Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Buffalo, NY

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FXUS61 KBUF 151456

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Buffalo NY
956 AM EST Fri Dec 15 2017

Low pressure will track into Michigan today and then to New England
Saturday. This will result in periods of lake effect snow during and
below normal temperatures. High pressure will return to the region
Saturday night and Sunday with fair weather.


This morning fluffy lake effect snow continues to fall across Metro
Buffalo and the northtowns as winds back ahead of a shortwave
passing across Lake Michigan. East of Lake Ontario Lake Effect snow
flies across the North Country, though not quite as organized as the
Lake Erie band.

Expect another few inches of snow across Northern Erie and Niagara
County through the early afternoon, with lighter amounts across
Orleans and Genesee Counties.

The shortwave trough will move across the eastern Great Lakes today
and into tonight. A SSW mean wind ahead of the trough axis will give
most of the region a quick break from snow showers this afternoon,
however as the 850mb trough axis approaches this afternoon and
eventually swings through tonight, lake bands will move back south
and intensify as convergence increases ahead of a cold front.

Fcst soundings become saturated with equilibrium levels over 10k
feet this afternoon/evening.

Off Erie...snow showers will pass through Niagara Frontier including
the Buffalo metro late this afternoon/evening. A similar effect is
expected off Lake Ontario as snow showers move south into the Tug
Hill region. Snowfall rates of one inch per hour are expected as the
lake bands pivot southward and pick up more moisture from the lakes.
Thunder is possible tonight as the lake bands become organized and
gain the best fetch off the lake. This will also cause snowfall
rates to increase. The evening commute for Buffalo metro will be
impacted as the band swings through. A winter weather advisory is in
effect for portions of the Niagara Frontier including Erie County.
As winds veer more tonight, the lake bands will set up shop across
the Southern Tier and Tug Hill Plateau.

Lake Effect Warnings are in effect for these regions through
Saturday morning. Snowfall totals will range from 4 to 7 inches in
the advisories to 6-12 inches in the lake effect warnings.

Winds will increase this afternoon and tonight and wind chill
values will likely reach the single digits overnight.


Organized lake effect snow bands east of the lakes Saturday morning
will diminish Saturday afternoon as surface high pressure, mid-level
ridging and warm air advection move over the eastern Great Lakes.
Lake induced equilibrium levels will fall toward 5kft weakening the
bands. Outside of the weakening lake effect snow, there remains a
chance of snow showers south of Lake Ontario into the Southern Tier
associated with a band of 925-700mb moisture pushing northeast along
the elevated warm front. Additional accumulations of 3-5 inches in
the lake bands with a chance of an inch or less elsewhere. Saturday
night, moisture and forcing along the warm advection axis is
forecast to diminish with any lingering light snow showers ending
resulting in just a band of broken clouds shifting northeast across
the state. Temps Saturday will again run below normal ahead of
approaching warm advection axis. Highs will only reach into the low
to mid 20s or about 10 degrees below normal. Lingering NW winds will
continue to create wind chills in the single digits to teens above
zero. Another cold night forecast Saturday night as the warm
advection will not be surface based. Lows will dip into the teens and
single digits.

Dry weather should then be the flavor of the day Sunday with warmer
temps closer to mid-Dec normals. Models do show a chance of some
limited snow or even rain/snow showers reaching into the western
Southern Tier late in the day. This would be ahead of the next weak
shortwave lifting across the Ohio Valley. Temps Sunday should reach
into the mid 20s in the North Country and low to mid 30s for western
NY. Widespread chance POPs then remain in the forecast for Sunday
night as the shortwave passes east along the NY/PA border. Column
temps should be cool enough for snow showers as overnight surface
readings fall into the teens east of Lake Ontario and mid 20s to
around 30 across WNY.


The transition to a more zonal flow regime be in full swing as we
move into next week. With much of the northern tier of the country
awash in a relatively mild modified Pacific airmass, temperatures
will run in the mid 30s to around 40 on Monday.  While this is
really only within a few degrees above normal for mid-December, it
will feel positively balmy compared to the recent cold weather.
Accompanying the mild temperatures will be a chance for showers
Monday into Monday night as the area will be within an area of broad
isentropic uplift ahead of a trough over the upper Midwest. With
temperatures across most areas remaining in the 30s into Monday
night, it is likely that we will see an elevation-dependent mix of
rain and snow showers.

Showers will become more likely on Tuesday as the aforementioned
trough approaches the forecast area. Ahead of this trough,
strengthening southerly flow will send temperatures surging into the
lower 40s, causing showers to remain all rain during the day. A
strong. A strong cold front will cross the lower Great Lakes Tuesday
afternoon, bringing gusty winds and sending temperatures tumbling
back into the 20s as we move through Tuesday night. This should
yield a robust lake response, bringing a return of lake effect snows
to areas east/southeast of the lakes Tuesday night into Wednesday.

Temperatures will continue on a roller coaster going into the second
half of the week. After a sub-freezing day on Wednesday,
temperatures will potentially warm back up into the upper 30s
Thursday, as a strong upper-level trough digging across the Rockies
and resultant surface cyclogenesis over the Great Plains pushes a
warm front northwards across the Great Lakes. This system will have
potential to bring a more significant warmup to the forecast area
Friday, along with a potential wind event, before temperatures fall
again over the next weekend.


-SN will move into BUF/IAG/ART this morning and IFR conditions are
likely. SSW winds will push lake snows mainly north and west of all
TAF locations this afternoon, with the exception of IAG which will
be close to these snow bands.

VFR with IFR in lake effect snow this evening and tonight. Expect a
few hours of heavy snow at BUF/IAG/ART this evening, then lake
effect should move to the south and JHW will be impacted.


Saturday...Mainly VFR. Lake effect snow showers mainly away from TAF
Saturday night and Sunday...VFR.
Sunday night through Tuesday...VFR/MVFR with a chance of snow


SW winds will increase this afternoon and small craft advisory
conditions are expected for the Lake Erie nearshore waters. Winds
will then increase across Lake Ontario resulting in small craft
conditions tonight into Saturday. The increase in winds will be
accompanied by renewed lake snows...which will be heavy on Lake Erie
and on the east end of Lake Ontario.


NY...Lake Effect Snow Warning from 10 PM this evening to 10 AM EST
     Saturday for NYZ007.
     Lake Effect Snow Warning from 10 PM this evening to 1 PM EST
     Saturday for NYZ006-008.
     Winter Weather Advisory from 4 PM this afternoon to 1 AM EST
     Saturday for NYZ010.
     Winter Weather Advisory until 10 PM EST this evening for
     Lake Effect Snow Warning from 7 PM this evening to 4 PM EST
     Saturday for NYZ019-020.
     Winter Weather Advisory from 7 PM this evening to 1 PM EST
     Saturday for NYZ012-085.
MARINE...Small Craft Advisory from 1 PM this afternoon to 1 PM EST
         Saturday for LEZ040-041.
         Small Craft Advisory from 7 PM this evening to 7 PM
         EST Saturday for LOZ042>045.



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