Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Buffalo, NY

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000
FXUS61 KBUF 261802
AFDBUF

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BUFFALO NY
102 PM EST THU FEB 26 2015

.SYNOPSIS...
LIGHT SNOW OVER THE SOUTHERN TIER WILL MOVE EAST TODAY.  SOME LAKE
EFFECT WILL AFFECT THE SOUTHERN SHORE OF LAKE ONTARIO AS WELL.
HOWEVER...NEITHER AREA IS EXPECTED TO SEE MUCH IF ANY ACCUMULATING
SNOW.  OTHERWISE...IT WILL REMAIN GENERALLY DRY WITH TEMPERATURES
WELL BELOW NORMAL INTO THE WEEKEND. A MORE POTENT SYSTEM MAY BRING
WIDESPREAD SNOWFALL SUNDAY INTO SUNDAY NIGHT ALONG WITH SEASONABLE
TEMPERATURES.

&&

.NEAR TERM /THROUGH FRIDAY/...
SURFACE HIGH PRESSURE RIDGING EASTWARD ACROSS SOUTHERN ONTARIO WILL
MAINTAIN A COLD NORTHEASTERLY WIND AND WILL PRODUCE LIGHT LAKE
EFFECT SNOW OVER...MAINLY THE SOUTHWEST CORNER OF THE LAKE THIS
AFTERNOON. A TINY LAKE BAND HAS BEEN NOTED THROUGHOUT THE
MORNING...AND EXPECT IT TO SLOWLY FOLLOW THE LOW LEVEL FLOW AS THE
RIDGE MOVES SLOWLY SOUTH OF THE REGION TONIGHT. THUS THE BAND SHOULD
MOVE SOUTH INTO THE SHORELINE LATER THIS AFTERNOON OR
EVENING...BECOMING EVEN WEAKER AND MULTI-BANDED WITH NORTH-
NORTHWEST FLOW OVERNIGHT...AND EVENTUALLY OFFSHORE AGAIN BY FRIDAY
MORNING.

THE REMAINDER OF THE REGION SHOULD SEE MAINLY CLOUDY SKIES AND/OR
VERY LIGHT SNOW AT TIMES. THE CURRENT SNOW OVER THE SOUTHERN TIER
IS MOSTLY INCONSEQUENTIAL/NOT ACCUMULATING AND DUE TO THE
DEPARTING BAROCLINIC LEAF FROM STORM MOVING QUICKLY OFF THE MID
ATLANTIC COAST. JUST AS THIS ENDS...MORE MOSTLY IRRELEVANT LIGHT
SNOW MAY MOVE INTO THE REGION AHEAD OF A WEAK SHORTWAVE TROUGH
OVER THE OH VALLEY THIS AFTERNOON.

THIS TOO SHOULD COME TO AN END THIS EVENING...AND ASIDE FROM THE
SHORELINE LAKE EFFECT WEST OF KROC...EXPECT LOW/UPSLOPE CLOUDS AND
A CONTINUATION OF THE ANOMALOUSLY COLD AIRMASS PROMOTING LOWS NEAR
ZERO F...AND BELOW ZERO OVER THE SOUTHERN TIER AND EASTERN FINGER
LAKE REGION.

ON FRIDAY...THE AREA WILL GENERALLY BE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF THE
WELL ESTABLISHED OH VALLEY RIDGE...WITH SOME MOISTURE TRAPPED
BELOW ABOUT 2000FT. THIS WILL LEAD TO VARYING LOW CLOUD
CONDITIONS...WITH A SLOW IMPROVEMENT THROUGHOUT THE DAY. ONGOING
WEAK LAKE EFFECT SHOULD BE CONFINED TO LAKE ONTARIO ITSELF BY
THIS TIME IN TEA-KETTLE FASHION...POSSIBLY EDGING INTO THE
EASTERN LAKE ONTARIO SHORELINE DURING THE AFTERNOON.

&&

.SHORT TERM /FRIDAY NIGHT THROUGH SUNDAY NIGHT/...
WHILE TEMPERATURES WILL REMAIN BELOW NORMAL DURING THIS PERIOD...
THERE WILL BE A DEFINITE WARMING TREND THROUGHOUT THE LOWER GREAT
LAKES. THIS WILL COME AS A RESULT OF SUBTLE RIDGING WITHIN THE
SOUTHERN BRANCH OF A SPLIT LONGWAVE PATTERN THAT WILL BULGE
NORTHWARD FROM THE OHIO VALLEY DURING THE COURSE OF THE WEEKEND. THE
CORRESPONDING SFC HIGH WILL THEN ACT AS A HEAT PUMP AS IT WILL
EVENTUALLY CIRCULATE MILDER H925-85 AIR NORTHWARDS OVER OUR REGION.
THIS PROCESS WILL BE TEMPORARILY SHORT-CIRCUITED BY THE END OF THE
WEEKEND THOUGH...AS A PASSING COLD FRONT WILL USHER IN A SHORT LIVED
BATCH OF COLDER AIR. THE DAY TO DAY DETAILS...

