Skip Navigation Linkswww.nws.noaa.gov 
NOAA logo - Click to go to the NOAA homepage National Weather Service Forecast Office   NWS logo - Click to go to the NWS homepage
Buffalo, NY banner image
 
 

Area Forecast Discussion
Latest Versions  [Current][-1][-2][-3][-4][-5][-6][-7][-8][-9]



000
FXUS61 KBUF 021448
AFDBUF

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BUFFALO NY
948 AM EST MON MAR 2 2015

.SYNOPSIS...
LINGERING LIGHT SNOW WILL DIMINISH TODAY AS HIGH PRESSURE BUILDS 
INTO THE REGION. AN AREA OF LOW PRESSURE WILL MOVE THROUGH THE 
CENTRAL GREAT LAKES TUESDAY NIGHT. THIS SYSTEM WILL SPREAD SNOW
INTO THE REGION TUESDAY AFTERNOON WITH PRECIPITATION QUICKLY
CHANGING TO A WINTRY MIX AND THEN TO RAIN TUESDAY NIGHT...AS A
BRIEF PUSH OF WARMER AIR MOVES INTO THE AREA. COLDER AIR WILL MOVE
BACK INTO THE REGION WEDNESDAY IN THE WAKE OF THIS SYSTEM WITH
WELL BELOW AVERAGE TEMPERATURES AGAIN LATER IN THE WEEK.

&&

.NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/...
RADARS THIS MORNING DISPLAY SNOW TAPERING OFF ACROSS THE HILLS SOUTH 
AND EAST OF BUFFALO...WHILE SLIGHTLY MORE IMPRESSIVE SNOWS ARE 
FALLING EAST OF LAKE ONTARIO. THESE SNOWS EAST OF LAKE 
ONTARIO...WITH THERE LAKE CONNECTION WILL DIMINISH THROUGH THE 
MIDDAY HOURS AS WIND SHEAR INCREASES...AND DRIER AIR FROM THE WEST 
REACHES THE REGION. THIS DRIER AIR SHOULD ALSO ALLOW FOR INCREASING 
AMOUNTS OF SUNSHINE THROUGH THE DAY ESPECIALLY ACROSS THE NIAGARA 
FRONTIER. THOUGH THE SNOW WILL END ACROSS MUCH OF THE REGION A GUSTY 
WESTERLY WIND WILL BRING AREAS OF BLOWING SNOW...ESPECIALLY ACROSS 
NORTH-SOUTH ROADS IN OPEN AREAS. BLOWING SNOW WILL DIMINISH THIS 
EVENING. 

THIS AFTERNOON A SURFACE TROUGH OVER SOUTHERN CANADA WILL 
DROP SOUTHWARD ACROSS THE NORTH COUNTRY OF NEW YORK. THIS FEATURE 
MAY BRING ADDITIONAL SNOW SHOWERS TO INTERIOR JEFFERSON COUNTY AND 
THE WESTERN FOOT HILLS OF THE ADIRONDACKS LATER THIS AFTERNOON. WOULD 
NOT EXPECT MUCH SNOW ACCUMULATION WITH THIS FEATURE...THOUGH FALLING 
SNOW MAY LIMIT VISIBILITIES FOR A TIME.  

TEMPERATURES WILL REMAIN WELL BELOW AVERAGE WITH HIGHS IN THE MID
20S ACROSS LOWER ELEVATIONS AND AROUND 20 ACROSS THE HIGHEST
ELEVATIONS. INCREASING MIXING POTENTIAL BEHIND THE FRONT WILL
BRING A PERIOD OF GUSTY WESTERLY WINDS CREATING WIND CHILLS IN THE
SINGLE DIGITS. 

THERE WILL BE A PERIOD OF MAINLY CLEAR SKIES TONIGHT BEFORE ROBUST 
MOISTURE AHEAD OF THE NEXT SYSTEM BRINGS INCREASING CLOUDS OVERNIGHT
TONIGHT.

