Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Buffalo, NY

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159
FXUS61 KBUF 161944
AFDBUF

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Buffalo NY
244 PM EST Mon Jan 16 2017

.SYNOPSIS...
Clouds will increase through the afternoon as a warm front lifts
northward through the Ohio Valley. Light precipitation will reach
Western New York this evening, spreading eastward across Central New
York tonight; and with surface temperatures around the freezing mark
there will be a period of light freezing rain. As the warmer air
floods northward Tuesday and Tuesday night the precipitation will
change over to plain rain.

&&

.NEAR TERM /THROUGH TUESDAY/...
High pressure is centered over the Delmarva Peninsula early this
afternoon. A southerly flow is occuring on the back side of this
high bringing milder air northward which will push our surface temps
into the mid to upper 30s with MOS consensus suggesting a few spotty
readings of 40/41. Visible satellite shows cirrus clouds continue to
increase ahead of an 850mb warm frontal zone that runs from low
pressure centered over eastern Kansas northeast to the I-80
corridor. There are some elevated returns or virga along this
boundary showing up on the Buffalo radar which should not be
reaching the surface due to large surface dewpoint depressions.

Tonight, the surface low is forecasted to deepen while lifting to
about the southern end of Lake Michigan ahead of a sharp mid level
shortwave. Ahead of this low, a 50 knot low level jet will shift
into the Ohio River Valley with a long fetch of Gulf Moisture. Model
soundings show this low level jet will advect a nose of warm air
overriding the surface where 850mb temps will warm above 0C. Surface
temperatures are forecast by the consensus of models to dip to or
below the freezing mark. This setup is favorable for freezing rain
with a short period of sleet mixing in at the start. Most locations
will see roughly 2-3 hours of light freezing rain before surface
temperatures across western NY warm above freezing leading to a
changeover to plain rain. 12z models are generally agreeing on very
light accumulations of a trace to a tenth of an inch of ice across
western New York and much of central NY. Soil temperatures from
Mesonet sites show 2in temps of 32-24 and road surface temps along
the NY Thruway are all reporting above freezing temperatures which
may make it tough for ice to accumulate but certainly can not rule
at least pockets of ice accumulation given the forecast parameters.

Tuesday, The surface low will shift across the state of Michigan
with the associated surface warm front shifting northeast across
western and much of central New York. The North County will be the
last to see the arrival of a wintry mix. Most locations will also
see about a 2-3 hour window of light freezing rain which could start
with a little sleet. Most of the North County will then see a
transition to plain rain by around Noon. The exception to this will be
in the Saint Lawrence River Valley which always holds onto the cold
longer that the rest of the North Country especially with a
northeast wind. The upper SLV could see a quarter to a third of an
inch of ice accumulation through Tuesday. Freezing Rain Advisories
are in effect across all counties except for Jefferson and Lewis.
Those two counties are under a Winter Weather Advisory as the warm
nose is a bit thinner there which could allow a light sleet
accumulation to occur at the onset.

Freezing rain aside, mesomodel QPF blend yields plain rain totals
close to a half an inch. Temperatures will also run above normal
across WNY with most locations seeing at least 40 by the afternoon
with Lake Erie Lakeshores possibly pushing into the upper 40s under
downslope flow.

&&

.SHORT TERM /TUESDAY NIGHT THROUGH FRIDAY NIGHT/...
A low amplitude split flow found across the country at the start of
this period will amplify as we work our way through the week...as an
anomalously strong 190kt East Asian jet will slam the West Coast
with several robust shortwaves. This will carve out a broad trough
over the wrn states...which in turn will lead to an amplification of
a downstream ridge over the eastern states. The result will be above
normal temperatures normal temps across our forecast area with
nothing more than some leftover pcpn Tuesday night into Wednesday.

