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]



000
FXUS61 KBUF 261415
AFDBUF

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BUFFALO NY
915 AM EST THU FEB 26 2015

.SYNOPSIS...
LIGHT SNOW OVER THE SOUTHERN TIER WILL MOVE EAST TODAY.  SOME LAKE 
EFFECT WILL AFFECT THE SOUTHERN SHORE OF LAKE ONTARIO AS WELL.  
HOWEVER...NEITHER AREA IS EXPECTED TO SEE MUCH IF ANY ACCUMULATING 
SNOW.  OTHERWISE...IT WILL REMAIN GENERALLY DRY WITH TEMPERATURES 
WELL BELOW NORMAL INTO THE WEEKEND. A MORE POTENT SYSTEM MAY BRING 
WIDESPREAD SNOWFALL SUNDAY INTO SUNDAY NIGHT ALONG WITH SEASONABLE 
TEMPERATURES.

&&

.NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/...
SURFACE HIGH PRESSURE RIDGING EASTWARD ACROSS SOUTHERN ONTARIO WILL 
MAINTAIN A COLD NORTHEASTERLY WIND AND WILL PRODUCE LIGHT LAKE 
EFFECT SNOW OVER MAINLY THE SOUTHWEST CORNER OF THE LAKE. THE LAKE 
SNOW WILL WEAKEN AND WANE DURING THE MORNING. 

AN UPPER TROUGH WILL PIVOT ACROSS THE GREAT LAKES TODAY AS A LEAD 
SHORTWAVE EJECTS FROM THE BASE OF THE TROUGH OVER THE OHIO VALLEY 
AND ACROSS WESTERN/CNTRL NEW YORK. WHILE THIS WILL SERVE TO BRING A 
DECENT AMOUNT OF CLOUD COVER...THE BULK OF THE FORECAST AREA SHOULD 
REMAIN DRY AS THE MAIN LIFT ASSOCIATED WITH THE SHORTWAVE WILL BE TO 
THE SOUTH/SOUTHEAST OF THE FORECAST AREA...ACROSS PA AND 
SOUTH-CENTRAL NEW YORK. THE EXCEPTION WILL BE OVER THE SOUTHERN TIER 
THROUGH THE AFTERNOON AS THE IMPULSE PASSES.  HOWEVER...ONLY A SMALL 
AMOUNT OF ACCUMULATION IS EXPECTED. 

A REPLENISHMENT OF COLD AIR ACROSS LAKE ONTARIO AND A WINDSHIFT TO 
NORTHWESTERLY WILL BRING STRONGER LAKE EFFECT TO THE SOUTH SHORE OF 
LAKE ONTARIO...SHIFT MORE TO THE EAST THROUGH THE NIGHT.

&&

.SHORT TERM /FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY NIGHT/...
WHILE TEMPERATURES WILL REMAIN BELOW NORMAL DURING THIS PERIOD...
THERE WILL BE A DEFINITE WARMING TREND THROUGHOUT THE LOWER GREAT 
LAKES. THIS WILL COME AS A RESULT OF SUBTLE RIDGING WITHIN THE 
SOUTHERN BRANCH OF A SPLIT LONGWAVE PATTERN THAT WILL BULGE 
NORTHWARD FROM THE OHIO VALLEY DURING THE COURSE OF THE WEEKEND. THE 
CORRESPONDING SFC HIGH WILL THEN ACT AS A HEAT PUMP AS IT WILL 
EVENTUALLY CIRCULATE MILDER H925-85 AIR NORTHWARDS OVER OUR REGION. 
THIS PROCESS WILL BE TEMPORARILY SHORT-CIRCUITED BY THE END OF THE 
WEEKEND THOUGH...AS A PASSING COLD FRONT WILL USHER IN A SHORT LIVED 
BATCH OF COLDER AIR. THE DAY TO DAY DETAILS...

EXPANSIVE HIGH PRESSURE WILL BUILD ACROSS THE MID-WEST AND EXTEND 
ACROSS THE LOWER GREAT LAKES ON FRIDAY...WHILE A WEAKENING H5 
SHORTWAVE TROUGH WILL SHEAR OUT OVER THE REGION. LARGE SCALE 
SUBSIDENCE FROM THE APPROACHING RIDGE WILL COMBINE WITH A WEALTH OF 
DRY AIR IN THE MID LEVELS TO SUPPORT PARTLY TO MOSTLY SUNNY SKIES 
FOR MOST AREAS...BUT THERE WILL BE SOME NUISANCE LATE SEASON LAKE 
EFFECT SNOW SHOWERS TO CONTEND WITH SOUTHEAST OF LK ONTARIO. THIS 
ACTIVITY WILL BE SEVERELY LIMITED BY A CAP IN THE VCNTY OF 5K FT... 
A MODERATELY SHEARED ENVIRONMENT...60 PERCENT ICE COVERAGE...AND AS 
MENTIONED A WEALTH OF MID LEVEL DRY AIR. WILL CONTINUE TO COVER THIS 
SCENARIO WITH CHC POPS AND SNOW ACCUMS OF AN INCH OR SO. OTHERWISE 
FRIDAY WILL ONCE AGAIN BE QUITE COLD WITH MAX TEMPS WITHIN A FEW 
DEGREES OF 10. THESE READINGS WILL BE 20 TO 25 DEG F BELOW NORMAL 
LATE FEBRUARY VALUES.

