Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Buffalo, NY
FXUS61 KBUF 161853
Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Buffalo NY
153 PM EST Thu Feb 16 2017
Lingering lake effect snows will diminish this evening and overnight
as a ridge builds in across the region. High pressure will bring
fair weather and unseasonable warmth to the area for the weekend and
into early next week.
.NEAR TERM /THROUGH FRIDAY/...
A large upper-level low is departing into the Canadian maritimes
while ridging is building in across the upper Great Lakes. The cold
airmass behind the departing low pressure system continues to
support lake effect snows southeast of the lower Great Lakes.
However, these showers will continue the weakening trend through the
late afternoon and evening with the drying synoptic airmass and
lowering inversion heights with ridging subsidence pushing in to the
area. The lake effect headlines have been canceled. The wrap
around moisture that was supporting pure synoptic/upslope snow
into the Tug Hill region is greatly diminishing this afternoon
as the low departs to the east. The associated Winter Weather
Advisory has been canceled. Outside of the lake effect snows,
areas of mixed sunshine will continue to break through late this
afternoon, with cold temperatures in the low to mid 20s.
Tonight, lake effect snows southeast of the lower lakes will become
even weaker and more scattered, with little to no additional snow
accumulation expected. Temperatures will fall into the teens, with
even some upper single digits possible in the North Country where
clearing skies and deep snowpack will make for decent radiational
Friday will bring fair weather to the region as the ridge axis moves
across the forecast area. Temperatures will start to recover, with
some mid 30s surging back into western NY in the lee of the ridge
axis, with cooler temperatures in the mid to uppers 20 linger in the
North Country. Low cloud cover will start to break out, with with an
area of high clouds moving across the region.
.SHORT TERM /FRIDAY NIGHT THROUGH SUNDAY NIGHT/...
The expansive upper level ridge currently over the central portion
of the country will be nearly overhead by Saturday morning, with
ongoing low level warm air advection continuing Friday night into
Saturday morning. In terms of weather, the first noticeable thing
will be early overnight lows, at least over far Western NY, with a
warming trend lasting into Saturday as the warmest air at lower
levels peaks overhead.
There are some subtleties in the weather that may not be picked
up by models with this type of pattern. From a temperature
standpoint, the recent fresh snowpack over portions of WNY will
need to melt. This will result in a delayed warmup on Saturday
for portions of the Southern Tier and Eastern Lake Ontario
regions. Have dropped temperatures a few degrees where the
expected deepest snowpack is located, but allowed some downslope
warming in other regions. The resulting high temperatures on
Saturday will be highly variable. Overall, expect 40s in
currently snow covered regions while maxing out in the low to
mid 50s in portions of the Genesee Valley.
Another issue... melting snow together with the cool lakes and
abundant trapped low level moisture may result in low clouds and at
least some patchy fog late Friday night and Saturday morning.
Eventually this should mix out, but those areas that see fog may
experience lower max temperatures on Saturday than currently
Finally, approaching the microscale, it may get a little breezy NE
of the lakes, or at least Lake Erie during the day. This may have a
double whammy local effect on immediate Buffalo area temperature,
with possible AM fog and then cool air streaming off the lower 30F
water in the afternoon.
Saturday night and Sunday...the warmest air aloft heads east as a
surface low races east across northern Ontario Saturday and into
Quebec Saturday night. Cooler air will seep back into the region
For Sunday. Daytime temperatures will still be well above normal,
but about 5-10 degrees below Saturday`s high temperatures.
In terms of precipitation for the weekend, look east toward the Tug
Hill for a stray shower on Sunday. Even here, atmospheric moisture
content is confined to the lowest 5000`. A more likely scenario is
some drizzle or low clouds in upslope regions only.
.LONG TERM /MONDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY/...
Above normal temperatures will continue through the first half of
next week as Pacific-sourced air shifts across the northern tier of
the CONUS sealing off any significant arctic air intrusions. While
there is high confidence that temperatures will be above seasonal
averages, model guidance disagrees significantly on the timing of
the next shortwave. The warmest temperatures should be just ahead of
this shortwave, with a 00Z model consensus slightly slower than
previous guidance. Tuesday is likely to be the warmest day, but
there is quite a spread in GEFS 2-meter temperature plumes
suggesting the potential for warmer (or cooler) temperatures for
This variance in recent guidance has lead to using a blend of
guidance for temperatures during this period which still averages
out to a several day stretch where temperatures will feel more like
late March/Early April than mid-February. Forecast highs are in the
mid 40s to low 50s Tue-Wed...slightly cooler on Mon. Lows on Monday
and Tuesday night may not even drop below freezing across much of
Western New York, with lows in the mid-upper 20s across the Eastern
Lake Ontario region. For the most part, it will be a dry pattern
with a small chance of showers with the shortwave Tuesday into
.AVIATION /19Z THURSDAY THROUGH TUESDAY/...
Lake effect snows will slowly diminish late this afternoon and
evening. Most TAF sites will trend to MVFR cigs outside of the more
scattered lake snows. IFR CIGS will remain common at JHW with moist
upslope flow into the higher terrain of the western Southern Tier.
By Friday, low cloud cover slowly scatter out with increased daytime
heating, with most locations seeing flight conditions trend to VFR,
while JHW will become MVFR.
Friday...A chance of snow showers/MVFR southeast of Lake Ontario...
otherwise mainly VFR.
Saturday... Patchy morning fog in WNY otherwise VFR.
Sunday and Monday...VFR.
Tuesday...Chance showers. Mainly VFR with MVFR possible.
Small craft worthy northwesterly winds will continue on the lower
Great Lakes through this evening. Winds will slowly weaken overnight
into Friday morning as high pressure builds across the lakes. Light
winds and wave action are expected for the weekend as high pressure
takes hold and keeps fair weather in place.
MARINE...Small Craft Advisory until 7 PM EST this evening for LEZ040-
Small Craft Advisory until 7 AM EST Friday for