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Area Forecast Discussion
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000
FXUS61 KBUF 031823
AFDBUF

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BUFFALO NY
123 PM EST TUE MAR 3 2015

.SYNOPSIS...
TEMPERATURES WILL RISE INTO THE 30S TODAY AND TONIGHT AS A WARM 
FRONT PUSHES NORTH ACROSS THE LOWER GREAT LAKES. A WINTRY MIX WILL 
ACCOMPANY THE FRONT BRINGING SNOW...SLEET...FREEZING RAIN THIS 
AFTERNOON CHANGING OVER TO RAIN TONIGHT. COLDER TEMPERATURES WILL 
RETURN WEDNESDAY AS A COLD FRONT ACROSS THERE AREA WITH TEMPERATURES 
RUNNING UP TO 20 DEGREES BELOW NORMAL THURSDAY INTO FRIDAY HELPING 
TO DRIVE LAKE EFFECT SHOWERS EAST/SOUTHEAST OF LAKE ONTARIO. 
TEMPERATURES WILL ONCE AGAIN CLIMB TO WITHIN A FEW DEGREES OF NORMAL 
BY THE COMING WEEKEND.

&&

.NEAR TERM /UNTIL 6 PM THIS EVENING/...
ONLY MINOR CHANGES MADE TO THE MORNING UPDATE. WARM
ADVECTION/ISENTROPIC LIFT IS UNDER WAY ACROSS THE REGION IN
RESPONSE TO THE RATHER LARGE AREA OF UPPER LEVEL DIVERGENCE
EXTENDING FROM CHI TO NEAR NYC ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF THE 300 MB JET
CORE OF AROUND 130 KT. REGIONAL RADAR MOSAIC SHOWS A RATHER
EXTENSIVE AREA OF LIGHT SNOW EXTENDING FROM NORTHERN INDIANA TO NEAR FAR
SW NEW YORK STATE. MIXED PRECIPITATION EXTENDS ALONG AND SOUTH OF 
I-90 THROUGH CENTRAL OHIO AND POINTS WEST. CURRENT FORECAST SEEMS
REASONABLE WITH THE EXPECTATION OF 1 TO 2 INCHES OF SNOW BEFORE
TRANSITIONING TO A MIXTURE OF SLEET...FREEZING RAIN DURING THE
AFTERNOON. ENOUGH WARM AIR MAY MOVE INTO THE LAKE ERIE SHORELINE
PLAIN TO CHANGE ALL THE PRECIPITATION TO RAIN TOWARD EVENING OVER
AND SOUTHWEST OF BUF. THE CHANGE TO ALL RAIN MAY EXTEND EAST OF
ROC ALONG THE ONTARIO LAKE SHORE THIS EVENING WHILE A FEW
LOCATIONS IN THE HIGHER SOUTHERN INTERIOR MAY REMAIN MIXED NEAR
ELZ. MADE ONLY SLIGHT CHANGES TO MAX TEMPERATURES AND CLOUD COVER.

PREVIOUS DISCUSSION... THIS MORNING REGIONAL SATELLITE IMAGERY
AND SURFACE ANALYSIS INDICATE THAT THE MUCH ANTICIPATED COLORADO
LOW IS TAKING SHAPE OVER NORTHERN CO THIS MORNING WHILE A BROAD
BAND OF WARM ADVECTION IS SHOWING UP NICELY IN THE FORM OF A BROAD
SWATH OF CLOUD COVER EXTENDING FROM THE HIGH PLAINS ACROSS THE
UPPER MIDWEST AND SOUTHEAST ACROSS OH/W PA. IN FACT THE HIGH
CLOUDS FORMING THE LEADING EDGE OF THIS BAND ARE PUSHING ACROSS
WESTERN NEW YORK THIS MORNING. AS CLOUDS THICKEN THROUGH THE
MORNING TEMPERATURES ACROSS FAR WNY WILL RISE A FEW DEGREES BEFORE
SUNRISE.

