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


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HiRes is still showing several hours of snow showers off Lake Erie tonight.  Nothing major but 2-3" with the colder temps the fluff adds up.  BUF is not interested at all only calling for scattered flurries.  Seeing a few returns lighting up over Erie so who knows, maybe a little appetizer before the big one!  These are through midday tomorrow only.

les13pm.png

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With the AFD this morning and how it reads I’m kinda shocked they didn’t pull the trigger in a lame snow warning. It’s extremely pin point and they give out a locked 240 wind for the entirety of the event and up to 9” overnight with 5-8 more on Thursday. Metro Buffalo out to corfu will be the heaviest accumulation, in their verbiage, with lightning up to 20 miles away from the lake. 

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9 minutes ago, Thinksnow18 said:

With the AFD this morning and how it reads I’m kinda shocked they didn’t pull the trigger in a lame snow warning. It’s extremely pin point and they give out a locked 240 wind for the entirety of the event and up to 9” overnight with 5-8 more on Thursday. Metro Buffalo out to corfu will be the heaviest accumulation, in their verbiage, with lightning up to 20 miles away from the lake. 

I’m not. Have you looked at model runs this morning? I can’t find one model that puts out more than 8-10” even with ratios anywhere. They’ve backed way off of their totals since yesterday and I’m pretty sure it has to do with that costal storm moving closer and disrupting the flow. To me this is gonna be a low end warning event with 8-12” MAX. 

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Channel 2 ,4, and 7 “in house” models are showing the band barely ever making it to Buffalo. Keeps it locked over the Southtowns the entire time from Me to at times grazing South Buffalo Steve. We know the bands always land up 5 miles or so north with these events when the lake is still so warm but it’s gonna be really close for north of the Airport I think. 

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52 minutes ago, lakeeffectkid383 said:

Channel 2 ,4, and 7 “in house” models are showing the band barely ever making it to Buffalo. Keeps it locked over the Southtowns the entire time from Me to at times grazing South Buffalo Steve. We know the bands always land up 5 miles or so north with these events when the lake is still so warm but it’s gonna be really close for north of the Airport I think. 

Weird right? I fought that battle yesterday and found out they’re gibberish. On that note the NWS is really locked in that 240 vector. But with lake effect you never know.

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...Significant Lake Snows Northeast of Lakes Erie and Ontario...

A strong cold front will plow across western and north central New
York late Wednesday afternoon and evening. In its wake...H85 temps
will plummet to between -12 and -14c. This will ignite lake induced
instability over the 40 deg (+4c) lakes and wake up the slumbering
lake effect machine and set the stage for accumulating snows in both
the Buffalo and Watertown metro areas.

Off Lk Erie...a well aligned 240 flow will become established during
the first half of Wednesday night. While the cap will only be 7-8kft
of the deck...sufficient synoptic moisture and a 3-5kft thick DGZ
should be able to support a single plume of moderate to occasionally
heavy lake snow that will extend across the Buffalo metro area.
Snowfall rates will range from a half to 1.5 inches an hour...and
this should promote overnight snowfall amounts up to 9 inches from
the Buf metro area to near Corfu with lesser amounts extending
northeast to western Monroe county. Snow to water ratios will be on
the high side...as they often are in les events...with ratios of 15
to 20:1 anticipated. This will promote greater accumulations. Have
added the chance for lightning for sites within a 20 miles or so
from the lake (source of instability)...as -10c isotherm will be
some 3-4kft off the sfc. Blowing snow may be an issue with wind
gusts to 30 mph or so.

The plume of snow should generally remain locked in place through
the day Thursday...as guidance is suggesting that the 240 flow will
persist. The cap will come down a bit though...so this should lessen
snowfall rates to an inch or less. Daytime snow accums for Buf and
its immediate srn suburbs to about Darien to Batavia should average
5 to 8 inches. Again...snow to water ratios will be in the vcnty of
15/20:1.

Very similar parameters will be found east of Lake Ontario...but as
is usually the case...the event will unfold a few hours later.
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22 minutes ago, BuffaloWeather said:
...Significant Lake Snows Northeast of Lakes Erie and Ontario...

A strong cold front will plow across western and north central New
York late Wednesday afternoon and evening. In its wake...H85 temps
will plummet to between -12 and -14c. This will ignite lake induced
instability over the 40 deg (+4c) lakes and wake up the slumbering
lake effect machine and set the stage for accumulating snows in both
the Buffalo and Watertown metro areas.