&&

.SHORT TERM /TUESDAY THROUGH THURSDAY NIGHT/...
A SPLIT IN THE UPPER LEVEL PATTERN AND A GENERAL LACK OF AMPLITUDE 
WILL KEEP THIS NEXT EVENT FROM BEING A MAJOR PROBLEM ACROSS THE 
LOWER GREAT LAKES...ALTHOUGH WE WILL BE GUARANTEED TO GET SOME MIXED 
PRECIPITATION THAT WILL ADD TO OUR LONG WINTER WOES. WINTER WEATHER 
ADVISORIES WILL ALMOST CERTAINLY BE REQUIRED.

THE SPLIT JET WILL INITIALLY FEATURE A LONGWAVE TROUGH OVER THE 
WESTERN CONUS. PACIFIC BASED ENERGY WITHIN THE SOUTHERN BRANCH OF 
THIS TROUGH WILL EJECT OUT ACROSS THE PLAINS ON TUESDAY WITH A 
+150KT H25 JET RACING THIS INITIAL IMPULSE NORTHEAST ACROSS THE 
UPPER MISSISSIPPI VALLEY TO THE UPPER GREAT LAKES. THE SFC 
REFLECTION OF THIS FEATURE WILL BE RELATIVELY UNIMPRESSIVE 1000MB 
OPEN WAVE THAT WILL EVENTUALLY BECOME ABSORBED BY A MUCH STRONGER 
NORTHERN BRANCH STORM OVER NORTHERN ONTARIO. IN ADVANCE OF THIS 
WHOLE SCENARIO...AN ANOMALOUSLY STRONG 60KT LOW LEVEL JET WILL PUSH 
A DEVELOPING WARM FRONT ACROSS OUR REGION LATE TUESDAY/EARLY TUESDAY 
NIGHT. HEREIN LIES THE DRIVING FORCE FOR THE INITIAL PUSH OF 
PRECIPITATION. 

WET SNOW WILL BREAK OUT FROM SOUTHWEST TO NORTHEAST ACROSS OUR 
FORECAST AREA DURING THE DAY TUESDAY...AS MILDER AIR OVER THE OHIO 
VALLEY WILL LIFT UP AND OVER THE RELATIVELY COLD AIR THAT WILL BE IN 
PLACE OVER THE LOWER GREAT LAKES. AFTER A FEW HOURS OF LIGHT TO 
MODERATE SNOW...THE VERY STRONG PUSH OF WARMER AIR WILL CHANGE THE 
PCPN TO A MIX OF SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN OVER THE WESTERN COUNTIES. 
A COUPLE INCHES OF SNOW COULD ACCUMULATE DURING THE DAY BEFORE THIS 
CHANGE OVER OCCURS. FOR WHAT ITS WORTH...THE NAM IS THE SLOWEST WITH 
THIS CHANGEOVER AS IT SEEMS TO EXAGGERATE THE EXTENT OF THE LOW 
LEVEL COLD AIR IN THE HOURS LEADING UP TO THE EVENT. IN ANY CASE... 
MOST SITES WEST OF THE GENESEE VALLEY SHOULD EXPERIENCE AT LEAST A 
PARTIAL CHANGE OVER BY THE END OF THE DAY...ESPECIALLY ACROSS THE 
SRN TIER WHERE FREEZING RAIN COULD BE THE PRIMARY P-TYPE BY DINNER 
TIME. NR SFC TEMPS BY THIS POINT WILL RANGE FROM 32 NEAR LAKE ERIE 
TO THE MID 20S EAST OF LK ONTARIO. 