CLOUD COVER WILL CONTINUE TO THICKEN AND WORK ITS WAY EAST ACROSS 
THE FORECAST AREA. PRECIPITATION WILL SPREAD INTO FAR SW NY AROUND 
NOONTIME AS THE LEADING EDGE OF A ZONE OF DEEP ISENTROPIC 
UPLIFT BEING SUPPORTED BY A 50 TO 70KT 850MB JET ARRIVES. THERMAL 
PROFILES WILL INITIALLY BE COLD ENOUGH TO SUPPORT ALL SNOW TO START 
WITH...HOWEVER AS WE MOVE THROUGH THE AFTERNOON HOURS AND INTO THE 
EARLY EVENING...SUBSTANTIAL WARMING ALOFT ABOVE A STUBBORN 
SUB-FREEZING SURFACE LAYER WILL CREATE A WIDESPREAD RISK FOR 
SLEET/FREEZING RAIN ACROSS MUCH OF THE FORECAST AREA. WITH PWATS 
CLIMBING IN EXCESS OF 0.75"...QPF RANGING FROM A COUPLE OF TENTHS TO 
A HALF INCH WILL BE POSSIBLE ACROSS THE REGION...DISTRIBUTED ACROSS 
SEVERAL PRECIP TYPES DEPENDING ON ELEVATION AND TIMING. IN GENERAL 
MOST AREAS CAN EXPECT AROUND A HALF INCH OR SO OF WET SNOW THIS 
AFTERNOON BEFORE TRANSITIONING OVER TO SLEET/FREEZING RAIN. 
DOWNSLOPING UNDER BRISK SOUTHERLY WINDS WILL LIMIT PRECIP AMOUNTS 
ALONG LAKE ERIE...ACROSS THE NIAGARA FRONTIER...NORTH OF THE FINGER 
LAKES TO AROUND A TENTH OR TWO OF PRECIP WHILE AMOUNTS ACROSS 
UPSLOPE AREAS OF THE WESTERN SOUTHERN TIER AND THE FINGER LAKES MAY 
RUN AS HIGH AS A THIRD OF AN INCH OR MORE. AGAIN...GIVEN THAT 
SURFACE TEMPERATURES ARE CURRENTLY EXPECTED TO HOVER NEAR/JUST BELOW 
FREEZING...MUCH OF THIS PRECIP IS CURRENTLY EXPECTED TO FALL AS 
SLEET/FREEZING RAIN...RESULTING IN WHAT COULD SHAPE UP TO BE A VERY 
HAZARDOUS EVENING COMMUTE THIS EVENING INDEED. NEEDLESS TO SAY...A 
WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IS CURRENTLY IN EFFECT FOR ALL OF WESTERN 
AND NORTH-CENTRAL NEW YORK FOR ALL OF THESE HAZARDS. 

COLDER ANTECEDENT AIR IN PLACE ACROSS THE NORTH COUNTRY COMBINED 
WITH TIMING OF PRECIP AND SOUTHERLY UPSLOPE FLOW SHOULD ALLOW FOR 
GREATER SNOWFALL TOTALS TO START WITH...GENERALLY 1-3 INCHES WITH 2-4 
POSSIBLE ACROSS THE TUG HILL INITIALLY. HOWEVER EVEN THIS AREA IS 
EXPECTED TO SUCCUMB TO THE WARM ADVECTION ALOFT BY THIS EVENING WITH 
PRECIP SWAPPING OVER TO SLEET/FREEZING RAIN FOR A TIME. EVENTUALLY 
MUCH OF WESTERN NEW YORK AND THE FINGER LAKES WILL WARM ABOVE 
FREEZING FROM WEST TO EAST THROUGH THE VERY LATE AFTERNOON AND INTO 
THE EVENING HOURS AS THE WEAK SURFACE LOW...BY THIS POINT MORE OF AN 
OPEN WAVE...PASSES ACROSS GEORGIAN BAY AND THE OTTAWA VALLEY. THIS 
WILL ALLOW LINGERING PRECIP TO CHANGE OVER TO ALL RAIN WITH PRECIP 
MIXING BACK INTO SNOW OR PERHAPS FREEZING RAIN/DRIZZLE LATER TONIGHT 
AS A COLD FRONT SWEEPS ACROSS THE AREA. THE ONE EXCEPTION WILL BE 
ACROSS THE TUG HILL WHERE TEMPERATURES WILL STRUGGLE TO BREAK THE 
FREEZING MARK AND PRECIP WILL LIKELY REVERT BACK TO SNOW AS WE MOVE 
THROUGH THE NIGHT.

&&

.SHORT TERM /6 PM THIS EVENING THROUGH FRIDAY NIGHT/...
COLD AIR ADVECTION PATTERN WILL BE WELL UNDERWAY AT THE START OF THE 
PERIOD BEHIND THE DEPARTING COLD FRONT. THIS WILL RESULT IN DAYTIME 
HIGH TEMPERATURES WEDNESDAY OCCURRING IN THE MORNING AND SLOWLY FALL 
INTO THE 20S DURING THE AFTERNOON. THE INCOMING COLDER AIR MASS WILL 
CHANGE ANY PRECIPITATION WHICH REMAINS BACK OVER TO SNOW.  

