Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Buffalo, NY

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000 FXUS61 KBUF 190504 AFDBUF AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BUFFALO NY 1204 AM EST FRI DEC 19 2014 .SYNOPSIS... LOW LEVEL MOISTURE AND A SURFACE TROUGH ACROSS THE REGION WILL PRODUCE AREAS OF FREEZING DRIZZLE AND SNOW FLURRIES THROUGH TONIGHT WITH FREEZING DRIZZLE GRADUALLY TAPERING OFF FRIDAY AS HIGH PRESSURE SLOWLY BUILDS ACROSS THE REGION FRIDAY INTO SATURDAY. THE HIGH WILL EVENTUALLY BRING DRYING CONDITIONS WITH NEAR NORMAL TEMPERATURES THIS WEEKEND. A STORM SYSTEM DEVELOPING OVER THE GREAT LAKES CONTINUES TO LOOK POSSIBLE AROUND THE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY WHICH COULD BRING GUSTY WINDS AND RAIN CHANGING TO SNOW. && .NEAR TERM /THROUGH TODAY/... REGIONAL RADAR CONTINUES TO SHOW FAINT RETURNS ACROSS MUCH OF THE FORECAST AREA THIS EVENING AND THIS IS TRANSLATING TO WIDESPREAD OBSERVATIONS OF FREEZING DRIZZLE...THANKS LARGELY TO AN ABUNDANCE OF SHALLOW LOW LEVEL MOISTURE TRAPPED WITHIN A STALLED OUT SURFACE TROUGH UNDERNEATH A STRONG SUBSIDENCE INVERSION NEAR 850MB COUPLED WITH ONSHORE MOISTURE TRANSPORT ON CYCLONIC WEST-NORTHWEST UPSLOPE FLOW. WHILE RETURNS HAVE WEAKENED SOMEWHAT OVER THE LAST COUPLE OF HOURS...LITTLE HAS CHANGED IN TERMS OF THE BASIC METEOROLOGICAL SETUP...SO EXPECT TO CONTINUE TO SEE WIDESPREAD LIGHT PRECIPITATION ACROSS A SIGNIFICANT PORTION OF THE FORECAST AREA. WITH SUB-FREEZING SURFACE TEMPERATURES AND DRY AIR ABOVE THE -10C LEVEL...THIS PRECIPITATION IS LARGELY TAKING THE FORM OF FREEZING DRIZZLE...WITH FLURRIES MIXING IN AT TIMES. THE WIDESPREAD LOW CLOUD COVER WILL SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE DIURNAL TEMPERATURE SWINGS AND AS SUCH HAVE BUMPED UP THE OVERNIGHT LOWS BY A FEW DEGREES...WITH READINGS ONLY EXPECTED TO DIP INTO THE MID TO UPPER 20S. THE CLOUDY WEATHER WILL PERSIST THROUGHOUT THE DAY ON FRIDAY AS THE SURFACE TROUGH GRADUALLY WEAKENS IN PLACE IN THE FACE OF GRADUALLY ENCROACHING HIGH PRESSURE TO THE WEST. EVEN WITH THE TROUGH WEAKENING HOWEVER...MOISTURE WILL STILL REMAIN TRAPPED BENEATH AN EVER-STEEPENING INVERSION ALOFT...ENSURING A CONTINUATION OF THE GLOOMY WEATHER WE HAVE BEEN EXPERIENCING FOR THE BETTER PART OF A WEEK. DRIZZLE SHOULD TAPER OFF FOR THE MOST PART BY LATE MORNING WITH THE WEAKENING OF THE SURFACE TROUGH...THOUGH THE CHANCE FOR FREEZING DRIZZLE WILL PERSIST INTO THE AFTERNOON HOURS SOUTHEAST OF LAKE ONTARIO THANKS TO PERSISTENT NORTHWESTERLY FLOW. ONCE AGAIN THE CLOUD COVER WILL DAMPEN ANY DIURNAL TEMPERATURE SWINGS WITH HIGHS ONLY EXPECTED TO CREEP INTO THE UPPER 20S TO AROUND 30 WITH HIGHER ELEVATIONS REMAINING TRAPPED IN THE MID 20S. && .SHORT TERM /TONIGHT THROUGH SUNDAY/... HIGH PRESSURE WILL SLOWLY DRIFT ACROSS THE REGION THIS WEEKEND...SHIFTING FROM THE UPPER LAKES FRIDAY NIGHT TO NORTHERN NEW ENGLAND ON SUNDAY. 