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BuffaloWeather

Upstate/Eastern New York

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Well it's that time again. Everyone's favorite thread of the year. First flakes will be flying in a few weeks if the law of averages wins out. It looks like we will see Neutral ENSO conditions this winter as of this writing. I have not updated these charts for the last 2 winters. An early guess would be 5-10% above seasonal norms as weak/neutral ENSO usually results in our best winters.

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d8mTLO5.png&key=a1cec4a8a403fd932d6d546c

The 6-10/8-14 outlook looks normal/slightly above normal

610temp.new.gif

814temp.new.gif

FIRST SNOWFALL IN FALL:    

BUFFALO

AVERAGE First Flake Oct 24
First Measurable (.1" or more) Nov 8
First Inch Nov 18
 

EARLIEST EVER

First Flake Sep 20, 1956
First Measurable (.1" or more) Oct 6, 1991
First Inch Oct 10, 1906
 
LATEST EVER First Measurable (.1" or more) Dec 18, 2015
  First Inch Jan 3, 1923

ROCHESTER

AVERAGE First Flake Oct 23
First Measurable (.1" or more) Nov 8
First Inch Nov 20
 

EARLIEST EVER

First Flake Sep 20, 1956
First Measurable (.1" or more) Oct 12, 2006
First Inch Oct 24, 1960
 
LATEST EVER First Measurable (.1" or more) Dec 10, 1948
  First Inch Dec 28, 2015

 

 

 

 

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Saw new thread as I was posting this to old one. Lot of talk about the most epic Buffalo storms. Here’s a list with some of the more less know storms.

We all know the recent epic storms Nov 14, Dec 10, Oct 06, Dec 01, Nov 2000, Dec 95, Jan 85... But the history of lake storms beyond that is pretty limited in information accessibility. Here’s some more notable ones that I think would fall into the epic classifications...

Jan 99 airport recorded 13 consecutive days of lake effect snow dropping 60.2”

Jan 82 airport had 28.8” in just over 24 hours. 50mph winds and -60 wind chills.

Dec 76 3 day storm totals ranged from 38.8” at the airport to 50-60” from South Buffalo to Hamburg. Hamburg reported 48” during the first 36 hour storm.

Nov 51 storm totals of 18” from NT to Lockport and 24”+ in Hamburg. Only on list for this factoid. Storm was so electrified lightning hit a factory downtown blowing apart its brick chimney.

Dec 45 3 day storm total of 36.6” at the airport. 68” in Lackawanna and 71” in Lancaster.

Dec 37 3 day totals ranged from 12” in South Buffalo to 36”+ over North Buffalo and Amherst. Storm also brought high winds that piled drifts 10-15’. Red Cross had to snowshoe food and supplies to hundreds trapped in their homes in the north towns.

Oct 30 2 day snow totals of 21” in South Buffalo to 48” in Angola.

Dec 27 24 hour storm dropped 13” in the city with 36”-48” from East Aurora to Hamburg.

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8 hours ago, SouthBuffaloSteve said:

Saw new thread as I was posting this to old one. Lot of talk about the most epic Buffalo storms. Here’s a list with some of the more less know storms.

We all know the recent epic storms Nov 14, Dec 10, Oct 06, Dec 01, Nov 2000, Dec 95, Jan 85... But the history of lake storms beyond that is pretty limited in information accessibility. Here’s some more notable ones that I think would fall into the epic classifications...

Jan 99 airport recorded 13 consecutive days of lake effect snow dropping 60.2”

Jan 82 airport had 28.8” in just over 24 hours. 50mph winds and -60 wind chills.

Dec 76 3 day storm totals ranged from 38.8” at the airport to 50-60” from South Buffalo to Hamburg. Hamburg reported 48” during the first 36 hour storm.

Nov 51 storm totals of 18” from NT to Lockport and 24”+ in Hamburg. Only on list for this factoid. Storm was so electrified lightning hit a factory downtown blowing apart its brick chimney.

Dec 45 3 day storm total of 36.6” at the airport. 68” in Lackawanna and 71” in Lancaster.

Dec 37 3 day totals ranged from 12” in South Buffalo to 36”+ over North Buffalo and Amherst. Storm also brought high winds that piled drifts 10-15’. Red Cross had to snowshoe food and supplies to hundreds trapped in their homes in the north towns.

Oct 30 2 day snow totals of 21” in South Buffalo to 48” in Angola.

Dec 27 24 hour storm dropped 13” in the city with 36”-48” from East Aurora to Hamburg.

