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BuffaloWeather

Upstate/Eastern New York

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...A BAND OF HEAVY LAKE EFFECT SNOW WILL AFFECT NORTH CENTRAL
ERIE...EASTERN NIAGARA AND SOUTHWESTERN ORLEANS COUNTIES...

At 1052 AM EST, A band of lake effect snow was producing snow fall
rates of up to 2 inches per hour along a line extending from just
north of Downtown Buffalo, through North Buffalo, Amherst, and out
toward Middleport.

Winds in excess of 30 mph are possible with this band of lake effect
snow, which will cause widespread blowing and drifting of snow.

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5 minutes ago, AppsRunner said:

Meant to type something up last night… but I guess this will have to do. I’ve been away from the LES action for a little bit so take it with a grain of salt.

 

 

 

Awesome write up, thanks for taking the time to do this!  Stay warm in the ice box...

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3 or 4 fluffy inches, over hours and hours, does not really justify headlines. Who knows, airport is west side so we can see if this nonsense verifies. 

I feel guilty taking up bandwidth on this as our BUF tards are getting their storm of the year (decade?). 

That band sure consolidated and means business- waaay sooner than anticipated 

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4 minutes ago, tim123 said:

It sure has verified before. I have got 3 4 inches in walworth from Erie. 

Maybe the elevation from Erie to Walworth isn't as much of a factor vs. more SW from Erie to Chili?

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5 minutes ago, ayuud11 said:

I feel left out man, Nothing but flurries out here in Cheektowaga....

Typed that too soon, +SN right now!!

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11 minutes ago, AppsRunner said:

 

Map below, but for Erie:

KBUF: 20”

Dunkirk: 18”

Hamburg: 29”

Batavia: 16”

2019_LESMap_Updated.thumb.png.912e0c48fab7e0469778f91e665110d3.png

 

Feel free to ask any other thoughts. Since I’m in the icebox that is Iowa, I have a decent amount of free time over the next couple days.

 

I wonder what makes you think Syracuse  gets into the action? Is that more frontal and upslope? I just don’t see any NW component to this round. Despite having a huge H directly to our west (normally nw) but I guess the upper low to our N just dominates this flow. 

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Just now, BuffaloWeather said:

Wow, this is fantastic, Thank You! Can you post your map for Erie? Also, what are your thoughts on the lake ice increasing on Erie during tomorrow and Thursday? Any possible thunder in the bands? 

I don't have a fancy template lying around for that area right now, but I can throw something together here in a minute.

There will certainly be some ice increase over the lake with such cold temperatures... which is why I'm a little nervous my forecast is too aggressive. There have been a few studies that show there's still significant latent/sensible heat fluxes with thin ice cover, so I think that there's going to be some lake-effect regardless of if ice cover increases. Satellite looks basically completely ice free near Sandusky/Toledo where the National Ice Center is analyzing ice cover. If I remember correctly, the NAM/3k NAM use that data for their lake ice information, which means your hi-res guidance isn't going to do particularly well in a situation like this. In fact, you can already see hints of it on the NAM overnight tonight, where the west half of Erie has the same temperature as the actual ground:

NAMNSTGL_sfc_temp_018.png

I remember an event off Ontario in 2014 where the models essentially thought the whole lake was frozen (hint: it wasn't fully covered) and spit out almost no QPF. That case didn't have nearly as good of a thermal profile as we have with this event. There are additional impacts that limited ice cover could cause, like if new fricitional convergence zones can set up that are harder to forecast. 

There's always a chance for thundersnow in these events, with such steep lapse rates and a fat CAPE profile it seems likely we get at least a few strikes over the next couple days. 

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Just now, ayuud11 said:

This is really looking good for the Metro area since most models don't have the band cranking till late tonight.

Cranking in Williamsville as well!!! 

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5 minutes ago, tim123 said:

Brockport Hamlin area have got a foot off Erie before. I have seen almost all of monroe get 6 inches before from Erie. Doesn't happen alot but it does in rare cases

Brockport can do ok.  Most of what you are talking about is more of a hybrid setup with an arctic front dropping through and intensifying the Erie band.  Straight lake effect does not directly impact Rochester with warning criteria, it just doesnt. , I don't know how else to convince you.  I mean you live in Wayne County, I live in the West Side of Monroe county...and have for the last 17 years.  Which person might have a better handle on how much snow Lake Erie drops here?  

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2 minutes ago, rochesterdave said:

I wonder what makes you think Syracuse  gets into the action? Is that more frontal and upslope? I just don’t see any NW component to this round. Despite having a huge H directly to our west (normally nw) but I guess the upper low to our N just dominates this flow. 

More of a case of just broadbrushing the southern edge. Winds will eventually swing a bit more WNW/NW'erly for a brief period Thursday night/Friday morning before things fully shut off. You can kind of see the same thought in the BUF map. I probably should've adjusted Cuse out of the 4-8" but I still think they have potential at the end of the event. 

