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Area Forecast Discussion
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000
FXUS61 KBUF 182022
AFDBUF

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BUFFALO NY
322 PM EST THU DEC 18 2014

.SYNOPSIS...
LOW LEVEL MOISTURE AND A SURFACE TROUGH ACROSS THE REGION WILL 
PRODUCE SOME PATCHY FREEZING DRIZZLE AND SNOW FLURRIES THIS 
AFTERNOON INTO TONIGHT. HIGH PRESSURE WILL RETURN BY FRIDAY AND 
SATURDAY WITH DRYING CONDITIONS AND NEAR NORMAL TEMPERATURES. A 
STORM SYSTEM DEVELOPING OVER THE GREAT LAKES CONTINUES TO LOOK 
POSSIBLE AROUND THE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY WHICH COULD BRING GUSTY WINDS 
AND RAIN CHANGING TO SNOW.

&&

.NEAR TERM /THROUGH FRIDAY/...
UPDATED THE FORECAST THIS AFTERNOON WITH A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY. 
KBUF AND KTYX RADARS ARE BOTH SHOWING LIGHT RETURNS ACROSS THE 
FORECAST AREA AND AFTER A FEW CALLS FOR SURFACE REPORTS HAVE 
DETERMINED THESE RETURNS ARE MOST LIKELY FREEZING DRIZZLE. BUFKIT 
SOUNDINGS AND IR SAT TEMPS SUPPORT THIS WITH MOISTURE ALL FOUND 
DISPLACED BELOW THE -10C TEMP NEEDED WITHIN THE CLOUDS TO PRODUCE 
ICE CRYSTALS AND SNOW. HAVE RAN THE ADVISORY OUT THROUGH 7PM FOR
NOW BUT THERE STILL REMAINS A CHANCE THAT THIS WILL NEED TO BE 
EXTENDED AS MOISTURE AND TEMPERATURE PROFILES REMAIN UNCHANGED 
THROUGH THE OVERNIGHT HOURS.

LOW PRESSURE IS CENTERED OVER THE CANADIAN MARITIMES WITH A SURFACE 
TROUGH EXTENDED WEST ACROSS THE LOWER GREAT LAKES. THIS WILL KEEP 
COOL WESTERLY FLOW ACROSS OUR REGION TODAY. THIN MOISTURE PROFILES 
AND WEAK LIFT WILL KEEP CLOUDY SKIES IN PLACE. A SLACKENING PRESSURE 
GRADIENT WILL STILL KEEP SOME BREEZY WINDS ACROSS THE REGION WHICH 
WILL COMBINE WITH TEMPERATURES ONLY IN THE LOW 30S TO KEEP WIND 
CHILLS IN THE MIDDLE TEENS TO MIDDLE 20S. UNDER CONTINUED AND 
PERSISTENT COLD AIR ADVECTION...LOW TEMPS TONIGHT FALL ANOTHER NOTCH 
WITH READINGS IN THE TEENS EAST OF LAKE ONTARIO AND THE MIDDLE 20S 
OVER THE REST OF FORECAST AREA.

ON FRIDAY THE LOW LEVEL MOISTURE PROFILES KEEP LOW LEVEL OVERCAST IN 
PLACE ACROSS WESTERN AND NORTH-CENTRAL NEW YORK. WHILE SKIES MAY 
BEGIN TO CLEAR OVER THE LAKES A NORTHWEST UPSLOPE FLOW WILL KEEP 
GRAY SKIES AROUND OVER THE LAND THROUGH THE DAY. THERE STILL REMAINS 
A CHANCE FOR SOME PATCHY FREEZING DRIZZLE OR FLURRIES AS THE CLOUDS 
REMAIN WARMER THAN THE -10C THROUGH FRIDAY. TEMPERATURES WILL BE 
COOLER ONLY RISING INTO THE MID TO UPPER 20S DUE TO THE CLOUD COVER 
AND NORTHWEST COLD ADVECTION.

&&

.SHORT TERM /FRIDAY NIGHT THROUGH SUNDAY/...
HIGH PRESSURE WILL SLOWLY DRIFT ACROSS THE REGION THIS 
WEEKEND...SHIFTING FROM THE UPPER LAKES FRIDAY NIGHT TO NORTHERN NEW 
ENGLAND ON SUNDAY. 12Z NAM/GFS/RGEM GUIDANCE CONTINUES TO BE DRY 
WITH THE PASSAGE OF A COUPLE OF WEAK SHORTWAVES...SO HAVE REMOVED 
POPS AND OPTED FOR A DRY WEEKEND FORECAST.

