From Wikipedia: Lake-effect snow is produced in the winter when cold winds move across long expanses of warmer lake water, providing energy and picking up water vapor which freezes and is deposited on the leeward shores. The effect is enhanced when the moving air mass is uplifted by the orographic effect of higher elevations on the downwind shores. This uplifting can produce narrow, but very intense bands of precipitation, which deposit at a rate of many inches of snow each hour, often resulting in copious snowfall totals. The areas affected by lake-effect snow are called snowbelts. This effect occurs in many locations throughout the world, but is best known in the populated areas of the Great Lakes of North America, and especially Western New York and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, which can average over 200 inches of snow per year, and averages the most snow of any non-mountainous location within the continental US.
This is a view of Lake Superior as seen from Little Girl's Point which is located north of the Upper Peninsula town of Ironwood, Michigan that received over 12" of lake-effect snow in the 24 hours after this image was taken. View On Black