THE CENTER OF THE LARGE SFC HIGH WILL DRIFT ACROSS THE UPPER OHIO 
VALLEY FRIDAY NIGHT. THIS WILL LEAD TO MAINLY CLEAR SKIES AND LIGHT 
WINDS OVER THE REGION...WHICH WILL TRANSLATE INTO A COLD NIGHT WITH 
LOWS RANGING FROM ZERO TO 10 BELOW. THE EXCEPTION TO THIS SCENARIO 
WILL BE EAST OF LK ONTARIO WHERE BACKING LOW LEVEL WINDS WILL PUSH 
THE NUISANCE LAKE SNOW SHOWERS NORTH ACROSS THE TUG HILL PLATEAU. 
THIS ACTIVITY SHOULD WEAKEN DURING THE COURSE OF THE NIGHT AS THE 
ALREADY LOW CAP IS FORECAST DROP TO JUST A FEW THOUSAND FEET. 

HIGH PRESSURE WILL DRIFT BY JUST TO OUR SOUTH ON SATURDAY...AND THIS 
WILL SUPPORT PLENTY OF BRIGHT SUNSHINE. ONCE AGAIN...THE EXCEPTION 
WILL COME EAST OF LK ONTARIO WHERE SCATTERED LIGHT LAKE DRIVEN SNOW 
SHOWERS COULD PRODUCE A COATING OF ACCUMULATION. OTHERWISE...OUR 
REGION WILL START TO UNDERGO A MODERATION IN TEMPERATURES AS THE 
LAST DAY OF FEBRUARY WILL FEATURE AFTERNOON HIGHS IN THE TEENS AND 
LOWER 20S. COMPARED TO RECENT DAYS...NOT A BAD DAY AT ALL.

SPEAKING OF THE END OF THE MONTH...THE PERSISTENT COLD WILL ALMOST 
CERTAINLY CLOSE OUT FEBRUARY 2015 AS ONE OF...IF NOT THE COLDEST 
MONTH IN THE RECORDED HISTORY OF OUR CLIMATE SITES WHICH COVERS 144 
YEARS IN BUFFALO AND ROCHESTER...AND 65 YEARS IN WATERTOWN. MORE 
DETAILS IN THE CLIMATE SECTION BELOW.

ON SUNDAY...THE AFOREMENTIONED SFC HIGH MOVE WILL MOVE OFF THE EAST 
COAST WHILE A STRONG SHORTWAVE DIGGING SOUTH ACROSS THE UPPER 
MISSISSIPPI VALLEY WILL PUSH A WAVY FRONTAL BOUNDARY ACROSS SOUTHERN 
ONTARIO. THE DEEPENING SOUTHERLY FLOW BETWEEN THESE TWO FEATURES 
WILL QUICKLY MOISTEN THE LOWER BOUNDARY LAYER DURING THE MORNING 
HOURS WITH LIGHT SNOW LIKELY BREAKING OUT AS THE DAY PROGRESSES. 
GIVEN ONLY NOMINAL UPPER LEVEL JET SUPPORT...THE MAIN FORCING FROM 
THIS SCENARIO WILL BE THE ISENTROPIC LIFT GENERATED FROM THE WARM 
ADVECTION. WHILE WIDESPREAD SNOWFALL WILL BE LIKELY BY MID-LATE 
AFTERNOON...THE FORCING IS NOT EXPECTED TO PRODUCE ANYTHING MORE 
THAN A FEW INCHES OF SNOW ACCUMULATION. THIS WILL BEAR WATCHING 
THOUGH AS HIGHER SNOWFALL AMOUNTS WOULD REQUIRE ANOTHER ROUND OF 
WINTER WEATHER HEADLINES. TEMPERATURES SUNDAY WILL CLIMB TO BETWEEN 
25 AND 30...WHICH WILL FEEL BALMY AFTER OUR RECENT STRETCH OF BITTER 
COLD.

THE WIDESPREAD SNOW WILL LIKELY CONTINUE SUNDAY NIGHT AS THE FRONTAL 
BOUNDARY WILL GRADUALLY PUSH ACROSS THE FORECAST AREA. A FEW MORE 
INCHES OF SNOW COULD ACCUMULATE.