The pcpn early in the period will be supported by a shortwave within
the northern branch of the split flow. This feature...seen in WV
imagery over the high plains of Montana at 18z today...will track
east and eventually reinforce a mid level trough left behind in the
wake of an initial southern stream shortwave. While there could be a
short break in the pcpn between these features Tuesday evening...the
character of the night will be wet. Despite the pcpn being more
`showery` over the western counties...have raised pops to
categorical in that area to accompany the already 100 pops further
east. Despite the expectation of some fairly widespread rain
though...QPF will be under a quarter inch in most areas. The only
potential problem with the pcpn will be across the North Country
where overnight temps could settle into the lower 30s...thereby
posing the risk for a short period of freezing rain.

On Wednesday...while ridging building across the Lower Great Lakes
will bring an end to any leftover rain showers by midday...a wealth
of moisture will be trapped below 5k ft beneath a subsidence
inversion. This should keep the day shrouded by clouds with weak
terrain induced lift possibly generating a little drizzle from time
to time. Temperatures will reach the mid to upper 30s...although
some spots over the western counties could tickle 40.

A ridge axis to our south and west will support fair dry weather
Wednesday night...as temperatures will lower to within a couple
degrees of freezing.

Fair dry weather will persist Thursday and Thursday night...as
ridging will amplify over the Lower Great Lakes. This will be
accompanied by some weak warm advection...so temperatures Thursday
afternoon should be able to reach into the 40s across the majority
of western New York. A little more cloudiness over the eastern Lake
Ontario region will likely keep that area in the mid 30s.

Conditions will then deteriorate Friday afternoon and night...as a
weakening shortwave will track northeast across the forecast area.
Will maintain chc pops to cover this light pcpn event...which again
could include some spotty freezing rain (esp across the North
Country).

&&

.LONG TERM /SATURDAY THROUGH MONDAY/...
A highly amplified split flow will be found across the continent
during the period with the Great Lakes region being dominated by
Pacific modified air within the southern branch. While this will
keep above normal temperatures in place over our region...the period
will be highlighted by what could be a soaking to problematic rain
on Monday. More on this in a moment.

As we open this period on Saturday...a weak mid level shortwave and
its attendant sfc trough will stall over our region. Given the
consistency between the various operational packages that depict a
swath of relatively deep moisture that will accompany the weak
lift...have add low chc pops to our area for some light rain. The
silver lining to the more pessimistic pcpn forecast is that it will
be quite mild. Temperatures Saturday afternoon are expected to climb
well into the 40s...with some of the valleys west of the Finger
Lakes approaching 50.

Ridging should become dominate over our forecast area on Sunday...
but do not let the improving trend fool you. A deep closed low over
the Lower Mississippi Valley on Sunday will open the door for rich
GOMEX moisture to stream northwards across the Ohio Valley towards
our region. As we proceed through Sunday night into Monday...the
large storm system will drift northeast to the Upper Ohio valley.
While this will shift the origins of the sub tropical plume to the
Caribbean and Gulf stream of the western Atlantic...it will still be
directed at our forecast area. This will set the stage for what
could be a significant rain event for our region on Monday.

The stacked storm system will be quite dynamic as it nears our
region on Monday...with strong upper level jet dynamics and a
distinct divergent upper level flow helping to produce deep lift
over our region. This should lead to widespread rain over our
region...with the influx of sub tropical moisture enhancing the
potential for moderate to heavy rain.

There could also be strong downsloping winds between Lake Erie and
the Chautauqua Ridge later Sunday night into Monday...as southeast
low level jet of 50 kts near the top of the inversion is being
forecast to be in place.

&&

.AVIATION /20Z MONDAY THROUGH SATURDAY/...
VFR flight conditions will remain in place this afternoon thanks to
high pressure centered over the DELMARVA. Expect light southerly
winds across the region and increasing high clouds from the
southwest.

Tonight a storm system will track from the Plains to near the
southern tip of Lake Michigan. A warm front and low level jet ahead
of this low will send moisture northeast across our region. Below
freezing surface temperatures at the onset may allow for 2-3 hours
of light freezing rain before surface temperatures warm above
freezing leading to a changeover to plain rain. Have included FZRA
where chances are highest and left it out or indicated VCSH where
confidence is lower/patchy.

