Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Buffalo, NY

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FXUS61 KBUF 250028
AFDBUF

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BUFFALO NY
728 PM EST TUE FEB 24 2015

.SYNOPSIS...
A MID-LEVEL SHORTWAVE AND SURFACE COLD FRONT WILL MOVE ACROSS THE
LOWER GREAT LAKES TONIGHT BRINGING THE NEXT ROUND OF ACCUMULATING
SNOW SHOWERS. ONLY AN INCH OR TWO IS EXPECTED. COLDER AIR IN THE
WAKE OF THE FRONT WILL HOLD TEMPERATURES AT LEAST 20 DEGREES BELOW
NORMAL FOR WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY...WITH LAKE EFFECT SNOWS BRINGING
A FEW MORE INCHES OF SNOW EAST OF LAKE ONTARIO.

&&

.NEAR TERM /THROUGH WEDNESDAY/...
CLOUDS ARE INCREASING ACROSS WESTERN AND NORTH CENTRAL NEW YORK THIS
AFTERNOON AHEAD OF THE NEXT MID-LEVEL SHORTWAVE AND ARCTIC COLD FRONT
APPROACHING FROM THE CENTRAL GREAT LAKES. SURFACE ANALYSIS PLACES
THE PARENT LOW OVER THE SOUTHERN TIP OF JAMES BAY WITH THE FRONT
EXTENDING SOUTHWEST ACROSS NORTHERN LOWER MICHIGAN TO NEAR CHICAGO
WHILE THE MID-LEVEL SHORTWAVE IS NOW SHIFTING JUST EAST OF MICHIGAN
AS OBSERVED ON REGIONAL RADAR BY A BAND OF SNOW. THE LEADING
SHORTWAVE WILL BRING AN INITIAL PERIOD OF SNOW SHOWERS THIS EVENING
WITH THE COLD FRONT CONTINUING TO PROVIDE SUFFICIENT LIFT FOR SNOW
SHOWERS OVERNIGHT. MESOSCALE MODELS INCLUDING THE HRRR AND REGIONAL
GEM MODEL BRING IN SNOW SHOWERS ACROSS FAR WESTERN NEW YORK ALONG
THE SHORTWAVE TROUGH BEGINNING AROUND 7PM SHIFTING EAST TO
NORTH-CENTRAL NEW YORK BY MIDNIGHT. ANOTHER PERIOD OF SNOW SHOWERS
IS EXPECTED ALONG AND AHEAD OF THE COLD FRONT OVERNIGHT.

WHILE MOST LOCATIONS SHOULD PICK UP A FRESH HALF TO ONE INCH
OVERNIGHT SOME UPSLOPING ACROSS THE CHAUTAUQUA RIDGE TO THE BOSTON
HILLS AND OVER THE TUG HILL COULD BRING UP TO TWO INCHES. THE COLD
AIR MASS LOOKS TO SUPPORT SNOW RATIO OVERNIGHT NEAR 20:1.
TEMPERATURES AHEAD OF THE COLD FRONT WILL HANG IN THE TEENS TONIGHT
THEN DROP TO NEAR 10 DEGREES BEHIND THE FRONT.

THE COLD FRONT WILL PUSH EAST ACROSS NEW YORK WEDNESDAY 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. A LAKE EFFECT SNOW ADVISORY HAS
BEEN ISSUED TO COVER FOR THIS SNOW BAND. OUTSIDE OF THE LAKE EFFECT
SNOW TEMPERATURES WILL FALL THROUGH THE DAY INTO THE SINGLE DIGITS
BEHIND THE FRONT.

&&

.SHORT TERM /WEDNESDAY NIGHT THROUGH FRIDAY/...
LAKE EFFECT SNOW SHOULD BE ONGOING EAST OF LAKE ONTARIO WEDNESDAY
EVENING. BY THIS TIME WE SHOULD KNOW HOW MUCH ICE ON THE LAKE WILL
LIMIT LAKE EFFECT SNOW...WITH LATEST VISIBLE SATELLITE SHOWING
SIGNIFICANT PATCHES BUT ALSO SIGNIFICANT BREAKS IN THE ICE COVERAGE.
TYPICALLY WHEN THIS HAPPENS ON LAKE ERIE THESE BREAKS ARE AMPLE FOR
A LAKE RESPONSE...WHICH CAN OFTEN BE UNDERDONE BY MODEL QPF
DEPENDING ON THE ICE COVERAGE IN THE MODEL. WINDS WILL SHIFT FROM
THE WEST TO NORTHWEST WEDNESDAY EVENING WHICH WILL PUSH WHATEVER
LAKE EFFECT BAND THERE IS QUICKLY SOUTHWARD LATE WEDNESDAY EVENING.
OSWEGO COUNTY STILL COULD PICK UP ANOTHER INCH OR TWO WEDNESDAY
EVENING BEFORE THE BAND SHIFTS SOUTH AND BECOMES LESS ORGANIZED.
THIS LESS ORGANIZED BAND MAY BRING AN INCH SOUTH OF LAKE ONTARIO
FROM WEAK MULTIPLE BANDS LATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT.