THE CENTER OF THE LARGE SFC HIGH WILL DRIFT ACROSS THE UPPER OHIO
VALLEY FRIDAY NIGHT. THIS WILL LEAD TO MAINLY CLEAR SKIES AND
LIGHT WINDS OVER THE REGION...WHICH WILL TRANSLATE INTO A COLD
NIGHT WITH LOWS RANGING FROM ZERO TO 10 BELOW. THE EXCEPTION TO
THIS SCENARIO WILL BE EAST OF LK ONTARIO WHERE BACKING LOW LEVEL
WINDS WILL PUSH THE NUISANCE LAKE SNOW SHOWERS NORTH ACROSS THE
TUG HILL PLATEAU. THIS ACTIVITY SHOULD WEAKEN DURING THE COURSE OF
THE NIGHT AS THE ALREADY LOW CAP IS FORECAST DROP TO JUST A FEW
THOUSAND FEET.

HIGH PRESSURE WILL DRIFT BY JUST TO OUR SOUTH ON SATURDAY...AND THIS
WILL SUPPORT PLENTY OF BRIGHT SUNSHINE. ONCE AGAIN...THE EXCEPTION
WILL COME EAST OF LK ONTARIO WHERE SCATTERED LIGHT LAKE DRIVEN SNOW
SHOWERS COULD PRODUCE A COATING OF ACCUMULATION. OTHERWISE...OUR
REGION WILL START TO UNDERGO A MODERATION IN TEMPERATURES AS THE
LAST DAY OF FEBRUARY WILL FEATURE AFTERNOON HIGHS IN THE TEENS AND
LOWER 20S. COMPARED TO RECENT DAYS...NOT A BAD DAY AT ALL.

SPEAKING OF THE END OF THE MONTH...THE PERSISTENT COLD WILL ALMOST
CERTAINLY CLOSE OUT FEBRUARY 2015 AS ONE OF...IF NOT THE COLDEST
MONTH IN THE RECORDED HISTORY OF OUR CLIMATE SITES WHICH COVERS 144
YEARS IN BUFFALO AND ROCHESTER...AND 65 YEARS IN WATERTOWN. MORE
DETAILS IN THE CLIMATE SECTION BELOW.

ON SUNDAY...THE AFOREMENTIONED SFC HIGH MOVE WILL MOVE OFF THE EAST
COAST WHILE A STRONG SHORTWAVE DIGGING SOUTH ACROSS THE UPPER
MISSISSIPPI VALLEY WILL PUSH A WAVY FRONTAL BOUNDARY ACROSS SOUTHERN
ONTARIO. THE DEEPENING SOUTHERLY FLOW BETWEEN THESE TWO FEATURES
WILL QUICKLY MOISTEN THE LOWER BOUNDARY LAYER DURING THE MORNING
HOURS WITH LIGHT SNOW LIKELY BREAKING OUT AS THE DAY PROGRESSES.
GIVEN ONLY NOMINAL UPPER LEVEL JET SUPPORT...THE MAIN FORCING FROM
THIS SCENARIO WILL BE THE ISENTROPIC LIFT GENERATED FROM THE WARM
ADVECTION. WHILE WIDESPREAD SNOWFALL WILL BE LIKELY BY MID-LATE
AFTERNOON...THE FORCING IS NOT EXPECTED TO PRODUCE ANYTHING MORE
THAN A FEW INCHES OF SNOW ACCUMULATION. THIS WILL BEAR WATCHING
THOUGH AS HIGHER SNOWFALL AMOUNTS WOULD REQUIRE ANOTHER ROUND OF
WINTER WEATHER HEADLINES. TEMPERATURES SUNDAY WILL CLIMB TO BETWEEN
25 AND 30...WHICH WILL FEEL BALMY AFTER OUR RECENT STRETCH OF BITTER
COLD.

THE WIDESPREAD SNOW WILL LIKELY CONTINUE SUNDAY NIGHT AS THE FRONTAL
BOUNDARY WILL GRADUALLY PUSH ACROSS THE FORECAST AREA. A FEW MORE
INCHES OF SNOW COULD ACCUMULATE.

&&

.LONG TERM /MONDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY/...
THE SPLIT LONGWAVE PATTERN OVER THE LOWER 48 LEADING INTO THIS
PERIOD WILL PHASE EARLY IN THE WEEK AS SEVERAL ROBUST MID LEVEL
DISTURBANCES WILL DIVE SOUTH ALONG THE WEST COAST. THIS WILL PUMP UP
A RIDGE DOWNSTREAM ACROSS THE EASTERN HALF OF THE COUNTRY...WHICH
WILL INITIALLY SUPPORT FAIR WEATHER ACROSS OUR REGION.