I could have sworn there was one in the 50s that was pretty huge. The mid 50s featured quite a few big events in the book. Would have to double check when I get home. As you can see South Buffalo to Hamburg is the usual jackpot zone for the larger events. 

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I'm intrigued by the CPC outlook above. Much of the guidance I have looked at at this early juncture would point to an early onset to winter like last year and a milder second half. One of those drivers appears to be early PV disruptions tgat have already occurred as right now it is split...im also not seeing PAC jet really taking shape as of now either. I'm hopeful this winter is similar in snowfall to last year without all the quick thaws.

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1 hour ago, Thinksnow18 said:

I'm intrigued by the CPC outlook above. Much of the guidance I have looked at at this early juncture would point to an early onset to winter like last year and a milder second half. One of those drivers appears to be early PV disruptions tgat have already occurred as right now it is split...im also not seeing PAC jet really taking shape as of now either. I'm hopeful this winter is similar in snowfall to last year without all the quick thaws.

Have you seen this page before?

https://www.weather.gov/buf/wxhis.html

NOVEMBER 5

 

1982 
 

A lake-effect squall dumped 12.3 inches of very heavy snow in the metropolitan Buffalo area. Traffic was tied up for hours late in the afternoon and considerable tree damage was reported due to the weight of the snow. The 12.3 inches broke a record for the date and also broke a record for the biggest snowfall so early in the season. 

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41 minutes ago, BuffaloWeather said:

Have you seen this page before?

https://www.weather.gov/buf/wxhis.html

NOVEMBER 5

 

1982 
 

A lake-effect squall dumped 12.3 inches of very heavy snow in the metropolitan Buffalo area. Traffic was tied up for hours late in the afternoon and considerable tree damage was reported due to the weight of the snow. The 12.3 inches broke a record for the date and also broke a record for the biggest snowfall so early in the season. 

I remember that because I was in 3rd grade at Ohio elementary in North Tonawanda and it snowed heavily for about 15 minutes...i was stoked, only to find out the 1/2" we got in southern Niagara paled I to comparison to what my grandparents received in kaisertown! It was my very first time being disappointed in the weather...the first of MANY!!! 

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1 minute ago, Thinksnow18 said:

I remember that because I was in 3rd grade at Ohio elementary in North Tonawanda and it snowed heavily for about 15 minutes...i was stoked, only to find out the 1/2" we got in southern Niagara paled I to comparison to what my grandparents received in kaisertown! It was my very first time being disappointed in the weather...the first of MANY!!! 

It's an awesome page. You can see so many forgotten lake effect events with it. 

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2005           NOVEMBER 17

The first lake effect event of the season brought over a foot of heavy, wet snow to the areas downwind of Lake Erie while areas east of Lake Ontario received seven to ten inches. Off Lake Erie, the heavy snow, falling at the rate of 2" per hour, concentrated within an eight mile wide stip from the lake shore near Silver Creek and Angola, across Hamburg, Orchard Park, East Aurora, Elma and Alden. The weight of the wet snow caused several buildings to collapse, including a large bowling in Hamburg. Specific snow totals included: 18" at Elma; 17" at Marilla; 16" at Orchard Park and Hamburg; 14" at Bennington; 13" at East Aurora; 9" at Carthage and Harrisville; 8" at Darien and 7" at Beaver Falls.

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1 minute ago, Thinksnow18 said:

This link is crack for the weather enthusiasts on this forum, especially the snow hounds...productivity will be taking a backseat today...

NOVEMBER 22

 

1956 
 

Nov. 21st-22nd...The Thanksgiving Day snowstorm on the 22nd followed a westerly gale on the 21st (fastest mile 56 mph from the southwest) striking heaviest from central Erie and Wyoming counties southward. Four feet of snow was reported from the Springville area. (Only a trace was received at the Buffalo Airport.) 

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NOVEMBER 23 1970 

The season's first big lake-effect snow (off Lake Erie) hit western New York early in the day. The storm began in a band from Lackawanna to 15 miles southward that stretched inland as far as Batavia. It later shifted into Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties. The Thruway was closed at first from Buffalo to the Pennsylvania line then later in the day from Buffalo to Rochester. Areas hardest hit were central Erie, northern Wyoming, and Genesee counties. A State of Emergency was declared in the town of Evans in the face of two feet deep snow and drifts estimated to 12 feet. Snow depths of nearly three feet were reported in Hamburg. Strong winds added to the virtual isolation of some of the traditional snowbelt areas to the south and east. Buffalo and most communities to the north escaped the brunt of the snow.

November has some huge events, especially 2nd half.

