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Area Forecast Discussion
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000
FXUS61 KBUF 312204
AFDBUF

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BUFFALO NY
504 PM EST SAT JAN 31 2015

.SYNOPSIS...
COLD AIR WILL REMAIN ENTRENCHED ACROSS THE REGION FOR THE REST OF 
TONIGHT WITH A FEW LINGERING SNOW SHOWERS OR PERHAPS POCKETS OF 
FREEZING DRIZZLE. A WINTER STORM WILL IMPACT THE REGION BEGINNING 
SUNDAY AND CONTINUING THROUGH MONDAY. THE HEAVIEST SNOW WITH THIS 
SYSTEM IS EXPECTED SUNDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH MONDAY MORNING...WITH 
BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW ALSO BECOMING A CONCERN SUNDAY NIGHT AND 
MONDAY. ANOTHER ROUND OF BITTERLY COLD AIR WILL BUILD INTO THE 
REGION MONDAY AND TUESDAY WITH DANGEROUSLY COLD WIND CHILLS 
DEVELOPING.

&&

.NEAR TERM /THROUGH SUNDAY/...
BAND OF LIMITED SNOW SHOWER RESPONSE OFF LAKE ONTARIO WEAKENING AND 
LIFTING NORTH THIS AFTERNOON AS THE LOW LEVEL FLOW BACKS TO 
SOUTHWEST. WARM AIR ADVECTION PATTERN WITHIN THE SOUTHWEST FLOW WILL 
FURTHER WEAKEN THIS ACTIVITY. 

A REINFORCING COLD FRONT WILL APPROACH FROM THE NORTH TONIGHT AND 
REACH THE NEW YORK/PENNSYLVANIA STATE LINE BY SUNDAY MORNING. 
TEMPERATURES ALOFT MAY ONCE AGAIN BECOME COLD ENOUGH IN THE 
DEVELOPING WEST NORTHWEST FLOW BEHIND THE FRONT TO GENERATE SOME 
LIMITED LAKE RESPONSE SOUTHEAST OF THE LAKES. THIS MAY BRING AN INCH 
OR TWO TO THESE AREAS. 12Z PROFILES SUGGESTING THAT INCREASING MID 
LEVEL MOISTURE WITH THE FRONT...WHICH INITIALLY WILL BE LACKING 
MAY PROVIDE ENOUGH SEEDING TO REDUCE THE RISK FOR FREEZING DRIZZLE.  
CONFIDENCE IN PRECIPITATION AND PRECIPITATION TYPE REMAINS TOO LOW 
FOR ANY HEADLINES...WITH LIGHT SNOW EXPECTED TO BE THE PRIMARY 
PRECIPITATION TYPE.

SIGNIFICANT WINTER WEATHER EVENT LOOKS TO BE SHAPING UP FOR WESTERN 
AND CENTRAL NEW YORK STARING SUNDAY...BUT CURRENT THINKING IS THAT 
THE MOST SIGNIFICANT IMPACTS WILL BE BEYOND THIS PORTION OF THE 
FORECAST. 

CONSENSUS OF THE 12Z MODEL SUITE ARRIVING A TOUCH NORTHWARD WITH THE 
OVERALL DOWNSTREAM FORECAST OF THE STORM SYSTEM. THIS HAS REQUIRED 
AN ADJUSTMENT THAT TRANSLATES INTO A GENERAL NORTHWARD SHIFT TO 
OVERALL FORECASTER CONFIDENCE AND UNIFORM UPWARD TREND IN THE 
SNOWFALL ACCUMULATION POTENTIAL THROUGHOUT THE LOCAL AREA. 
 