DESPITE THE LACK OF A SIGNIFICANT SFC FEATURE TO FOCUS THE PCPN... 
STRONG ISENTROPIC LIFT INDUCED BY 60KT SOUTHERLY LOW LEVEL WINDS 
WILL BE SUPPLEMENTED BY GENERAL FORCING FROM AN ANOMALOUSLY STRONG 
175KT H25 TO PRODUCE WIDESPREAD PCPN ACROSS THE REGION THROUGH AT 
LEAST THE FIRST HALF OF TUESDAY NIGHT. THE STRENGTH OF THE WARM 
ADVECTION WILL RAPIDLY CHANGE ANY SNOW TO A MIX OF SLEET AND 
FREEZING RAIN...WITH THE PCPN COMPLETELY TURNING OVER TO JUST RAIN 
OVER THE WESTERN COUNTIES WHERE NR SFC TEMPS COULD CLIMB OVERNIGHT 
TO NEAR 40 F. QPF TUESDAY NIGHT WILL GENERALLY AVERAGE A QUARTER 
INCH...WITH THE BULK OF THAT COMING AS RAIN OR AN ICY MIX. WHILE 
THIS WILL NOT BE THE MOST FAVORABLE WEATHER FOR TRAVEL...THE GOOD 
NEWS IS THAT ANY RAIN WILL BE ABSORBED BY AN IMPRESSIVE SNOWPACK... 
WHICH IS NEAR RECORD DEPTHS IN SOME AREAS. 

THERE WAS SOME EARLIER DISCUSSION ABOUT THE POTENTIAL FOR STRONG 
WINDS TUESDAY NIGHT. AS THE MAIN PARENT LOW CROSSES JAMES BAY TO 
NORTHERN QUEBEC LATE TUESDAY NIGHT...A STRENGTHENING COLD FRONTAL 
BOUNDARY WILL CHARGE ACROSS THE LOWER GREAT LAKES. WHILE THERE WILL 
BE SOME GUSTY WINDS ASSOCIATED WITH THE FRONTAL PASSAGE...THIS WILL 
NOT BE A HIGH WIND EVENT. THE MOST IMPRESSIVE ISALLOBARIC COUPLET 
WILL TRACK BY TO OUR NORTH AND THERE WILL BE A GENERAL LACK OF ANY 
STRONG H925-85 WINDS OR INTRUSIVE PV ANOMALIES WITHIN THE COLD 
ADVECTION TO MIX ANY SIGNIFICANT WINDS TO THE SFC. THIS SHOULD KEEP 
WINDS FROM EXCEEDING MORE THAN 35 KNOTS OR SO. 

IN THE WAKE OF AN EARLY MORNING COLD FRONTAL PASSAGE...NOTABLY DRIER 
AIR WILL SWEEP ACROSS OUR FORECAST AREA ON WEDNESDAY AS LOW LEVEL 
RIDGING WILL BUILD IN FROM THE WEST. THIS WILL SHUT DOWN THE BULK OF 
THE PCPN WHILE PULLING THE RUG OUT FROM UNDER OUR BRIEF SPELL OF 
MILDER WEATHER. ANY LEFTOVER MIXED SHOWERS EARLY WILL CHANGE TO JUST 
SCATTERED NUISANCE SNOW SHOWERS AS AFTER MORNING HIGHS IN THE 
30S...TEMPERATURES WILL STEADILY DROP BACK THROUGH THE 20S.
 
THE COLD AIRMASS WILL DEEPEN ACROSS THE REGION WEDNESDAY NIGHT AS A 
SECONDARY COLD FRONT WILL APPROACH FROM THE UPPER GREAT LAKES. THIS 
SHOULD SET THE STAGE FOR SOME ACCUMULATING LAKES SNOWS SOUTHEAST OF 
LAKE ONTARIO WHILE SCATTERED LIGHT SNOW SHOWERS WILL BE POSSIBLE 
ELSEWHERE. OVERNIGHT LOWS WILL DROP BACK TO MORE FAMILIAR 
TERRITORY...IN THE SINGLE DIGITS AND LOW TEENS.  

