Two years ago, my husband and I moved from hot, humid, Williamsburg, Virginia, to snowy South Bend, Indiana. South Bend sits at the edge of USDA hardiness Zones 5 and 6 (meaning most winters temperatures drop to around -10°F/-23°C). It is a bit warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer than areas south of us due to the moderating influence of Lake Michigan. The lake also provides us with an enormous quantity of snow – over five feet (1.5 m) on average each winter, thanks to a phenomenon called the lake effect. Cold air moves in on the prevailing winds from the west, picks up moisture over the warmer lake, and then, just as it arrives over our house, it cools down and drops all that extra water in the form of snow.
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