STEADY DEEPENING OF THE SHORTWAVE CURRENTLY SEEN ON WATER VAPOR 
IMAGERY THIS AFTERNOON ACROSS THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST WILL BE WELL 
UNDERWAY SUNDAY MORNING ACROSS THE CENTRAL PLAINS...THIS PROCESS 
MAGNIFIED AS THE TRAILING ANOMALY CATCHES THE ENERGY BEING SHEARED
OUT OF THE CLOSED LOW DRIFTING THROUGH THE SOUTHWEST CONUS. WATER 
VAPOR IMAGERY PROVIDING AN IMPRESSIVE REPRESENTATION OF THE AVAILABLE 
MOISTURE CONTENT CURRENTLY TIED TO THIS LOW...WITH A SUBSTANTIAL MID 
LEVEL THETA-E/WARM AIR ADVECTION COMPONENT EMERGING THROUGH THE 
PLAINS. THIS WILL RESULT IN AN AGGRESSIVE NORTHEASTWARD EXPANSION OF 
THIS MOISTURE PLUME THROUGH THE OHIO VALLEY INTO WESTERN NEW YORK 
DURING THE DAY SUNDAY.

SNOWFALL AMOUNTS MAY BE TEMPERED A BIT INITIALLY BY THE PRESENCE OF 
DRY AIR IN PLACE ACROSS THE AREA...BUT EXPECTED BY SUNDAY AFTERNOON 
STEADY SNOW WILL BE OCCURRING ACROSS THE WESTERN HALF OF THE AREA. 
NEARLY ALL GUIDANCE SUGGESTING A 1-3 INCH ACCUMULATION BY THE END OF 
THE DAY SUNDAY ACROSS THE WESTERN THIRD OF THE AREA WITH THE HIGHER 
AMOUNTS FOCUSED SOUTH OF THE THRUWAY.

THE EVENT WILL THEN TAKE OFF AFTER THIS POINT SUNDAY NIGHT.

&&

.SHORT TERM /SUNDAY NIGHT THROUGH WEDNESDAY NIGHT/...
IN THIS PERIOD...THE MAIN PERIOD OF CONCERN WILL BE SUNDAY NIGHT AND 
MONDAY...WHEN A SIGNIFICANT WINTER STORM WILL TRACK FROM THE OHIO 
VALLEY EASTWARD ALONG THE MASON-DIXON LINE...AND EVENTUALLY OFF THE 
NEW JERSEY COASTLINE. THE 12Z SUITE OF MODEL GUIDANCE HAS CONTINUED 
THE TRENDS TOWARD A STRONGER OVERALL SYSTEM AND A MORE NORTHERLY 
TRACK THAT BEGAN A COUPLE OF NIGHTS AGO...WITH MOST OF THE 
OPERATIONAL MODELS NOW TIGHTLY CLUSTERED ALONG THE AFOREMENTIONED 
TRACK...AND CONSEQUENTLY BRINGING HEAVIER PRECIPITATION EVEN FURTHER 
NORTHWARD INTO WESTERN AND CENTRAL NEW YORK...A SCENARIO WHICH 
CERTAINLY LOOKS REASONABLE GIVEN THE DEEP MOISTURE AND STRONG 
SYNOPTIC-SCALE LIFT THAT WILL BE ACCOMPANYING THIS SYSTEM. AT THIS 
POINT...THE BULK OF THE HEAVIER SNOW LOOKS TO FALL BETWEEN SUNDAY 
NIGHT AND MONDAY MORNING...WITH THIS THEN TAPERING OFF FROM WEST TO 
EAST AS THE SYSTEM PULLS AWAY MONDAY AFTERNOON. 

IN TERMS OF PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS...A CONSENSUS OF WPC GUIDANCE AND 
QPF FROM THE MAIN OPERATIONAL MODELS SUGGESTS THAT TOTAL LIQUID 
EQUIVALENT AMOUNTS FOR SUNDAY NIGHT AND MONDAY WILL RANGE FROM 
AROUND THREE QUARTERS OF AN INCH ALONG THE NY-PA BORDER TO AROUND 
FOUR TENTHS OF AN INCH ALONG A LINE RUNNING FROM THE SOUTHERN SHORE 
OF LAKE ONTARIO EASTWARD TO SOUTHERN LEWIS COUNTY...WITH AMOUNTS 
THEN SHARPLY DIMINISHING TO AROUND A TENTH OF AN INCH ACROSS THE 
SAINT LAWRENCE VALLEY. GIVEN LIKELY SNOWFALL:LIQUID RATIOS OF AROUND 
15:1 SUNDAY NIGHT INCREASING TO AROUND 20:1 DURING MONDAY AS COLDER 
AIR WRAPS IN BEHIND THE DEPARTING LOW CENTER...SUCH AMOUNTS WILL 
ALMOST CERTAINLY TRANSLATE INTO STORM TOTAL ACCUMULATIONS OF 10 TO 
14 INCHES ACROSS OUR SOUTHERNMOST TWO TIERS OF ZONES...WHERE THE 
INITIAL ROUND OF WINTER STORM WATCHES HAVE CONSEQUENTLY BEEN 
UPGRADED TO WINTER STORM WARNINGS. 