A WEAK MID-LEVEL TROUGH WILL APPROACH THE REGION ON THURSDAY WHICH
WILL BRING SOME MID LEVEL CLOUDS AND POSSIBLY SOME LIGHT SNOW OR
FLURRIES TO ALL AREAS. ACCUMULATIONS FROM THIS SHOULD BE VERY LIGHT
(THINK DUSTING). THE ONLY EXCEPTION IS ACROSS THE NIAGARA
FRONTIER...WHERE A NORTHEASTERLY FLOW MAY TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE LIMITED
OPEN WATERS ON LAKE ONTARIO. THIS COMBINED WITH SYNOPTIC MOISTURE
MAY BE ENOUGH TO BRING AN INCH OR TWO ON THURSDAY.

STRONG SURFACE HIGH PRESSURE ACROSS THE PLAINS STATES WILL RIDGE
INTO THE GREAT LAKES REGION THROUGH FRIDAY. MEANWHILE THE WEAK UPPER
LEVEL TROUGH WILL SHEAR OUT AS IT MOVES ACROSS THE REGION THROUGH
FRIDAY. LIGHT NORTHERLY WINDS THURSDAY NIGHT WILL SHIFT BACK TO THE
WEST WHICH WILL LIFT LIGHT LAKE EFFECT SNOWS BACK TO THE EASTERN
LAKE ONTARIO REGION. THE WEAK FLOW...LAKE ICE...AND LIMITED MOISTURE
SHOULD KEEP ANY ACCUMULATIONS ON THE LIGHT SIDE.

THE TEMPERATURE FORECAST WILL BE TRICKY DURING THE
PERIOD...ESPECIALLY NIGHTTIME LOWS. WINDS WILL BE FAIRLY LIGHT
THROUGHOUT THE PERIOD...BUT CLOUD COVER WILL VARY BASED ON SYNOPTIC
AND MESOSCALE FEATURES. WITH LIGHT WINDS OVERNIGHT LOWS WILL BE
CONSIDERABLY COLDER IN AREAS WHICH DO CLEAR OUT. THIS UNCERTAINTY
ASIDE...THERE IS NO QUESTION THAT IT WILL BE COLD....WITH DAYTIME
HIGHS 10 TO 15 DEGREES ON THURSDAY AND FRIDAY. OVERNIGHT LOWS WILL
LARGELY BE BELOW ZERO...BUT TEMPERATURES COULD DROP INTO THE MINUS
TEENS OR COLDER IN INTERIOR SECTIONS. THE BEST CHANCE FOR THE
COLDEST TEMPERATURES IS IN THE NORTH COUNTRY WHERE SKIES ARE MOST
LIKELY TO CLEAR.

&&

.LONG TERM /FRIDAY NIGHT THROUGH TUESDAY/...
HIGH PRESSURE WILL GRADUALLY MOVE ACROSS THE REGION FRIDAY NIGHT
THROUGH SATURDAY NIGHT. THIS WILL BRING GENERALLY FAIR WEATHER
OUTSIDE OF SOME LIGHT LAKE EFFECT SNOW EAST OF LAKE ONTARIO WHICH
WILL WEAKEN AND LIFT NORTH WITH TIME. LOWS ON FRIDAY NIGHT SHOULD
ONCE AGAIN DROP BELOW ZERO IN MANY AREAS...WITH THE COLDEST
TEMPERATURES PROBABLY IN THE VALLEYS OF THE SOUTHERN TIER WHICH WILL
BE CLOSE TO THE CENTER OF THE HIGH. TEMPERATURES WILL REMAIN ON THE
COOL SIDE WITH HIGHS SATURDAY IN THE UPPER TEENS TO AROUND 20.

THE PATTERN BECOMES MORE COMPLEX ON SUNDAY WITH A SPLIT FLOW WHERE
THE SOUTHERN BRANCH EXTENDS FROM THE SOUTHWESTERN STATES TO THE
GREAT LAKES REGION. THIS PATTERN TENDS TO BE ACTIVE ONE FOR OUR
REGION...BUT IT IS DIFFICULT FOR GUIDANCE TO FORECAST PHASING
BETWEEN THE TWO BRANCHES. THIS PATTERN SHOULD ALSO BRING
TEMPERATURES A BIT CLOSER TO NORMAL EARLY NEXT WEEK...EVEN IF THEY
WILL STILL BE BELOW NORMAL.