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Looks like winds are dropping a little. Have been 230 most of the morning now dropping off to 250. Band is looking incredible right now! Just catching some fringe bursts at the moment but it’s coming!

8888a9aabde99936e3408934951d6747.jpg


.

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11 minutes ago, SouthBuffaloSteve said:

Looks like winds are dropping a little. Have been 230 most of the morning now dropping off to 250. Band is looking incredible right now! Just catching some fringe bursts at the moment but it’s coming!

8888a9aabde99936e3408934951d6747.jpg


.

Yea can confirm the 250 as its impacting Cheektowaga right now, we were missing out earlier with that 230 wind.

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Recent update from BUF 

Quote
Currently, a cold front crossing the area is near the Eastern
Lake Ontario region this morning. Some light snow is forming
along the frontal boundary and expect this to have continued
impacts east of Lake Ontario with 1-5 inches.

First a quick lake effect summary - the main impacts though
this evening will be over Buffalo NE to the Northtowns and into
Western Orleans County. The Southtowns should be mostly
unaffected by this through tonight.   Now the details...

The main focus has *very* quickly turned to the long
anticipated lake effect event and eventual extreme low
temperatures and wind chills later this week. A blossoming lake
band has already formed NE of Lake Erie but with a stout cap
near 7000`. Visible imagery shows numerous horizontal rolls all
converging into a single band near long point - a signal that
this isn`t going anywhere fast - until the arctic boundary moves
in later this evening. With this in mind, upped the timing for
the warning NE of Lake Erie (Northern Erie County) and upgraded
Niagara and Orleans to a warning. There will be a tight gradient
in snow amounts and overall conditions, with areas south and
east of the airport seeing little weather - even some sunshine,
while areas to the NW get pummeled with periods of blinding
snow. Snow rates may be on the order of 1-2"/hr, particularly
while the airmass aloft is still relatively warm and crossing
the dendritic growth region. Put in some initial snow amounts of
3-6" for today, but these might be on the low side if the band
remains in a steady state. The band *should* move a little to
the north in the afternoon.

This evening, the arctic front plows through and the band may
break up or move around a bit like an uncontrolled end of a fire
hose, before settling down over the Buffalo Metro area, the
airport, and ENE into NW Genesee, southern Olean and even into
Monroe County where an advisory was for overnight into
Wednesday.

Aloft, 850mb temperatures are already down to -14C per AMDAR
with upstream RAP analysis showing an -18C contour already
moving toward the west end of Lake Erie. These should drop will
drop to near -25C across WNY and to -20C east of Lake Ontario by
Wednesday morning. Lake induced equilibrium levels are expected
to reach around 11kft, resulting in the potential for heavy
lake effect snow. Winds funneling down Lake Erie from between
240-250 degrees will continue to put the lake effect band
northeast of the lake. Heavy lake effect snow with blowing snow
conditions is expected for the Buffalo Metro area through the
morning commute on Wednesday. Wind will start to pickup early in
the morning as the deep polar low moves closer to the area,
resulting in a tightening pressure gradient. Lows tonight will
be in the single digits across the entire area, except for some
areas of the Western Southern Tier will be a few degrees below
zero. Snowfall tonight northeast of Lake Erie, including for the
Buffalo Metro area will be 4 to 8 inches. Snow amounts will be
extremely challenging to both forecast and measure. Forecasting
is complicated by changing ice conditions and movement on Lake
Erie, a "dust" like snow that cannot form crystals due to cold
temperatures and long transport from strong winds in the
boundary layer.

What is known is that this will result in significant blowing
and drifting snow. Compounded with temperatures falling to 0F
overnight, this will create a hazardous to dangerous situation
for any one ill-prepared for being in the outdoors. Motorists
should be urged to stay off the roads, and if absolutely
necessary, take an emergency kit - see recent posts on social
media for further guidance.

East of Lake Ontario, the general widespread snowfall from the
area of low pressure to the east, will taper off through the
night, and transition to lake enhanced snow. Snow will
transition to lake effect off of Lake Ontario through the early
morning on Wednesday, and with a southwest wind, will focus the
band northeast of the lake. Expect 4 to 8 inches of snow
accumulation, with the greatest amounts expected over the Tug
Hill.

 

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11 minutes ago, SouthBuffaloSteve said:

Panic looks like it’s setting in. Already 180+ closings. Many schools already canceled for Wednesday and Thursday...


.

love me some panic

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Enjoy this event WNY folks. I'll be watching from the sidelines in the Ohio snowbelt. Those sw'erly bands are always impressive. The western basin is pretty much ice covered so LES in this area is about over barring any major warmth to melt the ice cover. The open areas referenced in the western basin are from the strong southwesterly winds pushing the ice offshore as it is still thin. The majority of the central basin is open for business. This should be a great one for you guys in the BUF area. 

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