Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Buffalo, NY

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000
FXUS61 KBUF 251151
AFDBUF

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BUFFALO NY
651 AM EST WED FEB 25 2015

.SYNOPSIS...
A SURFACE COLD FRONT CROSSING THE LOWER GREAT LAKES WILL BRING THE
NEXT ROUND OF COLD AIR AND WANING SNOW SHOWERS. COLDER AIR IN THE
WAKE OF THE FRONT WILL HOLD TEMPERATURES AT LEAST 20 DEGREES BELOW
NORMAL TODAY AND THURSDAY...WITH LAKE EFFECT SNOWS BRINGING
SEVERAL MORE INCHES OF SNOW EAST OF LAKE ONTARIO.

&&

.NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/...
AN ARCTIC FRONT WILL PUSH EAST ACROSS NEW YORK THIS MORNING WITH
LINGERING SNOW SHOWERS TAPERING OFF ACROSS THE SOUTHERN TIER AND
NORTH COUNTY. THE COLDER WESTERLY FLOW BEHIND THE FRONT WILL KICK
OFF SOME LAKE EFFECT SNOW SHOWERS EAST OF LAKE ONTARIO THROUGH THE
DAY WEDNESDAY INTO WEDNESDAY EVENING. THE 270-280 FLOW SHOULD KEEP
THE SNOW FOCUSED ACROSS MAINLY NORTHERN OSWEGO COUNTY AND FAR
SOUTHWESTERN LEWIS COUNTY ACROSS THE TUG HILL. THE LIMITED PERIOD OF
ENHANCED EQUILIBRIUM HEIGHTS UP TO 10KFT DURING THE AFTERNOON AND
PRESENT ICE COVER AND SLUSH OVER THE EASTERN END OF THE LAKE SHOULD
KEEP SNOW TOTALS LIMITED TO THE 3-6 INCH RANGE WITH THE HIGHER END
AMOUNTS FOCUSED ACROSS THE TUG HILL. OUTSIDE OF THE LAKE EFFECT SNOW
TEMPERATURES WILL FALL THROUGH THE DAY INTO THE SINGLE DIGITS BEHIND
THE FRONT...IN SPITE OF THE SUNNIER SKIES.

TEMPERATURES WILL CONTINUE TO FALL THROUGH THE NIGHT WITH CONTINUED
COLD ADVECTION. OVERNIGHT LOWS WILL BE IN THE POSITIVE SINGLE
NUMBERS NEAR AND DOWNWIND OF LAKE ONTARIO...IN THE NEGATIVE SINGLE
NUMBERS ACROSS THE WESTERN SOUTHERN TIER...AND IN THE NEGATIVE TEENS
EAST OF LAKE ONTARIO.

LATER TONIGHT THE SURFACE WINDS WILL BECOME NORTHERLY THE
NORTHEASTERLY...TAKING THE LAKE EFFECT SNOW FROM THE EAST END OF
LAKE ONTARIO TO THE SOUTH SHOW...THEN TO THE WESTERN END OF THE
LAKE. THE DRY AIRMASS AND THE SUBSIDENCE OF THE HIGH RIDGING ACROSS
THE LAKE WILL LIMIT THE SNOW...AN INCH OF TWO EXPECTED.

&&

.SHORT TERM /THURSDAY THROUGH FRIDAY/...
THURSDAY MORNING WEAK NORTH TO NORTHEAST LOW LEVEL FLOW AND A COLD
AIRMASS MAY STILL SUPPORT A FEW WEAK LAKE EFFECT SNOW SHOWERS ALONG
THE SOUTH SHORE OF LAKE ONTARIO...MAINLY FROM ROCHESTER WEST TO
NIAGARA COUNTY. THIS MAY PERSIST THROUGH MUCH OF THE DAY...BUT
PLENTY OF SHEAR AND SHALLOW INVERSION HEIGHTS WILL KEEP AMOUNTS VERY
LIGHT. OTHERWISE OUR ATTENTION TURNS TO A WEAK SYNOPTIC FEATURE. 00Z
MODEL GUIDANCE REMAINS CONSISTENT IN BRINGING A WEAK MID LEVEL
SHORTWAVE AND BAROCLINIC WAVE ACROSS THE OHIO VALLEY AND PA/NY ON
THURSDAY. THIS MAY PROVIDE JUST ENOUGH ASCENT TO ALLOW FLURRIES OR
VERY LIGHT SNOW TO DEVELOP ACROSS MUCH OF THE AREA WITH THE
EXCEPTION OF THE NORTH COUNTRY THURSDAY AND THURSDAY EVENING. IF THE
LIGHT SNOW DOES MATERIALIZE AMOUNTS WILL BE VERY LIGHT...WITH A
SPOTTY DUSTING TO HALF INCH.

