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Upstate/Eastern New York- Jan 5-7 Lake Effect Snow Event


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2 minutes ago, sferic said:

Hey guys,

 

Still snowing lightly in Cicero at 8:40PM even though radarscope pro and other radar apps show nada.

 

Is there a radar product that you can recommend that can pick up precip in situations like this?

 

Thanks!

Radarscope is probably one of the best options for that. It's something you'll just have to accept about living here. When the temps get into the teens like this, precip. often doesn't show up on the radars. They have trouble picking up on the limited moisture in the cold air (that is still enough to produce for us.) Also, not sure if you saw my post earlier, we're on the fringes of the 3 different radar areas in Upstate NY, so sometimes it appears as a black hole of no precip. no matter what radar you look at.

Still enjoying watching the flakes fall here as well.

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Here is a good explanation..

Lake effect snow clouds are relatively low in the atmosphere compared to rain and especially thunderstorms. Lake effect snow cloud tops are usually no higher than 10,000 feet. Compare this to a thunderstorm that can be a tall as 50,000 feet.

Weather radar starts out as a signal transmitted from the radar dome near the ground. The radar beam is shot out of the radar at a slight upward angle. This has to happen so the beam can radiate out away from the dome and so the return signals do not hit the ground at the radar site. If that happened there would be no radar image as you are used to seeing.

As the radar beam travels up and out at an angle, the radar beam travels higher in the atmosphere. By the time the radar beam is 50 miles from the radar site, the radar beam is 5,000 feet up in the air. At 90 miles out the radar beam is 10,000 feet high.

The low nature of lake effect snow means the weather radar beam can shoot right over the top of the lake effect snow and not “see it.” That is why you will often look out the window in the U.P. of Michigan and it is snowing hard. Then you look at a radar image, and it doesn’t show snow at your location. Snow chasers will watch the radar and never see the snow on the screen but they are surprised to learn how much fresh snow actually did fall.

https://www.snowtechmagazine.com/why-does-lake-effect-snow-not-show-up-on-the-radar/

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15 minutes ago, TugHillMatt said:

Radarscope is probably one of the best options for that. It's something you'll just have to accept about living here. When the temps get into the teens like this, precip. often doesn't show up on the radars. They have trouble picking up on the limited moisture in the cold air (that is still enough to produce for us.) Also, not sure if you saw my post earlier, we're on the fringes of the 3 different radar areas in Upstate NY, so sometimes it appears as a black hole of no precip. no matter what radar you look at.

Still enjoying watching the flakes fall here as well.

Your posts are great , Matt

 

I'm slowly acclimating and learning the meteorological nuances that are specific to this part of the state

 

What is you guess on high temps on Tuesday? Do you think we can stay in the single digits?

I know this is not the Adirondacks or Southern Tier but have there been days where temps in our area don't make it above zero?

 

Thanks again

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4 minutes ago, sferic said:

Your posts are great , Matt

 

I'm slowly acclimating and learning the meteorological nuances that are specific to this part of the state

 

What is you guess on high temps on Tuesday? Do you think we can stay in the single digits?

I know this is not the Adirondacks or Southern Tier but have there been days where temps in our area don't make it above zero?

 

Thanks again

Thanks! I am an educator, so I love talking about things and helping others/showing hospitality. :) Wolfie shared a great post as well in reference to the cloud tops.

It's quite rare to have a day where the highs don't get above 0. Maaaybe single digits. Days with highs in the teens are more common in the colder "cold outbreaks" of winter. Many in Upstate New York prefer those days in the 20s with a calm wind and fresh snow. Perfect for outdoor recreation! Low temps will usually fall below zero several times in a winter.

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1 minute ago, TugHillMatt said:

Thanks! I am an educator, so I love talking about things and helping others/showing hospitality. :) Wolfie shared a great post as well in reference to the cloud tops.

It's quite rare to have a day where the highs don't get above 0. Maaaybe single digits. Days with highs in the teens are more common in the colder "cold outbreaks" of winter. Many in Upstate New York prefer those days in the 20s with a calm wind and fresh snow. Perfect for outdoor recreation! Low temps will usually fall below zero several times in a winter.