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NOVEMBER 30

1975 
 

Lake snows--Nov. 29th-30th...Following a blast of very cold arctic air from central Canada the lake storm began on the 29th dumping 1 to 2 feet of snow south of Buffalo. During the early morning hours of the 30th the storm moved northward and struck northern Erie county including the city of Buffalo. It dumped 1 to 2 feet of snow over the city in just a few hours before moving farther northward to Grand Island, the Tonawandas, and Niagara Falls. The snow and wind in the city created near blizzard conditions nearly paralyzing morning rush hour traffic and closing many area schools. During the mid afternoon the storm moved southward through the city again making evening rush hour driving conditions even worse than the morning. The storm continued southward and stalled overnight south of Buffalo leaving totals up to 4 feet of snow in parts of southern Erie county. Numerous schools and main roads were forced to close. States of Emergency were declared in the towns of Evans and Angola. 

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A forgotten storm for city of Buffalo

DECEMBER 1

1979 

A lake-effect snow storm from November 30th through December 1st dumped two to three feet of snow on the south towns from the 29th to the 30th then moved northward into metropolitan Buffalo. At the Buffalo Airport, 20.1 inches of snow was measured from 7am on the 30th to 7am on the 1st. This was the second greatest 24 hour snowfall on record. Before the onset of the storm only 0.1 of an inch had been recorded for the season. The heavy snow stranded hundreds of motorists and forced the town of Lancaster to declare a State of Emergency. The weight of the snow collapsed part of a roof on a large building in that town. Areas to the north of Buffalo received very little snow from the storm.

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DECEMBER 10

1937 

Today's snow storm in north Buffalo (Hertel Ave. section, the Tonawandas, Sheridan Drive, Eggertsville, and other communities) was probably the most sensational and costly in the history of the Buffalo area. Losses to business, cost of opening up the sections snowed under, loss of wages to hundreds of employees, etc., from the storm conditions beginning on the 8th, were estimated at $2,000,000, although the real figure will never be known. At least one other death was attributed to this storm, making four for the week. Four to six days after the storm, full recovery had not been brought about, in spite of herculean efforts day and night; but most of the main  highways were open by Sunday, the 12th. The storm of the 10th was made much more severe by the fact that heavy snow (13.5 inches on Hertel Ave. or twice as much as downtown) fell in the same districts on the 8th. Snowfall (accumulated from both storms) on the ground at Hertel Ave. and Colvin at 3pm of the 10th was 37 inches; and on Crescent Ave. at Oakwood, 31 inches. Yet it is a fact that the real "heavy snow" district in the northern suburbs was north of Hertel Ave.; one of our observers living in that section reported that the actual fall of snow from 3pm of the 9th to 3pm of the 10th was up to his waist. Snowfall was commonly three or four feet deep on the level in such suburbs as Kenmore, and five to eight feet more in great drifts. Many stalled or parked automobiles were completely snowed under. Some of the drifts were so bad that they could not be removed by machinery.

WOW!

One resident in the Sheridan Dr. section telephones the Weather Bureau Office on the afternoon of the 10th, "drifts are ten feet high outside our windows." Eggerstville was also one of the places to report great drifts. River Rd. through Tonawanda was closed several days by the drifts. Airplane traffic at the Buffalo Airport was at a standstill for five days. It was not until the 13th that the field was sufficiently cleared of snow for planes to land or take off. 

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DECEMBER 17 1983

Lake effect snowsqualls raged on the 17th and 18th. A narrow band of snow dumped up to three feet of snow in places, forcing a ban on unnecessary travel in a handful of communities. The heavy snow, often falling at the rate of two inches per hour, fell on Lackawanna, Hamburg, East Aurora, Orchard Park, and West Seneca. In West Seneca, where snow totaled 30 inches, a roof of an automobile repair shop collapsed damaging the cars inside. In the town of Hamburg, the weight of snow caused the collapse of the roofs of 12 garages at an apartment complex. Portions of Route 5 and the Thruway were closed on the 17th and remained so until the 18th. Schools in the affect areas were closed on Monday the 19th.

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56 minutes ago, vortmax said:

Exactly a 30 degree difference from 24 hours ago in KROC (88/58). Quite the change!

Wait until Friday night when we will looking at a 50 degree variance from Tuesday's heat.

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3 hours ago, BuffaloWeather said:

I would say the rate of a big time event is about every 2-3 years for the Southtowns and every 5-6 years for Metro Buffalo. 

Again I think at all depends what you consider a “big time” event. If it’s 3’ plus theres no way it’s every 2-3 years unless your considering Coleen or Holland a Southtown. To me it’s more like every 5-6 years in the southern metro and southtowns and 10-12 years in the northern metro and north towns.