ON THURSDAY...ARCTIC HIGH PRESSURE WILL SETTLE SOUTHEAST ACROSS THE 
OHIO VALLEY WHILE A DRY SECONDARY COLD FRONT WILL PUSH ACROSS THE 
LOWER GREAT LAKES. THE FRONT WILL BE SUPPORTED BY A ROBUST SHORTWAVE 
THAT SHOULD BE ABLE TO GENERATE MORE SCATTERED SNOW SHOWERS. IT WILL 
BE COLD ON THURSDAY WITH TEMPS LIKELY TOPPING OUT IN THE TEENS. 
NORMAL HIGHS FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR ARE SOME 20 DEGREES HIGHER... 
GENERALLY IN THE UPPER 30S.

&&

.LONG TERM /FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY/...
ARCTIC HIGH PRESSURE WILL EXPAND EAST FROM THE CENTRAL STATES TO THE 
SOUTHEAST THURSDAY INTO FRIDAY WITH AN OPEN CHANNEL OF COLD AIR 
CONTINUING TO FILTER ACROSS THE REGION. LINGERING LOW LEVEL MOISTURE 
COMBINED WITH WESTERLY FLOW AND A PASSING UPPER LEVEL TROUGH AXIS 
WILL KEEP A CHANCE OF SNOW SHOWERS IN THE FORECAST FOR WESTERN AND 
CENTRAL NEW YORK ON THURSDAY. 12Z GLOBAL MODELS SHOW A WAVE OF LOW 
PRESSURE WITH MOISTURE FEED FROM THE DEEP SOUTH WORKING ALONG A 
STALLED FRONT TO OUR SOUTH BUT FELL THAT THE STRENGTH OF THE ARCTIC 
HIGH SHOULD KEEP ANY SNOW ASSOCIATED WITH THIS FEATURE FROM REACHING 
OUR FORECAST AREA. OTHERWISE LAKE EFFECT SNOW SHOWERS WILL LIKELY 
LINGER SOUTH AND SOUTHEAST OF LAKE ONTARIO. LATER FRIDAY INTO 
SATURDAY NIGHT MODELS ARE SHOWING A PARADE OF SHORTWAVES TRACKING 
JUST TO THE NORTH OF THE GREAT LAKES. WILL HOLD ONTO A SLIGHT CHANCE 
OF SNOW.  

THE COLD AIR FILTERING SOUTH ACROSS THE GREAT LAKES WILL KEEP 
TEMPERATURES SOME 10-15 DEGREES BELOW NORMAL FOR THE END OF THE WEEK 
WITH HIGHS WITHIN A FEW DEGREES OF 20 AND OVERNIGHT LOWS DOWN INTO 
THE SINGLE DIGITS THURSDAY NIGHT WITH A SHOT AT GOING SUB-ZERO IN 
THE SOUTHERN TIER. IF ENOUGH SOUTHERLY AIR CAN DEVELOP AHEAD OF THE 
PARADE OF SHORTWAVES NEXT WEEKEND DAYTIME TEMPERATURES SATURDAY 
COULD PUSH BACK TOWARD NORMAL.

&&

.AVIATION /15Z MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY/...
MAINLY IFR/MVFR CONDITIONS IN SNOW SHOWERS WILL SHOW A SLOW
IMPROVING TREND TOWARD MORE MVFR TYPE CONDITIONS THIS MORNING AS
DRIER AIR WORKS INTO THE AREA. 

A FEW UPSLOPE DRIVEN SNOW SHOWERS MAY LINGER THROUGH MID DAY
ACROSS THE HIGHER TERRAIN OF THE WESTERN SOUTHERN TIER AND EAST OF
LAKE ONTARIO WITH LOCAL IFR VSBY. 

OTHERWISE ANY LIGHT SNOW WILL END WITH VFR VSBY BY AFTERNOON.
CIGS WILL IMPROVE TO MAINLY VFR ACROSS LOWER ELEVATIONS WITH AREAS
OF MVFR LINGERING ACROSS HIGHER TERRAIN AND ALSO SOUTHEAST OF LAKE
ONTARIO.