PROBABLY THE BIGGEST FORECAST CHALLENGE IS HOW MUCH CLOUD COVER WILL 
REMAIN...WITH A WEAKER BUT STILL PRESENT INVERSION AT A FEW THOUSAND 
FEET. EXPECT AT LEAST FRIDAY NIGHT TO BE MOSTLY CLOUDY...BUT ON 
SATURDAY BUFKIT SHOWS A STAGNANT FLOW WITH VERY SHALLOW MOISTURE 
BENEATH THE INVERSION. THIS MAY ALLOW THE LIMITED DECEMBER SUNSHINE 
TO CHIP AWAY AT THIS...WITH SOME BREAKS OF SUNSHINE SATURDAY. THE 
BEST CHANCE FOR THIS WILL BE EAST OF LAKE ONTARIO AND ACROSS THE 
NORTH COUNTRY. FOR SATURDAY NIGHT AND SUNDAY...EXPECT SOME 
BREAKS...BUT IN ALL MORE CLOUDS THAN SUN FOR THE UPCOMING WEEKEND. 

TEMPERATURES LOOK TO BE NEAR SEASONAL READINGS FOR THIS TIME OF THE 
YEAR...WITH HIGHS IN THE UPPER 20S TO LOWER 30S ON SATURDAY...AND A 
COUPLE DEGREES WARMER THAN THIS ON SUNDAY.

&&

.LONG TERM /SUNDAY NIGHT THROUGH THURSDAY/...
HIGH PRESSURE CENTERED NEAR MAINE WILL RIDGE BACK INTO OUR REGION 
SUNDAY NIGHT INTO MONDAY...BRINGING FAIR AND SEASONABLE WEATHER TO 
THE REGION. AFTER THIS A DEEPENING TROUGH ACROSS THE NATIONS 
MID-SECTION WILL LIFT A WARM FRONT SW-NE TOWARD OUR REGION ON MONDAY 
NIGHT OR TUESDAY. GFS/ECMWF/GGEM DIFFER ON THE TIMING OF THIS...BUT 
ALL HAVE THE FEATURE TO SOME EXTENT. THIS WILL BRING A CHANCE OF 
PRIMARILY RAIN SHOWERS...WITH AMOUNTS EXPECTED TO BE LIGHT.

THINGS GET MORE INTERESTING...WITH A STRONG STORM SYSTEM LIKELY 
TO DEVELOP MID-WEEK. A CLOSED 500 MB LOW FORECAST TO BE NEAR 
MICHIGAN WEDNESDAY MORNING WILL PIVOT A STRONG SHORTWAVE AROUND IT 
WHICH WILL DEVELOP A STRONG SURFACE LOW FORECAST TO TRACK UP THE 
EASTERN STATES AND WRAP BACK INTO THE UPPER LOW. THIS GENERAL 
SCENARIO CONTINUES TO BE SUPPORTED BY 12Z GUIDANCE OF THE 
GFS/ECMWF/GGEM...WHICH IS ALSO IN LINE WITH THE PAST SEVERAL RUNS. A 
12Z CONSENSUS IS A BIT WEAKER AND SLOWER DEVELOPING THE LOW...BUT 
STILL HAS A STRONG SYSTEM ACROSS SOUTHERN QUEBEC OR ONTARIO ON 
CHRISTMAS DAY.

FOR OUR REGION...IT WEDNESDAY STILL LOOKS TO BE A RAINY AND WINDY 
DAY. CONSENSUS GUIDANCE STILL HAS OUR REGION PRIMARILY IN THE WARM 
SECTOR UNTIL THE LOW LIFTS TO THE NORTH WEDNESDAY NIGHT WHICH WILL 
ALLOW LINGERING PRECIPITATION TO MIX WITH SNOW. CHRISTMAS DAY 
LOOKS TO BE A WINDY DAY...WITH SOME LAKE ENHANCED AND/OR UPSLOPE 
SNOW SHOWERS WHICH MAY MIX WITH RAIN AT TIMES. 850MB TEMPS SHOULD 
ONLY BE -6 TO -8C...WHICH IS MARGINALLY COLD ENOUGH FOR SNOW.