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3 hours ago, WesterlyWx said:

Again I think at all depends what you consider a “big time” event. If it’s 3’ plus theres no way it’s every 2-3 years unless your considering Coleen or Holland a Southtown. To me it’s more like every 5-6 years in the southern metro and southtowns and 10-12 years in the northern metro and north towns.

I guess it makes a big difference if 30" is the cut off instead of 3'. My southern limit is Eden out to East Aurora.

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Non-weenie question—what makes the difference between a large event and a “big time” event?

In December for instance, is it correlated to the greater contrast between the lake temperature and the potency of the cold air advecting in? Is it persistent wind direction and instability?

I’m sure it’s a combination of things, but as I track LES more I’m wondering what’s the most important signal to look out for in the medium to long range.

 

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5 minutes ago, WxWatcher007 said:

Non-weenie question—what makes the difference between a large event and a “big time” event?

In December for instance, is it correlated to the greater contrast between the lake temperature and the potency of the cold air advecting in? Is it persistent wind direction and instability?

I’m sure it’s a combination of things, but as I track LES more I’m wondering what’s the most important signal to look out for in the medium to long range.

 

The single most important thing to look for is cold air. If you get that over warm lakes you get clouds and thus lake effect. Everyone's definition of a "big time" event is different. For us in lake effect belts our definition is somewhere around 30-35"+ from one single event. In other regions that is virtually unattainable.  Many posters even in this sub forum may have a different characterization of what a big event is. Many include wind, temp, wind chill, snow depth into the factoring of what is considered a big event.

A large event for me would be 1-2' of snow. A big time event 30"+

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7 minutes ago, BuffaloWeather said:

The single most important thing to look for is cold air. If you get that over warm lakes you get clouds and thus lake effect. Everyone's definition of a "big time" event is different. For us in lake effect belts our definition is somewhere around 30-35"+ from one single event. In other regions that is virtually unattainable.  Many posters even in this sub forum may have a different characterization of what a big event is. Many include wind, temp, wind chill, snow depth into the factoring of what is considered a big event.

A large event for me would be 1-2' of snow. A big time event 30"+

Ok, so focusing just on snowfall rates and accumulation, seeing an Arctic front drop down over a above normal temp lake is a recipe for LES. Is that why some of the bigger events seem to be earlier in the season? As lake temperatures drop, the potential fades unless you get a persistent wind direction? 

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12 minutes ago, WxWatcher007 said:

Ok, so focusing just on snowfall rates and accumulation, seeing an Arctic front drop down over a above normal temp lake is a recipe for LES. Is that why some of the bigger events seem to be earlier in the season? As lake temperatures drop, the potential fades unless you get a persistent wind direction? 

Yeah that is correct, but also because Lake Erie is usually frozen by late January. Ontario it does not matter as much as it's so deep and never has to worry about freezing.

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1 hour ago, BuffaloWeather said:

The single most important thing to look for is cold air. If you get that over warm lakes you get clouds and thus lake effect. Everyone's definition of a "big time" event is different. For us in lake effect belts our definition is somewhere around 30-35"+ from one single event. In other regions that is virtually unattainable.  Many posters even in this sub forum may have a different characterization of what a big event is. Many include wind, temp, wind chill, snow depth into the factoring of what is considered a big event.

A large event for me would be 1-2' of snow. A big time event 30"+

I agree with you 1-2’ would be a large event. 2-3’ is a big time event from me, and. 3’ plus event is epic for me. 

I think for the northtowns it may be slightly less with anything over 2’ being epic thus why the 20” storms in January seemed amazing especially with how frequent they were. 

To me I don’t think there’s been an epic event since Nov 2014. Would be awesome to see an epic one this year to keep us at our average of 5-6 years in the southtowns ;)

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14 hours ago, WxWatcher007 said:

Ok, so focusing just on snowfall rates and accumulation, seeing an Arctic front drop down over a above normal temp lake is a recipe for LES. Is that why some of the bigger events seem to be earlier in the season? As lake temperatures drop, the potential fades unless you get a persistent wind direction? 

There are a Lot of moving parts to having the perfect setup for heavy LES. 2 of the keys in my opinion are relative humidity and unidirectional wind vectors (no shear). There have been many occasions where the wind vector was right, the cold air at 850 MB was more than 13° c difference between the lake temp and the air above however the air at all level was too dry. Subsequently we've also witnessed having the cold air aloft and the humidity but there's great amount a of shear at different levels above the lakes. That's what makes forecasting LES so difficult. And what makes following so fun.

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