LIGHT LAKE EFFECT SNOW SHOWERS EXPECTED WITHIN A FAIRLY 
UNIDIRECTIONAL WEST NORTHWEST FLOW REGIME WEDNESDAY NIGHT AND 
THURSDAY. MODEL SOUNDINGS SHOWING INVERSION HEIGHTS RISING TO 6-8KFT 
FOR A PERIOD AS A SHORTWAVE MOVES THROUGH...SUPPORTING AT LEAST A 
PERIOD OF MINOR ACCUMULATING SNOWS FOR AREAS EAST AND SOUTHEAST OF 
LAKE ONTARIO DOWNWIND OF THE OPEN WATER. 

THURSDAY WILL BE A COLD DAY AS HIGHS WILL STRUGGLE TO REACH 20 WITH 
A DEEP POOL OF ARCTIC AIR OVER WESTERN AND NORTHERN CENTRAL NEW 
YORK. WIND CHILL VALUES LIKELY AS COLD AS 5 BELOW AT TIMES... 
ESPECIALLY AWAY FROM ANY LAKE INFLUENCES. 

LOWS THURSDAY NIGHT WILL BE VERY COLD...WITH LOW SINGLE DIGITS ON 
THE LAKE PLAINS AND SINGLE NUMBERS BELOW ZERO ACROSS THE COLDER 
INTERIOR LOCATIONS. AT LEAST SOME LIMITED LAKE EFFECT SNOW WILL 
LINGER SOUTHEAST OF LAKE ONTARIO...BUT LOWERING INVERSION HEIGHTS 
AND DRYING LOW LEVELS SHOULD KEEP THIS LIMITED.

&&

.LONG TERM /SATURDAY THROUGH MONDAY/...
TEMPERATURES WILL REMAIN BELOW AVERAGE THROUGH THE LONG TERM PERIOD 
AS THE LONGWAVE TROUGH REMAINS IN PLACE ACROSS EASTERN NORTH 
AMERICA...ALTHOUGH NOT AS EXTREME AS WHAT WE HAVE SEEN. A FEW WEAK 
SYSTEMS WILL MOVE THROUGH THE NORTHWEST FLOW ALOFT AND BRING A 
CHANCE OF SOME LIGHT SNOW AND REINFORCING SHOTS OF COLDER AIR.

LOOKING AT THE DETAILS...ON FRIDAY HIGH PRESSURE WILL BUILD FROM THE 
OHIO VALLEY INTO THE MID ATLANTIC WITH A RIDGE EXTENDING NORTHWARD 
TOWARDS THE LOWER LAKES. THIS SHOULD KEEP THE BULK OF THE AREA 
DRY...ALTHOUGH WESTERLY FLOW OFF LAKE ONTARIO MAY STILL PRODUCE A 
FEW SNOW SHOWERS EAST OF THE LAKE.

ON SATURDAY BOTH THE GFS AND ECMWF BRING A WEAK MID LEVEL AND 
SURFACE TROUGH THROUGH THE REGION WITH A CHANCE OF A FEW SNOW 
SHOWERS. THIS IS FOLLOWED BY HIGH PRESSURE ON SUNDAY BEFORE ANOTHER 
TROUGH AND CLIPPER LOW MOVES THROUGH THE GREAT LAKES MONDAY WITH A 
CHANCE OF LIGHT SNOW.

LOOKING A LITTLE FARTHER AHEAD...MEDIUM RANGE GUIDANCE AND ENSEMBLE 
MEMBERS CONTINUE TO SUGGEST THE POTENTIAL FOR A PATTERN CHANGE 
AROUND THE MIDDLE OF THE MONTH. BOTH THE GFS AND ECMWF BRING A 
TROUGH INTO THE WEST COAST...FORCING STRONG DOWNSTREAM HEIGHT RISES 
AND WARM ADVECTION SPREADING INTO THE CENTRAL CONUS BY AROUND MARCH 
11TH OR 12TH. THIS SHOULD PROGRESS EAST TOWARDS THE MIDDLE OF THE 
MONTH. BEYOND THAT...GEFS ENSEMBLE MEMBERS SUGGEST MORE OF A TYPICAL 
MARCH PATTERN DEVELOPING WITH SWINGS UP AND DOWN IN TEMPERATURE AS 
MORE PROGRESSIVE SYSTEMS MOVE EAST ACROSS THE NATION.