&&

.LONG TERM /MONDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY/...
THE SPLIT LONGWAVE PATTERN OVER THE LOWER 48 LEADING INTO THIS 
PERIOD WILL PHASE EARLY IN THE WEEK AS SEVERAL ROBUST MID LEVEL 
DISTURBANCES WILL DIVE SOUTH ALONG THE WEST COAST. THIS WILL PUMP UP 
A RIDGE DOWNSTREAM ACROSS THE EASTERN HALF OF THE COUNTRY...WHICH 
WILL INITIALLY SUPPORT FAIR WEATHER ACROSS OUR REGION.

AS WE PUSH INTO TUESDAY THOUGH...PACIFIC BASED ENERGY WILL EJECT OUT 
OF THE INTERMOUNTAIN WEST WITH CYCLOGENESIS TO FOLLOW OVER THE 
PLAINS. WHILE THERE IS STILL SOME UNCERTAINTY AS TO THE STRENGTH AND 
TRACK OF THE RESULTING SFC LOW...THE MAJORITY OF THE ECMWF AND GFS 
BASED ENSEMBLES FAVOR A SOLUTION WHERE A RELATIVELY WEAK CYCLONE IS 
FORECAST TO PUSH ACROSS THE MID WEST TUESDAY NIGHT BEFORE CROSSING 
OUR FORECAST AREA ON WEDNESDAY. THIS WOULD BE A RELATIVELY 'MILD' 
STORM TRACK THAT WOULD EVENTUALLY LEAD TO SOME MIXED PRECIPITATION. 
HAVE HELD ONTO HIGH CHC POPS LATE TUESDAY INTO WEDNESDAY. THE PCPN 
WOULD START OFF AS LIGHT SNOW...THEN GIVEN THE DESCRIBED STORM 
TRACK...WOULD TRANSITION TO MIXED PCPN TUESDAY NIGHT AND WEDNESDAY.

&&

.AVIATION /14Z THURSDAY THROUGH MONDAY/...
MVFR CIGS ASSOCIATED WITH DISSIPATING LAKE EFFECT WILL CONTINUE TO 
LINGER ALONG/JUST SOUTH OF LAKE ONTARIO. THESE MVFR CIGS SHOULD LIFT 
BACK INTO VFR RANGE AROUND NOON AS LINGERING LAKE EFFECT CONTINUES 
TO DIMINISH. OTHERWISE MID/HIGH CLOUD WILL DOMINATE AHEAD OF AN 
UPPER LEVEL DISTURBANCE. THIS SYSTEM WILL LARGELY PASS SOUTH OF THE 
FORECAST AREA TODAY...BRINGING LIGHT SNOW TO THE SOUTHERN TIER BUT 
WITH LITTLE IMPACT ELSEWHERE. WEST-NORTHWESTERLY FLOW DEVELOPING 
BEHIND THE DISTURBANCE MAY BRING ANOTHER ROUND OF LAKE EFFECT 
CLOUDS/MVFR CIGS WITH A FEW SNOW SHOWERS TO AREAS SOUTH OF LAKE 
ONTARIO ONCE AGAIN FRI NIGHT.

OUTLOOK... 
FRIDAY THROUGH SATURDAY...VFR WITH A CHANCE OF MVFR/IFR IN LAKE 
EFFECT SNOW SHOWERS SOUTHEAST OF LAKE ONTARIO. 
SUNDAY...MVFR/IFR WITH SNOW LIKELY.
MONDAY...MVFR WITH SNOW SHOWERS...THEN IMPROVING TO VFR.

&&

.MARINE...
WINDS ACROSS LAKE ONTARIO WILL BE NORTHEASTERLY EARLY TODAY AS HIGH 
PRESSURE RIDGES ACROSS EASTERN CANADA. WESTERLY FLOW WILL FRESHEN TO 
AROUND 15KTS ON FRIDAY AS AN UPPER LEVEL DISTURBANCE SLIDES ACROSS 
THE LAKES BEFORE ANOTHER AREA OF HIGH PRESSURE AREA SETTLES OVER THE 
LAKES BY SATURDAY.

&&

.CLIMATE...
---THIS FEBRUARY IS WRAPPING UP TO BE ONE OF THE COLDEST AND
SNOWIEST MONTHS IN OUR PRIMARY CLIMATE STATIONS HISTORY. THE
CONTINUED NORTHWEST FLOW OF BITTERLY COLD AIR HAS LEFT THE MONTH
OF FEBRUARY A HISTORIC MONTH THAT WILL BE A BENCHMARK MARK FOR
YEARS TO COME. BELOW ARE THE COLDEST MONTHS IN EACH STATIONS
HISTORY. TEMPERATURE RECORDS FOR BUFFALO AND ROCHESTER GO BACK TO
1871...WHILE TEMPERATURE RECORDS IN WATERTOWN GO BACK TO 1950.