OUTLOOK... 
TUESDAY...VFR DETERIORATING TO MVFR/IFR IN THE AFTERNOON WITH SNOW 
DEVELOPING THEN QUICKLY CHANGING TO A WINTRY MIX. 
TUESDAY NIGHT...MVFR/IFR WITH A WINTRY MIX CHANGING TO RAIN. 
BECOMING WINDY. 
WEDNESDAY...WINDY. MVFR WITH A CHANCE OF SNOW SHOWERS.
THURSDAY...MVFR WITH A CHANCE OF SNOW SHOWERS.
FRIDAY...MAINLY VFR.

&&

.MARINE...
AN INCREASING PRESSURE GRADIENT BETWEEN A DEEPENING COASTAL LOW AND 
HIGH PRESSURE BUILDING INTO THE OHIO VALLEY WILL BRING A PERIOD OF 
HIGH END SMALL CRAFT ADVISORIES TO THE OPEN PORTIONS OF LAKE ONTARIO 
TODAY. WINDS WILL QUICKLY DIMINISH TONIGHT AS HIGH PRESSURE BUILDS 
OVER THE LOWER LAKES.

A STRONG AREA OF LOW PRESSURE WILL MOVE THROUGH THE CENTRAL LAKES 
TUESDAY NIGHT. ANOTHER PERIOD OF HIGH END SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY 
CONDITIONS WILL DEVELOP ON THE OPEN PORTION OF LAKE ONTARIO 
WEDNESDAY IN THE WAKE OF THIS SYSTEM AS COLDER AIR COMES RUSHING 
BACK INTO THE REGION.

&&

.CLIMATE...
FEBRUARY 2015 IS NOW IN THE RECORD BOOKS...AND WHAT A MONTH IT WAS. 
IT WILL GO DOWN AS NOT ONLY THE COLDEST FEBRUARY ON RECORD...BUT THE 
COLDEST CALENDAR MONTH ON RECORD FOR THE REGION. THERE WAS ALSO 
ABUNDANT SNOWFALL AND WIND...MAKING FOR A PARTICULARLY HARSH WINTER 
MONTH. HERE ARE SOME DETAILS FOR OUR MAJOR CLIMATE SITES.

BUFFALO...

NOTE RECORDS DATE BACK TO 1871.

COLDEST CALENDAR MONTH ON RECORD WITH AN AVERAGE TEMPERATURE OF 
10.9F WHICH IS AN ASTOUNDING 15.4F BELOW NORMAL. THIS SHATTERS THE 
PREVIOUS RECORD OF 11.6F SET BACK IN FEBRUARY OF 1934. 

BUFFALO HAD 10 DAYS IN FEBRUARY WHERE THE LOW TEMPERATURE FELL BELOW 
ZERO. THE GREATEST NUMBER OF BELOW ZERO LOW TEMPERATURES FOR THE 
MONTH OF FEBRUARY WAS 11 SET IN 1934. THERE HAVE BEEN 11 DAYS BELOW 
ZERO SO FAR IN THE WINTER OF 2014-2015. THE RECORD NUMBER OF BELOW 
ZERO DAYS FOR A WINTER IS 19 IN THE WINTER OF 1884-1885.

METEOROLOGICAL WINTER COMPRISING THE MONTHS OF DECEMBER...JANUARY... 
AND FEBRUARY ENDED WITH AN AVERAGE TEMPERATURE OF 21.6F...WHICH 
RANKS AS THE 10TH COLDEST IN HISTORY. THE COLDEST WAS THE WINTER OF 
1917-1918 WITH AN AVERAGE TEMPERATURE OF 19.3F.

SNOWFALL FOR FEBRUARY WAS 46.2 INCHES...WHICH RANKS AS THE THIRD 
MOST ON RECORD. THE SNOWIEST FEBRUARY WAS IN 1958 WITH 54.2 INCHES. 
FOR THE SEASON THROUGH FEBRUARY 28TH WE STAND AT 103 INCHES...WHICH 
IS 24.2 INCHES ABOVE NORMAL THROUGH THAT DATE.