&&

.AVIATION /19Z TUESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY/...
CURRENT FORECAST LOOKS REASONABLE WITH THE ADVANCE OF WARM AIR 
ACROSS WESTERN NEW YORK AND THE INITIAL ADVANCE OF SNOW WHICH WILL 
QUICKLY TRANSITION TO MIX PRECIPITATION AND TO JUST PLAIN RAIN FOR 
A TIME THIS EVENING BEFORE COLD AIR MOVES BACK INTO THE REGION.

IFR CONDITIONS IN SNOW ARE ADVANCING ACROSS WESTERN NEW YORK AND
HAVE REACHED ALL THE WESTERN TAF SITES FROM ROC TO JHW AND POINTS
WEST. WITH RAPID WARMING ALOFT AND MIXED PRECIPITATION ALREADY AT
ERI HAVE USED THE HOURLY SSEO AND BUFKIT SOUNDINGS FOR GUIDANCE ON
TIMING THE PRECIPITATION CHANGE, THE BOUNDARY LAYER APPEARS TO BE
HAVING TROUBLE WARMING OVER OHIO AND PA SO SOME DELAY IN RISING
ABOVE FREEZING MAY BE WARRANTED OVER NY. NEAR ART CONDITIONS WILL
LIKELY REMAIN COLD ENOUGH TO PREVENT A COMPLETE CHANGE TO JUST
RAIN BEFORE COLDER AIR RETURNS AFTER MIDNIGHT. WITH LAKE ERIE BEING
SNOW AND ICE COVERED TYPICAL WARMING FROM THAT DIRECTION MAY BE
MUTED THIS EVENING. EXPECT MOST LOCATIONS TO BE SOMEWHAT MILD AND
JUST ABOVE FREEZING FOR A FEW HOURS BEFORE MIDNIGHT. PRECIPITATION
SHOULD CHANGE TO RAIN AND ALLOW CIGS TO IMPROVE SOMEWHAT TO MVFR.
SCATTERED LIGHT SNOW SHOWERS CAN BE EXPECTED AFTER MIDNIGHT.

OUTLOOK... 
WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON...BREEZY. MVFR WITH A CHANCE OF SNOW SHOWERS. LAKE
EFFECT SNOW LIKELY EAST AND SOUTHEAST OF LAKE ONTARIO.
THURSDAY...MVFR WITH A CHANCE OF SNOW SHOWERS. LAKE EFFECT SNOW
LIKELY SOUTHEAST OF LAKE ONTARIO. FRIDAY AND SATURDAY...MAINLY
VFR.

&&

.MARINE...
SOUTH-SOUTHEASTERLY WINDS WILL STRENGTHEN TUESDAY EVENING AS AN
AREA OF LOW PRESSURE SKIRTS NORTH OF THE LAKE...NECESSITATING
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORIES FROM HAMLIN BEACH TO MEXICO BAY. FRESH
WESTERLIES WILL DEVELOP LATER TUESDAY NIGHT INTO WEDNESDAY IN THE
WAKE OF A COLD FRONTAL PASSAGE WITH SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY
CONDITIONS DEVELOPING ACROSS THE REST OF THE OPEN WATERS OF LAKE
ONTARIO AND LASTING THROUGH WED NIGHT. HIGH PRESSURE CROSSES THE
AREA ONCE AGAIN THURSDAY...PROVIDING A BRIEF RESPITE BEFORE
SOUTHWESTERLIES FRESHEN AGAIN FRIDAY AS LOW PRESSURE ONCE AGAIN
PASSES TO THE NORTH OF THE LAKES.

&&

.BUF WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
NY...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY UNTIL 4 AM EST WEDNESDAY FOR 
     NYZ006>008.
     WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY UNTIL 1 AM EST WEDNESDAY FOR 
     NYZ003>005-013-014.
     WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY UNTIL 1 AM EST WEDNESDAY FOR NYZ001-
     002-010>012-019>021-085.
MARINE...SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY FROM 7 PM THIS EVENING TO 8 AM EST 
         WEDNESDAY FOR LOZ043-044.
         SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY FROM 11 PM THIS EVENING TO 7 PM EST 
         WEDNESDAY FOR LOZ042.

&&

$$

SYNOPSIS...
NEAR TERM...
SHORT TERM...
LONG TERM...
AVIATION...
MARINE...







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