12Z NAM/GFS/RGEM GUIDANCE CONTINUES TO BE DRY WITH THE PASSAGE OF A COUPLE OF WEAK SHORTWAVES...SO HAVE REMOVED POPS AND OPTED FOR A DRY WEEKEND FORECAST. PROBABLY THE BIGGEST FORECAST CHALLENGE IS HOW MUCH CLOUD COVER WILL REMAIN...WITH A WEAKER BUT STILL PRESENT INVERSION AT A FEW THOUSAND FEET. EXPECT AT LEAST FRIDAY NIGHT TO BE MOSTLY CLOUDY...BUT ON SATURDAY BUFKIT SHOWS A STAGNANT FLOW WITH VERY SHALLOW MOISTURE BENEATH THE INVERSION. THIS MAY ALLOW THE LIMITED DECEMBER SUNSHINE TO CHIP AWAY AT THIS...WITH SOME BREAKS OF SUNSHINE SATURDAY. THE BEST CHANCE FOR THIS WILL BE EAST OF LAKE ONTARIO AND ACROSS THE NORTH COUNTRY. FOR SATURDAY NIGHT AND SUNDAY...EXPECT SOME BREAKS...BUT IN ALL MORE CLOUDS THAN SUN FOR THE UPCOMING WEEKEND. TEMPERATURES LOOK TO BE NEAR SEASONAL READINGS FOR THIS TIME OF THE YEAR...WITH HIGHS IN THE UPPER 20S TO LOWER 30S ON SATURDAY...AND A COUPLE DEGREES WARMER THAN THIS ON SUNDAY. && .LONG TERM /SUNDAY NIGHT THROUGH THURSDAY/... HIGH PRESSURE CENTERED NEAR MAINE WILL RIDGE BACK INTO OUR REGION SUNDAY NIGHT INTO MONDAY...BRINGING FAIR AND SEASONABLE WEATHER TO THE REGION. AFTER THIS A DEEPENING TROUGH ACROSS THE NATIONS MID-SECTION WILL LIFT A WARM FRONT SW-NE TOWARD OUR REGION ON MONDAY NIGHT OR TUESDAY. GFS/ECMWF/GGEM DIFFER ON THE TIMING OF THIS...BUT ALL HAVE THE FEATURE TO SOME EXTENT. THIS WILL BRING A CHANCE OF PRIMARILY RAIN SHOWERS...WITH AMOUNTS EXPECTED TO BE LIGHT. THINGS GET MORE INTERESTING...WITH A STRONG STORM SYSTEM LIKELY TO DEVELOP MID-WEEK. A CLOSED 500 MB LOW FORECAST TO BE NEAR MICHIGAN WEDNESDAY MORNING WILL PIVOT A STRONG SHORTWAVE AROUND IT WHICH WILL DEVELOP A STRONG SURFACE LOW FORECAST TO TRACK UP THE EASTERN STATES AND WRAP BACK INTO THE UPPER LOW. THIS GENERAL SCENARIO CONTINUES TO BE SUPPORTED BY 12Z GUIDANCE OF THE GFS/ECMWF/GGEM...WHICH IS ALSO IN LINE WITH THE PAST SEVERAL RUNS. A 12Z CONSENSUS IS A BIT WEAKER AND SLOWER DEVELOPING THE LOW...BUT STILL HAS A STRONG SYSTEM ACROSS SOUTHERN QUEBEC OR ONTARIO ON CHRISTMAS DAY. FOR OUR REGION...IT WEDNESDAY STILL LOOKS TO BE A RAINY AND WINDY DAY. CONSENSUS GUIDANCE STILL HAS OUR REGION PRIMARILY IN THE WARM SECTOR UNTIL THE LOW LIFTS TO THE NORTH WEDNESDAY NIGHT WHICH WILL ALLOW LINGERING PRECIPITATION TO MIX WITH SNOW. CHRISTMAS DAY LOOKS TO BE A WINDY DAY...WITH SOME LAKE ENHANCED AND/OR UPSLOPE SNOW SHOWERS WHICH MAY MIX WITH RAIN AT TIMES. 850MB TEMPS SHOULD ONLY BE -6 TO -8C...WHICH IS MARGINALLY COLD ENOUGH FOR SNOW. ALTHOUGH THIS GENERAL SCENARIO IS LIKELY TO PLAY OUT...THE SPECIFIC TRACK AND EVOLUTION OF THIS SYSTEM WILL DETERMINE OUR WEATHER...AND THESE SPECIFICS ARE STILL UNCERTAIN. THE MOST LIKELY IMPACT OF THIS SYSTEM STILL APPEARS TO BE STRONG TO POSSIBLY DAMAGING WINDS. 