Off Lk Erie...a well aligned 240 flow will become established during
the first half of Wednesday night. While the cap will only be 7-8kft
of the deck...sufficient synoptic moisture and a 3-5kft thick DGZ
should be able to support a single plume of moderate to occasionally
heavy lake snow that will extend across the Buffalo metro area.
Snowfall rates will range from a half to 1.5 inches an hour...and
this should promote overnight snowfall amounts up to 9 inches from
the Buf metro area to near Corfu with lesser amounts extending
northeast to western Monroe county. Snow to water ratios will be on
the high side...as they often are in les events...with ratios of 15
to 20:1 anticipated. This will promote greater accumulations. Have
added the chance for lightning for sites within a 20 miles or so
from the lake (source of instability)...as -10c isotherm will be
some 3-4kft off the sfc. Blowing snow may be an issue with wind
gusts to 30 mph or so.

The plume of snow should generally remain locked in place through
the day Thursday...as guidance is suggesting that the 240 flow will
persist. The cap will come down a bit though...so this should lessen
snowfall rates to an inch or less. Daytime snow accums for Buf and
its immediate srn suburbs to about Darien to Batavia should average
5 to 8 inches. Again...snow to water ratios will be in the vcnty of
15/20:1.

Very similar parameters will be found east of Lake Ontario...but as
is usually the case...the event will unfold a few hours later.

They seem very confident in the band placement generally staying locked.  The issue seems to be the snowfall rates are not showing to be overall intense especially during the day Thursday.  Could translate to why the model precip output so far has not been that impressive.  Still like the map they have with a 12-18 bullseye near the metro.  Still shaping up to be a solid event!  Leaving some room for a little overachieving 

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Well it would be better than nothing lol

Areas just outside of the main lake bands where accumulating snows
could still impact travel...including western Monroe county and
northern Oswego county...could eventually find themselves in Winter
Weather Advisories.
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37 minutes ago, SouthBuffaloSteve said:

They seem very confident in the band placement generally staying locked.  The issue seems to be the snowfall rates are not showing to be overall intense especially during the day Thursday.  Could translate to why the model precip output so far has not been that impressive.  Still like the map they have with a 12-18 bullseye near the metro.  Still shaping up to be a solid event!  Leaving some room for a little overachieving 

There’s one factor I’m surprised they haven’t mentioned and that’s when the entire lake is in play that can be more than sufficient to rev up the amounts. If that we’re to happen and it locks on the city? Woof…that would be insane

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20 minutes ago, BuffaloWeather said:

Channel 4 and 7 

7471A669-A882-4C04-B07C-C14EAB7DF366.jpeg

BDA7FD0B-B96D-410E-8324-2296C2963CFF.jpeg

What’s odd is none of those are a 240 vector. That’s more 250…I see a lot of biases with models that are inherently born jnto their design. For example, if you look at the GFS output for any total snowfall output Syracuse is always a huge number…that never comes a fraction of that amount. I think these models have algorithm flaws. 

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4 minutes ago, Thinksnow18 said:

Some time ago Don used a wind vector that showed how the lake bands were directed. Do any of you have this?

I remember the exact map your talking about but I can’t seem to find it anywhere at all. This is a wind direction degree chart. 240 flow is more towards WSW and looks spot on to the direction the maps posted above show IMO.

1F0EAD38-7381-4D22-9414-5D3935CF9371.jpeg

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1 minute ago, SouthBuffaloSteve said:

12z HiRes mashup.  These are all through 48 hours (7:00am Thursday) so just the first half of the event really.  I'm still onboard!

010422 hiresruns 12z.png

I think your in a great spot. I really think this may be a transition zone special. I think this band locks in just south of the airport and you’ll be just about in the bullseye from you over to Northern WS/S Cheektowaga/ S Lancaster. Still not sold on huge amounts but I could see you scoring 12”+ 

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Just now, SouthBuffaloSteve said:

12z HiRes mashup.  These are all through 48 hours (7:00am Thursday) so just the first half of the event really.  I'm still onboard!

010422 hiresruns 12z.png

Overall some good agreement between the HRW models, NAM, HRRR.  Don't really buy anything the FV3 says but through it in the mix.  The RGEM has been very disappointing in my opinion.  It is not picking up the wind impacts at all.  With 35mph winds that band isnt just going to float into and around central erie county like it is showing.  Feel the other models have taken that into better account with the winds and the arctic front initially whip lashing the band until the main plume sets up.  Falls into line with BUFs call for around 9" max by day break Thursday.  

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