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Industrial Plants: Another Source For Snow

(National Weather Service Northern Indiana)

Cell phone apps across Allen County sent out alerts Tuesday warning about an unusual event: Industrial Plant Induced Snow. While the phenomenon itself is not new, the term “Industrial Plant Induced Snow” is not one many people have heard of.

Sam Lashley at the Northern Indiana office of the National Weather Service said industrial plant induced snow is sort of like lake effect snow. Instead of a lake, this type of snow is created by industrial plants, specifically those that release a lot of warm moisture into the air, like power plants.

Lashley said the makeup of the snow isn’t dangerous. He said he frequently gets calls from residents asking why those affected by industrial snow have never heard of it until recently, in most cases because of social media.  

“You know, I think it’s just a combination of factors that just come together now and again,” Lashley says. “You have to have the perfect conditions in the atmosphere and those happen a couple of times each winter.”

Lashley said an increase in industrial plants in the area has led to the event happening regularly in the winter. He said it can also be hard to forecast because conditions for it to form have to be so specific.

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