12Z GUIDANCE HAS BACKED OFF A BIT ON FORECAST WIND SPEEDS...BUT THIS COULD EASILY CHANGE IN FUTURE RUNS. THERE IS ALSO A POTENTIAL FOR ACCUMULATING SNOWFALL STARTING LATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT THROUGH CHRISTMAS DAY. GIVEN MARGINAL 850MB TEMPERATURES...THIS DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE A PROLIFIC SNOW PRODUCER. THE MOIST CYCLONIC FLOW AND UPSLOPING MAY BE ENOUGH FOR SOME SNOW ACCUMULATION...MOST LIKELY TO BE IN THE TRADITIONAL SNOW BELTS. HOWEVER THIS COULD CHANGE TOO IF MODEL CONSENSUS SHIFTS THE POSITION OF THE SURFACE LOW. THE POTENTIAL FOR SIGNIFICANT...OR ANY...ACCUMULATION IS STILL HIGHLY UNCERTAIN. AGAIN...IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT MODEL GUIDANCE IS LIKELY TO VARY FROM RUN TO RUN...AND SIGNIFICANT SHIFTS IN THE TRACK AND POSITION OF THE LOW ARE STILL VERY POSSIBLE WITH THE FORECAST STILL A LONG WAYS OFF. && .AVIATION /05Z FRIDAY THROUGH TUESDAY/... REGIONAL RADAR CONTINUES TO SHOW SUBTLE RETURNS INDICATING AREAS OF FREEZING DRIZZLE CONTINUING TO STREAM OFF OF THE LAKES AND ACROSS WESTERN AND NORTH-CENTRAL NEW YORK THIS EVENING. WHILE RETURNS HAVE WEAKENED SOMEWHAT OVER THE LAST COUPLE OF HOURS AND PRECIP HAS ENDED FOR THE TIME BEING AT SEVERAL SITES...THE OVERALL METEOROLOGICAL PICTURE HAS CHANGED LITTLE WITH AN ABUNDANCE OF LOW LEVEL MOISTURE THAT CONTINUES TO LINGER IN CONJUNCTION WITH A SURFACE TROUGH THAT WILL REMAIN IN PLACE THROUGHOUT THE FORECAST PERIOD. THUS EXPECT WIDESPREAD MVFR/IFR CIGS TO REMAIN IN PLACE THROUGHOUT MUCH OF THE PERIOD WITH IFR CONDITIONS PRIMARILY CONFINED TO HIGHER ELEVATIONS. FZDZ WILL REMAIN POSSIBLE THROUGH THE REST OF THE NIGHT ACROSS VIRTUALLY ALL OF THE FORECAST AREA AS FLOW REMAINS WEST-NORTHWEST...ONSHORE AND UPSLOPE. PRECIP SHOULD TAPER OFF AS WE MOVE THROUGH THE MORNING HOURS ON FRIDAY...THOUGH MVFR CIGS MAY HANG ON FOR MUCH OF THE DAY. THE ONE EXCEPTION WILL BE ACROSS PORTIONS OF THE NORTH COUNTRY INCLUDING KART...THIS AREA IS EXPECTED TO SEE CLEARING SKIES LATER IN THE FORECAST PERIOD AS DRIER AIR WORKS ITS WAY INTO THE AREA FROM QUEBEC. OUTLOOK... FRIDAY NIGHT...MVFR TO IFR WITH CHANCES OF FREEZING DRIZZLE OR LIGHT SNOW SHOWERS ENDING. SATURDAY TO MONDAY...VFR. TUESDAY...VFR/MVFR WITH A CHANCE OF RAIN SHOWERS. && .MARINE... WINDS AND WAVES HAVE SUBSIDED THIS EVENING AS LOW PRESSURE HAS MOVED FARTHER EAST AND AWAY FROM THE AREA WITH HIGH PRESSURE NOW STARTING TO BUILD INTO THE LOWER GREAT LAKES. ALL SMALL CRAFT ADVISORIES HAVE BEEN CANCELLED THIS EVENING AS WINDS AND WAVES ARE ALREADY DROPPING OFF ACROSS THE AREA. THIS AREA OF HIGH PRESSURE WILL USHER IN A PERIOD OF MORE TRANQUIL CONDITIONS ON THE LAKES FOR FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND AS IT MOVES OVER THE REGION. && .BUF WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... NY...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY UNTIL 8 AM EST THIS MORNING FOR NYZ001>008-010>014-019>021-085. MARINE...NONE. && $$ SYNOPSIS...SMITH/WOOD NEAR TERM...WOOD SHORT TERM...APFFEL LONG TERM...APFFEL AVIATION...WOOD MARINE...WOOD

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