Tuesday expect flight conditions to deteriorate to MVFR and then IFR
once the plain rain moves in and a warm front lifts over our region.
These conditons are expected to last through much of the day as the
airmass is exceptionally moist.

Outlook...

Tuesday night and Wednesday...IFR with showers transitioning to some
drizzle and fog.
Wednesday night through Friday...Mainly VFR.
Friday night and Saturday...chance of rain and some MVFR/IFR.

&&

.MARINE...
High pressure centered over the Delmarva will continue to advance
off the east coast through the afternoon with a light south to
southwest flow to around 10 to 15 knots. A warm front will cross the
lakes Tuesday, and south to southeasterly winds will increase to 15
knots or so through the day. Higher waves will largely remain
offshore or on the outer reaches of the nearshore zones of Lake
Ontario through the day. Small craft potential remains to marginal
at this range to include an advisory. Conditions will then remain
below advisory levels Tuesday night through the rest of the week.

&&

.CLIMATE...
The main story for next week and beyond will be the extended
period of above normal temperatures not only in our region, but
for much of the eastern 2/3 of the nation. Over the next two
weeks, a strong closed low will remain parked over the Bering
Straits, forcing a strong Pacific East Asian jet to extend farther
east than normal. This will continue to bring a parade of Pacific
systems into the western United States, while also supporting
zonal flow and a flat ridge downstream across the central and
eastern part of the country. The westerly flow across the
continent will support strong Chinook warming off the Rockies,
with warmth spreading to the east coast and even well north into
southern and central Canada.

The warmth will last for another 12 days or so, but there is a
significant pattern change brewing beyond that. A Sudden
Stratospheric Warming event has just occurred in the northern
hemisphere. These events occur when planetary waves propagate
vertically into the stratosphere, with wave breaking and dampening
processes acting to rapidly warm the stratosphere over the high
latitudes and greatly distort the Stratospheric Polar Vortex.

This warming and disruption in the stratosphere has been shown in
numerous studies to slowly feed back into the troposphere, with a
strong tendency for high latitude blocking to increase about 2
weeks after the warming takes place. High latitude blocking
increases the ability of polar air to spread southward into the
mid latitudes, and increases the chances of cold and wintry
weather locking in for a longer period of time.

It appears the long range guidance is beginning to capture this
idea, with the GEFS and NAEFS ensembles suggesting a more highly
amplified flow starting late this month, with a ridge developing
over Alaska and the West Coast while a deep longwave trough
begins to establish across central and eastern North America. The
developing ridge in Alaska may also promote a period of cross
polar flow, draining frigid Siberian air into northern Canada.
GEFS ensembles also support a more negative NAO and AO pattern
towards the end of the month. Putting all this together, it
appears the pattern should become much colder and more wintry
around January 27-29. Past stratospheric warming events suggest
this cold pattern may last for quite some time, and may support
the potential for periods of well below normal temperatures by the
end of the month and first half of February. Stay tuned.

&&

.BUF WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
NY...Winter Weather Advisory from 7 AM Tuesday to 4 AM EST
     Wednesday for NYZ007-008.
     Freezing Rain Advisory from 4 AM to 4 PM EST Tuesday for
     NYZ005-006.
     Freezing Rain Advisory from 1 AM to 1 PM EST Tuesday for
     NYZ003-004-013-014.
     Freezing Rain Advisory from 8 PM this evening to 10 AM EST
     Tuesday for NYZ001-002-010>012-019>021-085.
MARINE...None.

&&

$$

SYNOPSIS...SMITH
NEAR TERM...SMITH
SHORT TERM...RSH
LONG TERM...RSH
AVIATION...SMITH
MARINE...SMITH
CLIMATE...HITCHCOCK



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