SUPPORTING THE HIGHER END OF THE 10 TO 14 INCH SNOW ACCUMULATION 
RANGE WILL BE VERY FAVORABLE MICROPHYSICS...INCLUDING A 7 TO NEARLY 
10K FT DEEP DENDRITIC GROWTH ZONE AT THE PEAK OF THE EVENT AND A 5K 
FT DEEP ISOTHERMAL LAYER CLOSER TO THE SFC THAT WILL MAXIMIZE GROWTH 
THROUGH RIMING. COULD ENVISION TOTALS OF A FOOT AND A HALF ACROSS 
THE SOUTHERN TIER AND PORTIONS OF THE FINGER LAKES IF THIS THERMAL 
PROFILE WERE TO VERIFY.

NORTH OF THIS...TOTAL ACCUMULATIONS SHOULD BE SOMEWHAT LOWER DUE TO 
INCREASING NORTHWARD EXTENT FROM THE TRACK OF THE LOW...HOWEVER 
ACCUMULATIONS OF 6 TO 12 INCHES STILL APPEAR QUITE POSSIBLE FROM THE 
NIAGARA FRONTIER EASTWARD ACROSS THE ROCHESTER AREA/NORTHERN FINGER 
LAKES TO OSWEGO AND LEWIS COUNTIES. THIS WILL ESPECIALLY BE THE CASE 
DIRECTLY SOUTH OF LAKE ONTARIO...WHERE ADDITIONAL LAKE AND 
OROGRAPHIC ENHANCEMENT MAY ALSO COME INTO PLAY ON MONDAY AS A 
NORTHERLY FLOW OF COLDER AIR DEVELOPS AROUND THE BACKSIDE OF THE 
DEPARTING SYSTEM. WITH FORECAST CONFIDENCE IN HEAVIER SNOWFALL 
AMOUNTS FOR THESE AREAS INCREASING THOUGH NOT YET QUITE HIGH ENOUGH 
FOR A WINTER STORM WARNING GIVEN THE STILL-CLOSE PROXIMITY TO THE 
NORTHERN EDGE OF THE SYSTEM...ADDITIONAL WINTER STORM WATCHES WERE 
HOISTED EARLIER THIS AFTERNOON TO HIGHLIGHT THIS POTENTIAL. SHOULD 
THE CURRENT EXPECTATIONS FOR THIS SYSTEM HOLD THOUGH...EXPECT 
THAT AN EVENTUAL UPGRADE TO WINTER STORM WARNINGS FOR THESE AREAS 
WILL LIKELY FOLLOW SOMETIME LATER ON TONIGHT OR EARLY SUNDAY 
MORNING. 

AT THIS POINT...THE ONLY PART OF OUR CWA NOT CURRENTLY UNDER A 
WINTER WEATHER HEADLINE IS JEFFERSON COUNTY...WHERE TOTAL SNOWFALL 
AMOUNTS CURRENTLY LOOK TO REMAIN CONFINED TO THE ADVISORY RANGE OR 
LOWER. THIS STATED...SHOULD SUCH SNOWFALL AMOUNTS STILL APPEAR 
LIKELY AS WE DRAW CLOSER TO THE EVENT...A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY 
WOULD ULTIMATELY BECOME NECESSARY FOR THIS AREA AS WELL.