12Z GUIDANCE HAS TRENDED WEAKER WITH AN INITIAL WAVE (SUNDAY NIGHT)
AND INSTEAD KEYS ON A STRONGER SYSTEM LATE TUESDAY. THERE IS STILL
PLENTY OF TIME FOR FUTURE MODEL SHIFTS...BUT THIS TREND SEEMS
REASONABLE SINCE IT TRACKS THE SUNDAY SYSTEM FURTHER SOUTH AND
YIELDS A COLDER SOLUTION. GUIDANCE NOW SUGGESTS AN ALL SNOW...BUT
LIGHTER EVENT...ON SUNDAY NIGHT. ITS WORTH NOTING THE GGEM HAS
SHIFTED SO FAR SOUTH THAT IT MISSES...BUT WITH THE 12Z GFS/ECMWF
STILL BRINGING SOME SNOW WILL KEEP LIKELY POPS.

EXPECT A BRIEF BREAK BETWEEN SYSTEMS LATE MONDAY AND INTO
TUESDAY...BUT GFS/ECMWF GUIDANCE HAS BEEN IN FAIRLY GOOD AGREEMENT
BRINGING ANOTHER MORE SIGNIFICANT WAVE TOWARD OUR REGION LATE
TUESDAY. MORE LIKELY THAN NOT...IT WILL BE COLD ENOUGH FOR SNOW WITH
THIS SYSTEM...BUT IT IS STILL A BIT TOO FAR OUT FOR SPECIFICS.

&&

.AVIATION /00Z WEDNESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY/...
REGIONAL RADAR SHOWING A REASONABLY WELL-DEFINED BAND OF LIGHT SNOW
THAT HAS BEEN CROSSING SRN ONTARIO THIS EVENING IS NOW CROSSING THE
NIAGARA PENINSULA AND SHOULD BE AFFECTING KIAG/KBUF WITHIN THE NEXT
HOUR. THOUGH SNOWFALL RATES ARE LIKELY MODEST..UPSTREAM OBS INDICATE
VSBYS HAVE BEEN DROPPING INTO IFR RANGE AND EXPECT THIS TREND TO
CONTINUE AS THE BAND OF SNOW MOVES INTO WRN NY. THE UPPER LEVEL
DISTURBANCE DRIVING THIS BAND WILL PUSH EAST ACROSS THE FORECAST
AREA TONIGHT...TAKING THE BAND AND ASSOCIATED IFR CONDITIONS WITH
IT. INITIAL ROUND OF IFR ASSOCIATED WITH THE BAND SHOULD LAST 2-4
HOURS WITH IMPROVEMENT TO VFR AFTER THE BAND MOVES THROUGH. THIS
IMPROVEMENT IS EXPECTED TO BE RELATIVELY BRIEF AS ANOTHER
DISTURBANCE DROPS ACROSS THE AREA LATER TONIGHT...RESULTING IN
ANOTHER ROUND OF -SHSN WITH MVFR CONDITIONS...POTENTIALLY DROPPING
TO IFR ACROSS UPSLOPE AREAS OF HIGHER TERRAIN. CONDITIONS SHOULD
THEN IMPROVE TO VFR AFTER 12Z WED AS DRIER AIR AND ARCTIC HIGH
PRESSURE INTRUDE FROM THE WEST.

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...
SOUTHWESTERLY WINDS WITH GUSTS PUSHING TO 30 KNOTS AHEAD OF A COLD
FRONT THIS EVENING. WINDS WILL THEN TURN WESTERLY TO NORTHWESTERLY
WEDNESDAY INTO WEDNESDAY NIGHT WITH THE PASSAGE OF THE ARCTIC
FRONT. SMALL CRAFT ADVISORIES FOR OPEN WATER PORTIONS OF LAKE
ONTARIO THROUGH LATE WEDNESDAY EVENING.

&&

.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  44.3        2015 (DATA THROUGH 2/21)


ROCHESTER   1  64.8        1958
            2  58.3        1960
            3  46.5        2007
            4  42.7        1910
            5  41.7        2015 (DATA THROUGH 2/21)



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

---ROCHESTER HAS HAD 7 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
         8          1934
         7          1963
         7          1875
         7          2015 (DATA THROUGH 2/21)

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 14 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
        15          1993
        15          1979
        14          2015 (DATA THROUGH 2/21)

&&

.BUF WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
NY...LAKE EFFECT SNOW ADVISORY FROM 7 AM WEDNESDAY TO MIDNIGHT EST
     WEDNESDAY NIGHT FOR NYZ006-008.
MARINE...SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY UNTIL MIDNIGHT EST WEDNESDAY NIGHT FOR
         LOZ042-043.
         SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY UNTIL 10 PM EST WEDNESDAY FOR LOZ044.

&&

$$

SYNOPSIS...SMITH
NEAR TERM...SMITH
SHORT TERM...APFFEL
LONG TERM...APFFEL
AVIATION...WOOD
MARINE...SMITH
CLIMATE...THOMAS






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