Educator here too Matt, Math and Technology

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I’m staying at a friends house on East Bay (southeast corner of Lake Ontario.)The house is on a bluff and the winds tonight have been amazing. Just constant 45mph winds with heavy snow squalls as the roll convection bands just keeps moving through. It’s a different world on the lake.   

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5.8" today on 0.23 liquid equivalent. That's some serious ratio. 25:1.  Fake snow!  Looks wrapped up here.  Still haven't cracked 6" for a single event.  We had a 5" LES event back in early December.  Sad.

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3 hours ago, TugHillMatt said:

It's quite common for lake effect, especially at these temps, to be 20:1. Welcome to the land of lake effect FLUFF!

NW flow events are often 25-35:1 as predominant temps during NW flow events are colder than W/SW flow events. W/SW flow events average around 1:18-1:22 on average. I saw an event last year where Rochester got 1:43 ratios with pure fluff bombs.

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2 hours ago, wolfie09 said:

Here is a good explanation..

Lake effect snow clouds are relatively low in the atmosphere compared to rain and especially thunderstorms. Lake effect snow cloud tops are usually no higher than 10,000 feet. Compare this to a thunderstorm that can be a tall as 50,000 feet.

Weather radar starts out as a signal transmitted from the radar dome near the ground. The radar beam is shot out of the radar at a slight upward angle. This has to happen so the beam can radiate out away from the dome and so the return signals do not hit the ground at the radar site. If that happened there would be no radar image as you are used to seeing.

As the radar beam travels up and out at an angle, the radar beam travels higher in the atmosphere. By the time the radar beam is 50 miles from the radar site, the radar beam is 5,000 feet up in the air. At 90 miles out the radar beam is 10,000 feet high.

The low nature of lake effect snow means the weather radar beam can shoot right over the top of the lake effect snow and not “see it.” That is why you will often look out the window in the U.P. of Michigan and it is snowing hard. Then you look at a radar image, and it doesn’t show snow at your location. Snow chasers will watch the radar and never see the snow on the screen but they are surprised to learn how much fresh snow actually did fall.

https://www.snowtechmagazine.com/why-does-lake-effect-snow-not-show-up-on-the-radar/

Nov 2014 had cloud tops at 20k feet, definitely not normal for a LES event. It's more common to get higher cloud tops in early season events as the temperature disparity is greater early on.

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5 minutes ago, rochesterdave said:

I’m pro tier 1 and get it. 9.99/year

Same. I also like the app on the apple store called "MyRadar". It shows Canadian radar and the entire great lakes in one loop. You're able to see upstream trends, wind direction, and moisture that radarscope doesn't allow. I highly recommend everyone to download as it provides things that radarscope cannot.

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13 minutes ago, BuffaloWeather said:

NW flow events are often 25-35:1 as predominant temps during NW flow events are colder than W/SW flow events. W/SW flow events average around 1:18-1:22 on average. I saw an event last year where Rochester got 1:43 ratios with pure fluff bombs.

Yeah, I thought it might be even higher than that. Rochester really gets the high ratio stuff with those northerly winds or teakettle events.

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13 minutes ago, DeltaT13 said:

This is pretty impressive looking stuff tonight (for a NW flow). I’m kind of sad that of all night for me to be at this nice cabin my home appears to be getting really nice lake effect. You can’t win. 
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6 minutes ago, TugHillMatt said:

Yeah, I thought it might be even higher than that. Rochester really gets the high ratio stuff with those northerly winds or teakettle events.

Yeah Buffalo gets its seasonal totals with 1-2 big events like we saw yesterday. Rochester is synoptic/lake enhanced but what makes them get more than Buffalo yearly is the teakettle events off Ontario, they really add up quick with high ratios. Syracuse is a better location for synoptic being closer to the east coast storms and the recording station being north Syracuse they do well with NW flow events when it hits them.

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1 minute ago, BuffaloWeather said:

Yeah Buffalo gets its seasonal totals with 1-2 big events like we saw yesterday. Rochester is synoptic/lake enhanced but what makes them get more than Buffalo yearly is the teakettle events off Ontario, they really add up quick with high ratios.

So when you think about it...Buffalo actually might average more snow than Rochester if you melt it down to precip. totals. lol

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