AS THE CYCLONIC FLOW AROUND THIS SYSTEM STRENGTHENS SUNDAY NIGHT AND 
EARLY MONDAY...AREAS OF BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW WILL ALSO BECOME A 
CONCERN...PARTICULARLY ALONG AND INLAND FROM THE SOUTHERN SHORES OF 
LAKES ERIE AND ONTARIO WHERE WINDS WILL BE THE STRONGEST DUE TO THE 
ONSHORE COMPONENT TO THE LOW LEVEL FLOW. TEMPERATURES WILL ALSO RUN 
WELL BELOW AVERAGE FOR THE MOST PART...WITH LOWS RANGING FROM AROUND 
10 ABOVE ACROSS THE SOUTHERN TIER TO THE NEGATIVE SINGLE DIGITS 
ACROSS THE NORTH COUNTRY SUNDAY NIGHT...AND HIGHS ON MONDAY THEN 
STRUGGLING TO REACH THE 10 TO 15 RANGE...IF THAT.

FOLLOWING THE DEPARTURE OF THIS SYSTEM...MONDAY NIGHT AND TUESDAY 
WILL FEATURE QUIETER AND MUCH DRIER WEATHER FOR MOST PLACES AS THE 
AXIS OF SURFACE-BASED RIDGING AND MUCH DRIER AIR SLIDES FROM THE 
CENTRAL GREAT LAKES EASTWARD ACROSS NEW YORK STATE...WHILE A 
DEVELOPING CLIPPER SYSTEM TAKES SHAPE ACROSS THE CENTRAL GREAT LAKES 
AND ONTARIO PROVINCE. THE ONE EXCEPTION TO THIS WILL BE DOWNWIND OF 
LAKE ONTARIO...WHERE ENOUGH MOISTURE WILL STILL BE IN PLACE TO 
SUPPORT SOME SCATTERED LIGHT LAKE EFFECT SNOW SHOWERS. THESE WILL 
INITIALLY BE LOCATED SOUTH OF THE LAKE MONDAY NIGHT...BEFORE 
SHIFTING NORTHWARD ACROSS THE NORTH COUNTRY AND INTO THE SAINT 
LAWRENCE VALLEY ON TUESDAY AS THE LARGE-SCALE FLOW BACKS WITH THE 
PASSAGE OF THE SURFACE RIDGE AXIS...AND IN ADVANCE OF THE DEVELOPING 
CLIPPER SYSTEM. 

AFTER THAT...THE REMAINDER OF THE PERIOD WILL THEN FEATURE THE 
APPROACH AND PASSAGE OF THE AFOREMENTIONED CLIPPER...WITH THIS 
LIKELY CENTERING AROUND THE DAYLIGHT HOURS OF WEDNESDAY. THIS SYSTEM 
NOW APPEARS STRONG ENOUGH IN THE BULK OF THE MEDIUM RANGE GUIDANCE 
TO WARRANT BUMPING SNOW SHOWER PROBABILITIES UP INTO THE LIKELY 
RANGE ON WEDNESDAY...WITH PERIODS OF CHANCE POPS FLANKING THIS 
TUESDAY NIGHT AND WEDNESDAY NIGHT. 

WITH RESPECT TO TEMPERATURES...IT WILL REMAIN RATHER COLD MONDAY 
NIGHT WITH ARCTIC AIR REMAINING IN PLACE...WHEN LOWS SHOULD RANGE 
FROM WITHIN A FEW DEGREES OF ZERO SOUTH OF LAKE ONTARIO TO THE MID 
NEGATIVE TEENS ACROSS THE NORTH COUNTRY...WITH COLDER TEMPS THAN 
THIS NOT OUT OF THE QUESTION. THIS WOULD ESPECIALLY BE THE CASE 
SHOULD ANY NOTEWORTHY CLEARING MANAGE TO DEVELOP...WHICH WOULD ALLOW 
READINGS TO REALLY PLUMMET GIVEN THE PRESENCE OF THE FRESH DEEP 
SNOWPACK LEFT BEHIND BY THE WINTER STORM. AFTER THAT...A GENERAL 
WARM AIR ADVECTION PATTERN WILL SET UP ACROSS THE AREA OUT AHEAD OF 
THE APPROACHING CLIPPER...WHICH SHOULD ALLOW HIGHS TO RECOVER INTO 
THE MID TEENS TO LOWER 20S ON TUESDAY AND POTENTIALLY AS HIGH AS THE 
UPPER 20S AND LOWER 30S ON WEDNESDAY...BEFORE READINGS FALL OFF 
AGAIN WEDNESDAY NIGHT WITH THE ARRIVAL OF A FRESH BATCH OF ARCTIC 
AIR IN THE WAKE OF THE DEPARTING CLIPPER.