ANY LIGHT SYNOPTIC SNOW WILL SLOWLY TAPER OFF THURSDAY NIGHT AS THE
WEAK BAROCLINIC WAVE MOVES EAST AND FALLS APART. THIS WILL LEAVE
ANOTHER PERIOD OF WEAK NORTHERLY FLOW WHICH MAY STILL SUPPORT A FEW
SCATTERED LAKE EFFECT SNOW SHOWERS SOUTH OF LAKE ONTARIO. A SURFACE
RIDGE WILL BUILD ACROSS THE LOWER LAKES AT THIS TIME...AND THIS WILL
KEEP A GOOD DEAL OF SHEAR AND LOW INVERSION HEIGHTS WHICH WILL KEEP
ANY SNOW ACCUMULATION MINIMAL. OUTSIDE LAKE EFFECT AREAS EXPECT IT
TO REMAIN DRY LATER THURSDAY NIGHT THROUGH FRIDAY WITH EVEN SOME
SUNSHINE DEVELOPING ON FRIDAY AS HIGH PRESSURE AND SUBSIDENCE
BUILDING OVER THE REGION.

TEMPERATURES WILL REMAIN WELL BELOW AVERAGE THURSDAY THROUGH
FRIDAY...ALTHOUGH NOT QUITE AS COLD AS OUR MOST RECENT SHOT OF
ARCTIC AIR. EXPECT HIGHS BOTH DAYS IN THE HIGH SINGLE NUMBERS TO
LOWER TEENS ON THE LAKE PLAINS AND SINGLE NUMBERS ACROSS HIGHER
TERRAIN. LOWS THURSDAY NIGHT WILL BE BELOW ZERO IN MOST AREAS...
ALTHOUGH SOME CLOUD COVER SHOULD PREVENT TEMPERATURES FROM FREE
FALLING. FORTUNATELY WINDS WILL BE FAIRLY LIGHT THROUGH THE
PERIOD...AND THIS SHOULD KEEP WIND CHILLS JUST ABOVE ADVISORY
CRITERIA MOST OF THE TIME.

&&

.LONG TERM /FRIDAY NIGHT THROUGH TUESDAY/...
FRIDAY NIGHT AND SATURDAY A SURFACE HIGH WILL BUILD FROM THE OHIO
VALLEY INTO THE MID ATLANTIC STATES. THIS WILL PROVIDE A PERIOD OF
DRY WEATHER FOR THE MAJORITY OF THE AREA. THE ONLY EXCEPTION WILL BE
EAST OF LAKE ONTARIO WHERE WESTERLY FLOW AROUND THE NORTHERN
PERIPHERY OF THE HIGH MAY SUPPORT SOME LIMITED LAKE EFFECT SNOW.
INVERSION HEIGHTS WILL REMAIN FAIRLY LOW GIVEN THE SHALLOW NATURE OF
THE LATE SEASON ARCTIC AIRMASS...BUT STILL SHOULD SUPPORT THE
POTENTIAL FOR AT LEAST MINOR ACCUMULATIONS ACROSS OSWEGO COUNTY AND
THE TUG HILL REGION. THIS SHOULD TAPER OFF BY SATURDAY NIGHT AS THE
RIDGE AXIS PUSHES FARTHER NORTH AND LOWERS THE INVERSION EVEN MORE.
TEMPERATURES WILL BEGIN A SLOW MODERATION ON SATURDAY...WITH HIGHS
RANGING FROM THE MID TEENS TO LOWER 20S AS SOMEWHAT MILDER AIR
SLOWLY FILTERS INTO THE REGION.

BY SUNDAY THE PATTERN BECOMES MORE ACTIVE ONCE AGAIN AS SPLIT FLOW
ACROSS THE WESTERN CONUS SENDS A PAIR OF SHORTWAVES EAST ACROSS THE
CONTINENT. A SOUTHERN STREAM WAVE WILL EJECT OUT OF THE SOUTHERN
ROCKIES AND MOVE EAST ACROSS THE NATION...CAPTURING PACIFIC AND GULF
OF MEXICO MOISTURE ON ITS WAY. MEANWHILE A NORTHERN STREAM WAVE WILL
MOVE EAST ALONG THE US/CANADIAN BORDER SUNDAY NIGHT AND MONDAY AND
HELP MAINTAIN COLDER THAN AVERAGE TEMPERATURES ACROSS THE NORTHERN
TIER OF THE NATION. A WIDESPREAD AREA OF PRECIP WILL BREAK OUT WITH
THE SOUTHERN STREAM SYSTEM IN RESPONSE TO A LARGE MID LEVEL
BAROCLINIC WAVE AND ASSOCIATED DIFFERENTIAL TEMPERATURE ADVECTION
AND MOISTURE TRANSPORT COMBINED WITH UPPER LEVEL JET DYNAMICS. THIS
WILL BRING A GOOD POTENTIAL FOR A WIDESPREAD ACCUMULATING SNOW TO
THE REGION SUNDAY AFTERNOON AND SUNDAY NIGHT. THE 00Z ECMWF IS MORE
AGGRESSIVE WITH QPF...BUT EVEN THE GFS WOULD SUPPORT MODEST
ACCUMULATIONS.

