One of the benefits of warm summers across the Great Lakes is the relationship between warm water and lake effect snow. Record warmth this summer has raised the water temperature of the Great Lakes, and when this happens it aids the creation of lake effect snow, which occurs when a cold air mass moves across warm water. The greater the temperature differential, the greater the tendency to get dumped on.
The Climate Prediction Center in Washington DC currently states there is an equal chance of above or below-average amounts of snowfall for much of the Great Lakes. However, the water temperature of Lake Superior was monitored to be in the 55-60 degree range after the warm summer, which has the potential to increase the amount of lake effect snowfall when strong northwest and northerly winds blow a burst of arctic air across the warm water.