Scientific Forecaster Discussion
Area forecast discussion
National Weather Service Buffalo New York
1122 PM EST Sat Feb 13 2016
the coldest airmass of the season will remain in place through
Sunday morning as bitterly cold air combines with a noticeable wind
to produce dangerously cold wind chill values. Widespread mainly
light lake effect snow showers will continue southeast of the lakes
through Sunday morning before slowly diminishing Sunday afternoon.
Temperatures will return to near average early next week with a pair
of systems possibly bringing some light snow to the region Monday
Near term /through Sunday/...
Lake effect snow will continue through the first half of Sunday.
Lake induced instability will steadily drop through Sunday morning
as middle level temperatures begin to warm and a subsidence inversion
strengthens and lowers. Despite the strong instability initially...
a short northwest fetch and very dry airmass will limit
accumulations. In addition...the temperatures in the cloud layer are
too cold for dendrites...with very small snowflakes being produced
which are not efficient at accumulating.
Off Lake Ontario...
Expect a wide spray of lake effect snow showers from Niagara to
Oswego counties through much of tonight. Snow showers will
occasionally extend inland across the northern Finger Lakes as well.
Overnight expect the lake snow west of Rochester to slowly taper off
as high pressure and subsidence begin to build over the western end
of the Lake. Lake effect snow will last longer from the eastern
suburbs of Rochester to Oswego County...with the latest mesoscale
model guidance suggesting modest accumulating snow will last through
late morning Sunday before tapering off as high pressure builds
over the eastern half of the lake.
Expect additional amounts of 2 inches or so overnight west of
Rochester and up to 4 inches east of Rochester where lake effect
snow showers will last longer and be more persistent. Areas east of
Rochester may pick up another 1-2 inches Sunday morning before the
lake snow weakens by midday. With this in mind have extended the
lake effect Snow Advisory for Monroe...Wayne...northern Cayuga...
Oswego counties through 1 PM Sunday. The advisory for Niagara and
Orleans County runs through 1 am Sunday.
Off Lake Erie...
Lake effect snow will remain weak through the rest of the night and
will focus mainly across Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties with a
very short fetch across Lake Erie and little upstream help from Lake
Temperatures will remain frigid with lows around 5 below on the lake
plains of western New York...being held up by lake modification and lake
effect clouds. The interior southern tier will drop to 10 to 15
below especially if any breaks in the clouds develop overnight. The
north country will have no lake influence which will allow the
bottom to drop out with lows of 20 to 30 below. Wind chills will
continue to run 20 to 30 below across much of the region...and as
low as 40 to 45 below across the north country.
On Sunday...the frigid temperatures will continue through the
morning before the coldest airmass retreats during the afternoon.
Expect highs in the high single numbers to low teens across western
New York...with single digits above and below zero east of Lake Ontario.
Winds will be relatively light with high pressure overhead...
bringing an end to the bitterly cold wind chills.
Short term /Sunday night through Tuesday night/...
focus for the first half of next week will be on the amplification
of a Pacific based middle-level trough and potential for development of
a winter storm tracking south then east of our forecast area. As
this trough digs into the deep south Monday night and Tuesday a
leading shortwave is forecast to cross the Great Lakes which could
touch of a weak surface low or surface trough leading to increasing
chances of light snow late Sunday night into Monday.
By Monday night and Tuesday models agree on the development of a
surface low over the southern Appalachians which will track somewhere
north along or just east of The Spine of the Appalachians. 12z GFS
and Gem models keep the track of the surface low along the I-95
corridor while the 12z ec tracks the low further west across the
Adirondacks. The east solution would keep our forecast area on the
cold side of the low with a p-type of all snow...while the ec
solution may spread some warm air aloft over central New York
leading to a potential for mixed precipitation or even plain rain
for a short time. Given the fairly good agreement of the thermal
profiles of the European model (ecmwf) and GFS Monday night and Tuesday...have
added the chance for some sleet for portions of the southern tier
northeastward across parts of The Finger lakes to the Eastern Lake
Tuesday night...the various guidance packages converge on lifting
the low north of Maine with some wrap around moisture allowing for
a chance of snow showers across western and central New York.