ROCHESTER...

NOTE RECORDS DATE BACK TO 1871.

COLDEST CALENDAR MONTH ON RECORD WITH AN AVERAGE TEMPERATURE OF 
12.2F WHICH IS AN ASTOUNDING 14.2F BELOW NORMAL. THIS BREAKS THE 
PREVIOUS RECORD OF 12.6F SET BACK IN FEBRUARY OF 1934.

ROCHESTER HAD 10 DAYS IN FEBRUARY WHERE THE LOW TEMPERATURE FELL 
BELOW ZERO. THIS TIES 1979 FOR THE GREATEST NUMBER OF BELOW ZERO LOW 
TEMPERATURES FOR THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY. THERE HAVE BEEN 12 DAYS 
BELOW ZERO SO FAR IN THE WINTER OF 2014-2015. THE RECORD NUMBER OF 
BELOW ZERO DAYS FOR A WINTER IS 15 IN THE WINTER OF 1884-1885.

METEOROLOGICAL WINTER COMPRISING THE MONTHS OF DECEMBER...JANUARY... 
AND FEBRUARY ENDED WITH AN AVERAGE TEMPERATURE OF 22.0F...WHICH 
RANKS AS THE 13TH COLDEST IN HISTORY. THE COLDEST WAS THE WINTER OF 
1903-1904 WITH AN AVERAGE TEMPERATURE OF 19.6F.

SNOWFALL FOR FEBRUARY WAS 45.2 INCHES...WHICH RANKS AS THE FOURTH 
MOST ON RECORD. THE SNOWIEST FEBRUARY WAS IN 1958 WITH 64.8 INCHES. 
FOR THE SEASON THROUGH FEBRUARY 28TH WE STAND AT 88.6 INCHES...WHICH 
IS 9.7 INCHES ABOVE NORMAL THROUGH THAT DATE.

WATERTOWN...

NOTE RECORDS DATE BACK TO 1950.

COLDEST CALENDAR MONTH ON RECORD WITH AN AVERAGE TEMPERATURE OF 6.1F 
WHICH IS AN ASTOUNDING 15.0F BELOW NORMAL. THIS BREAKS THE PREVIOUS 
RECORD OF 6.4F SET BACK IN DECEMBER OF 1989.

WATERTOWN HAD 20 DAYS IN FEBRUARY WHERE THE LOW TEMPERATURE FELL 
BELOW ZERO. THIS SETS A NEW RECORD FOR THE MONTH. THE PREVIOUS 
RECORD WAS 16 DAYS IN 1978. THERE HAVE BEEN 35 DAYS BELOW ZERO SO 
FAR IN THE WINTER OF 2014-2015. THE RECORD NUMBER OF BELOW ZERO DAYS 
FOR A WINTER IS 41 IN THE WINTER OF 1993-1994.

METEOROLOGICAL WINTER COMPRISING THE MONTHS OF DECEMBER...JANUARY... 
AND FEBRUARY ENDED WITH AN AVERAGE TEMPERATURE OF 18.0F...WHICH TIES 
AS THE 10TH COLDEST IN HISTORY WITH 1968-1969. THE COLDEST WAS THE 
WINTER OF 1969-1970 WITH AN AVERAGE TEMPERATURE OF 14.7F.

&&

.BUF WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
NY...NONE.
MARINE...SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY UNTIL MIDNIGHT EST TONIGHT FOR LOZ042-043.

&&

$$

SYNOPSIS...TMA
NEAR TERM...THOMAS/TMA
SHORT TERM...RSH
LONG TERM...SMITH
AVIATION...TMA
MARINE...TMA
CLIMATE...HITCHCOCK







National Weather Service
Disclaimer Privacy Policy