&&

.LONG TERM /THURSDAY THROUGH SATURDAY/...
FOLLOWING WEDNESDAY'S CLIPPER...RENEWED ARCTIC COLD AND AT LEAST 
SOME LAKE ONTARIO LAKE SNOWS SHOULD RETURN FOR BOTH THURSDAY AND 
FRIDAY...BEFORE YET ANOTHER WEAK CLIPPER SYSTEM BRINGS SOME LIMITED 
MODERATION IN TEMPS...AS WELL AS RENEWED GENERAL CHANCES OF SNOW 
SHOWERS TO CLOSE OUT THE WEEK.

&&

.AVIATION /22Z SATURDAY THROUGH THURSDAY/...
MOSTLY VFR CONDITIONS WITH PATCHY MVFR CIGS AT KJHW/KBUF/KIAG. THESE 
CONDITIONS SHOULD LAST INTO THIS EVENING UNTIL A COLD FRONT DROPS 
FROM N-S AND BRINGS SOME SNOW SHOWERS AND MVFR/IFR CIGS. THERE IS 
SOME ISOLATED RISK FOR FREEZING DRIZZLE BETWEEN 02Z AND 11Z BUT 
CONFIDENCE IS VERY LOW. 

OUTLOOK...
SUNDAY...VFR/MVFR. A CHANCE OF SNOW SHOWERS.
SUNDAY NIGHT AND MONDAY...IFR IN SNOW IN MOST AREAS...VFR/MVFR 
WITH A CHANCE OF SNOW AT ART.
TUESDAY...VFR/MVFR. A CHANCE OF SNOW SHOWERS EAST OF LAKE ONTARIO.
WEDNESDAY...VFR/MVFR. A CHANCE OF SNOW SHOWERS.

&&

.MARINE...
HIGH PRESSURE MAINTAIN LIGHT WINDS THIS EVENING WILL MOVE EAST 
TONIGHT. A COLD FRONT WILL DROP ACROSS THE LAKES LATER TONIGHT WITH 
AN INCREASING WESTERLY FLOW BEHIND IT. LOW PRESSURE WILL TRACK TO 
THE SOUTH OF THE LAKES SUNDAY NIGHT AND EARLY MONDAY WITH AN 
INCREASING NORTHEASTERLY FLOW...POSSIBLY PRODUCING SMALL CRAFT 
CONDITIONS ON LAKE ONTARIO. WINDS WILL TURN NORTHWESTERLY BY MONDAY 
NIGHT AS THE LOW TRACKS TO THE EAST AND HIGH PRESSURE APPROACHES 
FROM THE WEST. WIND SPEEDS MAY REMAIN STRONG ENOUGH TO CONTINUE A 
SMALL CRAFT RISK ON LAKE ONTARIO AS WELL AS FREEZING SPRAY 
CONCERNS.

&&

.BUF WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
NY...WINTER STORM WATCH FROM SUNDAY EVENING THROUGH MONDAY EVENING 
     FOR NYZ003>006-008.
     WINTER STORM WATCH FROM SUNDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH MONDAY 
     AFTERNOON FOR NYZ001-002-010-011.
     WINTER STORM WARNING FROM 7 AM SUNDAY TO 4 PM EST MONDAY FOR 
     NYZ012>014-019>021-085.
MARINE...NONE.

&&

$$

SYNOPSIS...TMA
NEAR TERM...TMA
SHORT TERM...JJR/RSH
LONG TERM...JJR
AVIATION...TMA
MARINE...TMA







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