In terms of temperatures...Sunday night will still be quite cold
with lows ranging through the low single digits for most into the
negative single digits for the North County. An increasing south to
southeasterly flow ahead of the developing surface to our south will
help temperatures warm into the middle 20s Monday and Monday night up
to the middle 30s on Tuesday. As the low shift north across New England
cold advection will cool temperatures Tuesday night back into the middle 20s.
Long term /Wednesday through Saturday/...
trailing the Tuesday storm...lingering troughiness will keep chances
for winter weather in place midweek then a wavy zonal Pacific middle-
level flow looks to set up across the Continental U.S. Late in the week. This
Pacific flow will eventually seal off any Arctic air to the north
with temperatures then warming to above normal. On Wednesday...a
trailing weak clipper or surface trough looks to cross the Great
Lakes bringing a brief shot of colder air and chances for some light
snow showers. There may even be some lake enhancement southeast of
the lakes into Wednesday night as lake induced equilibrium levels
briefly climb to between 5 and 10kft.
Dry conditions are expected Thursday followed by a return to above
normal temperatures late in the week as low pressure tracks across
the Great Lakes. This latter system will also bring renewed
precipitation chances to our region...with any precipitation likely
changing over from snow to rain as the atmospheric column warms on
Friday and Friday night followed by an changeover back to chances
of snow Saturday with cooler flow in the wake of the low.
Aviation /06z Sunday through Thursday/...
a bitter cold northwest flow will continue to generate light lake
snows south and southeast of both lakes...where MVFR to IFR
conditions will be in place through the night. Much of this will be
due to lower visibilities in snow. Even kbuf and kiag will experience
MVFR to occasional IFR conditions as streamers from the upper Great
Lakes will make their way into the area. Only kart and the north
country will experience mainly VFR conditions through the night.
Late tonight and Sunday morning...lake effect snow will diminish
southeast of Lake Erie and at the west end of Lake Ontario with
conditions slowly improving to MVFR and then VFR. Lake effect snow
will persist longer southeast of Lake Ontario...with areas of IFR
through midday Sunday from just east of kroc to kfzy. This too will
slowly end Sunday afternoon with improvement to MVFR and eventually
Monday...VFR/MVFR with a chance of light snow.
Monday night and Tuesday...MVFR/IFR with snow likely possibly mixed
with rain in the afternoon.
Wednesday...MVFR/IFR with a chance of snow.
a brisk flow of progressively colder Arctic air will continue across
the lower lakes region before gradually weakening late tonight and
Sunday. Small Craft Advisory conditions will continue through Sunday
morning before high pressure builds over the lower lakes and brings
diminishing winds during the day Sunday.
The frigid airmass will combine with brisk winds and result in heavy
freezing spray on both lakes Erie and Ontario...for which heavy
freezing spray warnings will be in place through early Sunday
an Arctic airmass will be dropping across our region...with near
record breaking cold lasting through the weekend. Below are some
climate stats and records regarding this weekend.
Coldest temperatures last winter: -10f February 15th and 16th
Record low Saturday February 13th: -9f 1914
record low Sunday February 14th: -13f 1943
Record low maximum Saturday February 13th: 5f 1899
record low maximum Sunday February 14th: 5f 1979
Coldest temperatures last winter: -11f February 20th and 21st
Record low Saturday February 13th: -12f 1979
record low Sunday February 14th: -14f 1979
Record low maximum Saturday February 13th: 9f 1979
record low maximum Sunday February 14th: 6f 1979
Coldest temperatures last winter: -36f February 16th
Record low Saturday February 13th: -28f 1979
record low Sunday February 14th: -30f 1979
Record low maximum Saturday February 13th: 1f 1979
record low maximum Sunday February 14th: -1f 1979
New York...wind chill warning until 10 am EST Sunday for nyz001>008-
Lake effect Snow Advisory until 1 PM EST Sunday for nyz003>006.
Marine...heavy freezing spray warning until 7 am EST Sunday for lez040-
Small Craft Advisory until 5 am EST Sunday for lez040-041.
Heavy freezing spray warning until 7 am EST Sunday
Small Craft Advisory until 5 am EST Sunday for loz042.
Small Craft Advisory until 1 PM EST Sunday for loz043>045.