LAKE EFFECT STORM "EMERALD"
December 25, 2003
Lake Flake scale: ** 2 Flakes
Maximum Snowfall: Lk. Erie: 14" Arkwright; Lk. Ontario: 6" N. OSceola.
Duration: 15 Hours +/-
Prime Feature: two parts, SW then W flow, Mainly Lake Erie
Lake Flake Scale: ** 2 Flakes
The fifth event of the 2003-04 Season was a brief but very interesting one and focused over two areas, Buffalo metro and then typical snowbelts well to the south. It was mainly a Lake Erie event with only a few hours of activity off Ontario.
The event began slowly as an upper air low slowly drifted across western New York during Christmas Eve and early Christmas Day...ending several days of unseasonably mild weather. The airmass was very moist, and a strong vort max associated with the upper low moved toward eastern Lake Erie, allowing activity to blossom with delta-t=s of only about 11c (850's -8, lake +3). An intense snowband developed around mid morning on the 230-240 flow right across metro Buffalo but winds flow was not strong so the band only extended inland about 15 or 20 miles, never really reaching Genesee county to any degree. The band dropped snow at an inch or more per hour for a few hours, broke up some, then reintensified around 1 pm before settling south into the ski country by late afternoon where it remained until midnight or so before breaking up. Activity also developed during the wee hours of the 26th off Ontario but was insignificant.
amounts were focused in two areas...8 to 14 inches across the ridges from
Perrysburg to Arcade, and 4 to 8 inches across a narrow strip across the city of
Buffalo to the airport. Generally 2 to 5 inches fell between these areas as the
band was migratory, with less than 2 inches north of Buffalo and east of
Pembroke. 3 to 6 inches fell over parts of Oswego and southern Lewis counties
This event was brief but intense and affected a highly populated area. It was also notable for falling on Christmas Day giving Buffalo its sixth consecutive White Christmas. It caused few travel problems though. It therefore earns TWO ** Stars.
Here are some representative reports...
Off Lake Erie
|Buffalo Airport||8 inches|
|Buffalo City||3 to 7 inches|
Off Lake Ontario