BEHIND THIS SYSTEM A BUBBLE OF HIGH PRESSURE WILL BUILD INTO THE
GREAT LAKES LATER MONDAY WITH ANY SNOW TAPERING OFF MONDAY MORNING.
MODEL GUIDANCE THEN BEGINS TO DIVERGE WITH RESPECT TO THE TRACK AND
TIMING OF THE NEXT SYSTEM BY MIDWEEK. THE GFS IS FASTER...BRINGING A
STRENGTHENING SURFACE LOW INTO THE CENTRAL GREAT LAKES BY LATE
TUESDAY AFTERNOON. THE ECMWF IS ROUGHLY 12 HOURS SLOWER BUT TAKES A
LOW ON A SIMILAR TRACK. IF THIS TRACK VERIFIES...THIS SYSTEM WOULD
BRING SNOW CHANGING TO A WINTRY MIX AND THEN PLAIN RAIN AS A SURGE
OF WARMER AIR ENTERS THE REGION AHEAD OF THE LOW TRACKING TO OUR
NORTHWEST. PRECIP WOULD THEN GO BACK TO SNOW BEHIND THE SYSTEM AS
COLDER AIR MOVES BACK INTO THE REGION. SUCH A LOW TRACK WOULD ALSO
PRODUCE GUSTY WINDS ACROSS THE LOWER LAKES REGION. SOME PREVIOUS
RUNS HAVE TAKEN A WEAKER LOW FARTHER SOUTH...KEEPING OUR REGION ON
THE COLD SIDE OF THE SYSTEM AND ALL SNOW. GIVEN THE PERSISTENCE OF
COLD AIR AND THE TROUGH IN THE EAST...AM NOT READY TO BUY INTO THE
STRONGER AND FARTHER NORTHWEST SOLUTION OFFERED BY THE 00Z ECMWF AND
GFS YET. SUSPECT LATER RUNS MAY TREND WEAKER AND FARTHER SOUTH WITH
THIS SYSTEM. WITH THIS IN MIND WILL MAINTAIN CONTINUITY WITH A
CHANCE OF SNOW ON TUESDAY FOR NOW.

&&

.AVIATION /12Z WEDNESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY/...
LIGHT SNOW ACROSS THE REGION WILL TRANSITION TO LAKE EFFECT SNOW OFF
LAKE ONTARIO TO THE EASTERN SHORE. MVFR TO UPPER IFR CONDITIONS WILL
IMPROVE TO VFR FOR MOST IF NOT ALL SITES AFTER 14Z. KROC MAY
EXPERIENCE MVFR CONDITIONS AFTER 03Z THIS EVENING AS LAKE EFFECT
SETTLES SOUTH OFF THE LAKE AS WINDS BECOME NORTHERLY. WINDS WILL
EVENTUALLY BECOME NORTHEASTERLY LATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT WITH LAKE
EFFECT TO THE SOUTHWEST CORNER OF THE LAKE AND IS EXPECTED AFFECT
KIAG WITH LIGHT SNOW AND MVFR CEILINGS.

OUTLOOK...
WEDNESDAY NIGHT...VFR.
THURSDAY...MVFR IN CHANCE OF SNOW SHOWERS.
FRIDAY AND SATURDAY...MAINLY VFR WITH IFR IN LAKE EFFECT SNOW.
SUNDAY...MVFR WITH SNOW SHOWERS LIKELY.
MONDAY...MVFR WITH A CHANCE OF SNOW SHOWERS...THEN IMPROVING TO VFR.

&&

.MARINE...
WINDS WILL TURN WESTERLY TO NORTHWESTERLY TODAY INTO TONIGHT WITH
THE PASSAGE OF THE ARCTIC FRONT. SMALL CRAFT ADVISORIES FOR OPEN
WATER PORTIONS OF LAKE ONTARIO THROUGH LATE THIS EVENING. WINDS
EVENTUALLY TURN TO NORTHEASTERLY BY EARLY THURSDAY AS HIGH PRESSURE
RIDGES ACROSS EASTERN CANADA.