AS WE PUSH INTO TUESDAY THOUGH...PACIFIC BASED ENERGY WILL EJECT OUT
OF THE INTERMOUNTAIN WEST WITH CYCLOGENESIS TO FOLLOW OVER THE
PLAINS. WHILE THERE IS STILL SOME UNCERTAINTY AS TO THE STRENGTH AND
TRACK OF THE RESULTING SFC LOW...THE MAJORITY OF THE ECMWF AND GFS
BASED ENSEMBLES FAVOR A SOLUTION WHERE A RELATIVELY WEAK CYCLONE IS
FORECAST TO PUSH ACROSS THE MID WEST TUESDAY NIGHT BEFORE CROSSING
OUR FORECAST AREA ON WEDNESDAY. THIS WOULD BE A RELATIVELY `MILD`
STORM TRACK THAT WOULD EVENTUALLY LEAD TO SOME MIXED PRECIPITATION.
HAVE HELD ONTO HIGH CHC POPS LATE TUESDAY INTO WEDNESDAY. THE PCPN
WOULD START OFF AS LIGHT SNOW...THEN GIVEN THE DESCRIBED STORM
TRACK...WOULD TRANSITION TO MIXED PCPN TUESDAY NIGHT AND WEDNESDAY.

&&

.AVIATION /18Z THURSDAY THROUGH TUESDAY/...
MVFR CIGS ASSOCIATED WITH MINOR LAKE EFFECT WILL CONTINUE TO
LINGER ALONG/JUST SOUTH OF LAKE ONTARIO. OTHERWISE MID/HIGH CLOUD
WILL DOMINATE AHEAD OF AN UPPER LEVEL DISTURBANCE. THIS SYSTEM
WILL LARGELY PASS SOUTH OF THE FORECAST AREA TODAY...BRINGING
LIGHT SNOW TO THE SOUTHERN TIER BUT WITH LITTLE IMPACT ELSEWHERE.
WEST-NORTHWESTERLY FLOW DEVELOPING BEHIND THE DISTURBANCE MAY MOVE
THE LAKE EFFECT ALONG THE SHORELINE OVERNIGHT...BUT MAINLY WEST OF
KROC. A SLOW IMPROVEMENT TO MORE WIDESPREAD VFR CONDITIONS ARE
EXPECTED ON FRIDAY AS LOW LEVEL MOISTURE IS SLOWLY MIXED OUT.

OUTLOOK...
SATURDAY...VFR WITH A CHANCE OF MVFR/IFR IN LAKE EFFECT SNOW
SHOWERS SOUTHEAST OF LAKE ONTARIO.
SUNDAY...MVFR/IFR WITH SNOW LIKELY.
MONDAY...MVFR WITH SNOW SHOWERS...THEN IMPROVING TO VFR.
TUESDAY...LOWERING CLOUDS TO MVFR/IFR WITH A WINTRY MIX.

&&

.MARINE...
WINDS ACROSS LAKE ONTARIO WILL BE NORTHEASTERLY EARLY TODAY AS HIGH
PRESSURE RIDGES ACROSS EASTERN CANADA. WESTERLY FLOW WILL FRESHEN TO
AROUND 15KTS ON FRIDAY AS AN UPPER LEVEL DISTURBANCE SLIDES ACROSS
THE LAKES BEFORE ANOTHER AREA OF HIGH PRESSURE AREA SETTLES OVER THE
LAKES BY SATURDAY.

&&

.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  45.9        2015 (DATA THROUGH 2/25)


ROCHESTER   1  64.8        1958
            2  58.3        1960
            3  46.5        2007
            4  44.7        2015 (DATA THROUGH 2/25)


--- BUFFALO NEW YORK HAS REMAINED AT OR BELOW FREEZING SINCE
JANUARY 30TH. BELOW IS A LIST OF LONGEST CONSECUTIVE DAYS AT OR
BELOW FREEZING IN BUFFALO`S HISTORY.

STATION: RUN LENGTH END DATE

BUFFALO45 DAYSFEB 8 1977
41 DAYSMAR 8 1978
 34 DAYS FEB 10 1985
31 DAYSFEB 24 1901
28 DAYSJAN 12 1881
 27 DAYS FEB 25 2015

--- 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 2/25)

THE GREATEST NUMBER OF DAYS IN A MONTH THAT HAVE MINIMUM TEMPERATURES
FALL BELOW ZERO IS FEBRUARY 1979...AND ALSO JANUARY 1994.

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...NONE.
MARINE...NONE.

&&

$$

SYNOPSIS...WCH/ZAFF
NEAR TERM...WCH/ZAFF
SHORT TERM...RSH
LONG TERM...RSH
AVIATION...WCH/WOOD/ZAFF
MARINE...WCH
CLIMATE...THOMAS






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