be holding an "Open House" on 4 December 2013 at Penn Yan Airfield. Click icon at left to learn more.

Field Phases:

5 - 21 December 2013

4 - 29 January 2014

Additional Resources:

PIsFor PIs
Download OWLeS logo in PNG and EPS format.

CatalogOWLeS Data Catalog
Access to the online OWLeS field catalog can be found here.

MapsCSWR / DOW Locations
Download a map of the CSWR / DOW locations during OWLeS.

Daily Summary:

ImageMedia Day: 4 December 2013
The OWLeS project will be holding an "Open House" on 4 December 2013 at Penn Yan Airfield. Click snowflake to learn more.

Site Links:

ImageFoundriest Environmental
Newest update and description of the OWLeS project from Foundriest Environmental's "Environmental Monitor."

ImageAdditional OWLeS Links
More links pertaining to OWLeS will be found here as the project progresses