STATION:    VALUE (F)   MONTH (YEAR)    

BUFFALO     11.6        FEB (1934)
            13.4        FEB (1875)
            13.8        JAN (1977)
            14.1        JAN (1918)
            14.6        FEB (1885)
            14.9        FEB (1979)
            15.5        FEB (1978)
            15.6        JAN (1920)
            15.6        JAN (1912)
            16.2        JAN (1945)


ROCHESTER   12.6        FEB (1934)
            13.7        FEB (1979)
            14.4        FEB (1875)
            14.5        FEB (1885)
            14.8        JAN (1918)
            14.9        JAN (1994)
            15.2        JAN (1945)
            15.5        JAN (1977)
            15.7        JAN (1981)
            16.1        JAN (1920)


WATERTOWN    6.4        DEC (1989)
             6.5        JAN (1970)
             6.9        JAN (1994)
             7.9        FEB (1978)
             8.0        JAN (1981)
             8.1        JAN (2004)
             8.4        FEB (1979)
            10.0        JAN (2003)
            10.1        JAN (1977)
            10.3        JAN (1961)    

CURRENT MONTHLY AVERAGE TEMPERATURES ARE LISTED ON THE CF6 CLIMATE 
PRODUCT.


---FEBRUARY HAS ALSO BEEN A SNOWY MONTH AS A PERSISTENT TRACK OF 
CLIPPERS WITHIN A NORTHWEST FLOW HAS MAINTAINED NICKEL AND DIME 
SNOWS THROUGH THE MONTH...THIS AFTER A SIGNIFICANT SYNOPTIC STORM TO 
START FEBRUARY. BELOW ARE THE TOP SNOWIEST FEBRUARY'S ON RECORD. 
SNOWFALL RECORDS GO BACK TO 1884.

STATION:    SNOW (IN)      YEAR  

BUFFALO     1  54.2        1958
            2  49.5        1960
            3  45.9        2015 (DATA THROUGH 2/25)


ROCHESTER   1  64.8        1958
            2  58.3        1960
            3  46.5        2007
            4  44.7        2015 (DATA THROUGH 2/25)


--- BUFFALO NEW YORK HAS REMAINED AT OR BELOW FREEZING SINCE
JANUARY 30TH. BELOW IS A LIST OF LONGEST CONSECUTIVE DAYS AT OR
BELOW FREEZING IN BUFFALO'S HISTORY. 

STATION: RUN LENGTH END DATE

BUFFALO45 DAYSFEB 8 1977
41 DAYSMAR 8 1978
 34 DAYS FEB 10 1985 
31 DAYSFEB 24 1901
28 DAYSJAN 12 1881
 27 DAYS FEB 25 2015

--- IT IS LIKELY THAT BUFFALO REMAINS BELOW FREEZING THE ENTIRE 
MONTH OF FEBRUARY. THIS HAS HAPPENED ONCE BEFORE...IN THE YEAR 1978. 

---ROCHESTER HAS HAD 9 DAYS THIS MONTH WITH MINIMUM TEMPERATURES 
FALLING BELOW ZERO. BELOW IS A LIST OF GREATEST NUMBER OF DAYS 
IN FEBRUARY WITH MINIMUM TEMPERATURES BELOW ZERO...

        NUMBER      YEAR

        10          1979
         9          2015 (DATA THROUGH 2/25)

THE GREATEST NUMBER OF DAYS IN A MONTH THAT HAVE MINIMUM TEMPERATURES 
FALL BELOW ZERO IS FEBRUARY 1979...AND ALSO JANUARY 1994.

THE GREATEST NUMBER OF DAYS IN A WINTER SEASON IN ROCHESTER THAT 
HAVE MINIMUM TEMPERATURES FALL BELOW ZERO IS 15 DAYS SET BACK IN 
1884-85.
   
---WATERTOWN HAS HAD 16 DAYS THIS MONTH WITH MINIMUM TEMPERATURES 
FALLING BELOW ZERO. BELOW IS A LIST OF GREATEST NUMBER OF DAYS IN 
FEBRUARY WITH MINIMUM TEMPERATURES BELOW ZERO...

        NUMBER      YEAR

        16          1978
        16          2015 (DATA THROUGH 2/24)

&&

.BUF WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
NY...NONE.
MARINE...NONE.

&&

$$

SYNOPSIS...WCH/ZAFF
NEAR TERM...WCH/ZAFF
SHORT TERM...RSH
LONG TERM...RSH
AVIATION...WCH/WOOD/ZAFF
MARINE...WCH
CLIMATE...THOMAS







National Weather Service
Disclaimer Privacy Policy