ALTHOUGH THIS GENERAL SCENARIO IS LIKELY TO PLAY OUT...THE SPECIFIC 
TRACK AND EVOLUTION OF THIS SYSTEM WILL DETERMINE OUR WEATHER...AND 
THESE SPECIFICS ARE STILL UNCERTAIN. THE MOST LIKELY IMPACT OF THIS 
SYSTEM STILL APPEARS TO BE STRONG TO POSSIBLY DAMAGING WINDS. 12Z 
GUIDANCE HAS BACKED OFF A BIT ON FORECAST WIND SPEEDS...BUT THIS 
COULD EASILY CHANGE IN FUTURE RUNS. THERE IS ALSO A POTENTIAL FOR 
ACCUMULATING SNOWFALL STARTING LATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT THROUGH 
CHRISTMAS DAY. GIVEN MARGINAL 850MB TEMPERATURES...THIS DOES NOT 
APPEAR TO BE A PROLIFIC SNOW PRODUCER. THE MOIST CYCLONIC 
FLOW AND UPSLOPING MAY BE ENOUGH FOR SOME SNOW ACCUMULATION...MOST 
LIKELY TO BE IN THE TRADITIONAL SNOW BELTS. HOWEVER THIS COULD 
CHANGE TOO IF MODEL CONSENSUS SHIFTS THE POSITION OF THE SURFACE 
LOW. THE POTENTIAL FOR SIGNIFICANT...OR ANY...ACCUMULATION IS STILL 
HIGHLY UNCERTAIN. AGAIN...IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT MODEL 
GUIDANCE IS LIKELY TO VARY FROM RUN TO RUN...AND SIGNIFICANT SHIFTS 
IN THE TRACK AND POSITION OF THE LOW ARE STILL VERY POSSIBLE WITH 
THE FORECAST STILL A LONG WAYS OFF.

&&

.AVIATION /21Z THURSDAY THROUGH TUESDAY/...
LOW LEVEL MOISTURE WILL REMAIN ACROSS THE REGION THIS EVENING INTO
FRIDAY AS A SURFACE TROUGH LINGERS ACROSS THE EASTERN GREAT LAKES TO 
NEW ENGLAND. MVFR AND HILL TOP IFR CIGS ARE FOUND WITH REPORTS OF 
PATCHY FREEZING DRIZZLE. WEST WINDS WITH VEER TO NORTHWEST AS THE 
SURFACE LOW OVER THE CANADIAN MARITIMES MOVES FURTHER AWAY. MOISTURE 
AND TEMPERATURE PROFILES REMAIN STAGNANT THROUGH THE OVERNIGHT HOURS 
WHICH LEAVES HIGH CONFIDENCE FOR OVERCAST MVFR/IFR CIGS LINGERING. 
PATCHY FREEZING DRIZZLE MAY ALSO CONTINUE INTO THE OVERNIGHT 
TAPERING OFF ON FRIDAY.

OUTLOOK... 
FRIDAY NIGHT...MVFR TO IFR WITH CHANCES OF FREEZING DRIZZLE OR LIGHT 
SNOW SHOWERS ENDING. 
SATURDAY TO MONDAY...VFR. 
TUESDAY...VFR/MVFR WITH A CHANCE OF RAIN SHOWERS.

&&

.MARINE...
WINDS AND WAVES WILL GRADUALLY SUBSIDE THIS EVENING AS LOW PRESSURE 
MOVES FARTHER EAST AND AWAY FROM THE AREA AND HIGH PRESSURE BUILDS 
INTO THE LOWER GREAT LAKES. THIS WILL USHER IN A PERIOD OF MORE 
TRANQUIL CONDITIONS ON THE LAKES FOR FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND.

&&

.BUF WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
NY...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY UNTIL 7 PM EST THIS EVENING FOR 
     NYZ001>008-010>014-019>021-085.
MARINE...SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY UNTIL 10 PM EST THIS EVENING FOR LEZ040-
         041.
         SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY UNTIL 10 PM EST THIS EVENING FOR 
         LOZ042.
         SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY UNTIL 4 AM EST FRIDAY FOR LOZ043>045.

&&

$$

SYNOPSIS...SMITH
NEAR TERM...SMITH/WCH
SHORT TERM...APFFEL
LONG TERM...APFFEL
AVIATION...SMITH/WCH
MARINE...APFFEL/SMITH







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