&&

.CLIMATE...
---THIS FEBRUARY IS WRAPPING UP TO BE ONE OF THE COLDEST AND
SNOWIEST MONTHS IN OUR PRIMARY CLIMATE STATIONS HISTORY. THE
CONTINUED NORTHWEST FLOW OF BITTERLY COLD AIR HAS LEFT THE MONTH
OF FEBRUARY A HISTORIC MONTH THAT WILL BE A BENCHMARK MARK FOR
YEARS TO COME. BELOW ARE THE COLDEST MONTHS IN EACH STATIONS
HISTORY. TEMPERATURE RECORDS FOR BUFFALO AND ROCHESTER GO BACK TO
1871...WHILE TEMPERATURE RECORDS IN WATERTOWN GO BACK TO 1950.


STATION:    VALUE (F)   MONTH (YEAR)

BUFFALO     11.6        FEB (1934)
            13.4        FEB (1875)
            13.8        JAN (1977)
            14.1        JAN (1918)
            14.6        FEB (1885)
            14.9        FEB (1979)
            15.5        FEB (1978)
            15.6        JAN (1920)
            15.6        JAN (1912)
            16.2        JAN (1945)


ROCHESTER   12.6        FEB (1934)
            13.7        FEB (1979)
            14.4        FEB (1875)
            14.5        FEB (1885)
            14.8        JAN (1918)
            14.9        JAN (1994)
            15.2        JAN (1945)
            15.5        JAN (1977)
            15.7        JAN (1981)
            16.1        JAN (1920)


WATERTOWN    6.4        DEC (1989)
             6.5        JAN (1970)
             6.9        JAN (1994)
             7.9        FEB (1978)
             8.0        JAN (1981)
             8.1        JAN (2004)
             8.4        FEB (1979)
            10.0        JAN (2003)
            10.1        JAN (1977)
            10.3        JAN (1961)

CURRENT MONTHLY AVERAGE TEMPERATURES ARE LISTED ON THE CF6 CLIMATE
PRODUCT.


---FEBRUARY HAS ALSO BEEN A SNOWY MONTH AS A PERSISTENT TRACK OF
CLIPPERS WITHIN A NORTHWEST FLOW HAS MAINTAINED NICKEL AND DIME
SNOWS THROUGH THE MONTH...THIS AFTER A SIGNIFICANT SYNOPTIC STORM TO
START FEBRUARY. BELOW ARE THE TOP SNOWIEST FEBRUARY`S ON RECORD.
SNOWFALL RECORDS GO BACK TO 1884.

STATION:    SNOW (IN)      YEAR

BUFFALO     1  54.2        1958
            2  49.5        1960
            3  44.7        2015 (DATA THROUGH 2/23)


ROCHESTER   1  64.8        1958
            2  58.3        1960
            3  46.5        2007
            4  43.3        2015 (DATA THROUGH 2/23)



---IT IS LIKELY THAT BUFFALO REMAINS BELOW FREEZING THE ENTIRE
MONTH OF FEBRUARY. THIS HAS HAPPENED ONCE BEFORE...IN THE YEAR 1978.

---ROCHESTER HAS HAD 9 DAYS THIS MONTH WITH MINIMUM TEMPERATURES
FALLING BELOW ZERO. BELOW IS A LIST OF GREATEST NUMBER OF DAYS
IN FEBRUARY WITH MINIMUM TEMPERATURES BELOW ZERO...

        NUMBER      YEAR

        10          1979
         9          2015 (DATA THROUGH 2/24)

THE GREATEST NUMBER OF DAYS IN A WINTER SEASON IN ROCHESTER THAT
HAVE MINIMUM TEMPERATURES FALL BELOW ZERO IS 15 DAYS SET BACK IN
1884-85.

---WATERTOWN HAS HAD 16 DAYS THIS MONTH WITH MINIMUM TEMPERATURES
FALLING BELOW ZERO. BELOW IS A LIST OF GREATEST NUMBER OF DAYS IN
FEBRUARY WITH MINIMUM TEMPERATURES BELOW ZERO...

        NUMBER      YEAR

        16          1978
        16          2015 (DATA THROUGH 2/24)

&&

.BUF WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
NY...LAKE EFFECT SNOW ADVISORY UNTIL MIDNIGHT EST TONIGHT FOR
     NYZ006-008.
MARINE...SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY UNTIL 7 PM EST THIS EVENING FOR
         LOZ042>044.

&&

$$

SYNOPSIS...WCH
NEAR TERM...WCH
SHORT TERM...HITCHCOCK
LONG TERM...HITCHCOCK
AVIATION...WCH
MARINE...WCH
CLIMATE...THOMAS







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