LAKE EFFECT STORM "FOX"
Tues-Wed. February 1-2, 2000
This was a relatively rare "pure" northwest flow lake effect event...focusing mainly on the Rochester metro area...with marginal warning criteria amounts across much of Monroe and western Wayne counties. It was well forecast...but due to its rarity...a bit of luck in placement of the bands was involved because there was an "uplake" connection from Georgian Bay.
The event began following the passage of a synoptic system on Monday and early Tuesday...with some orographic and lake enhancement as it ended Tuesday morning. Many parameters indicated the potential of a significant event south of Lake Ontario...moisture was deep...shear was minimal...and the inversion and equilibrium levels were high. The flow however...was in the 305-310 range...a bit too northerly for a long Lake Ontario fetch. Still...snowbands originating from Lake Huron and Georgian Bay streamed across western Lake Ontario by late afternoon Tuesday and initially set up across eastern Niagara and Genesee counties. The most intense bands then drifted east into Monroe county by mid evening and with possibly a bit longer Lake Ontario fetch allowed the bands to intensify and drop snow at 1-2 inches per hour over Rochester. This activity meandered across Monroe and western Wayne counties until about 2 am when it subsided. Meanwhile another intense narrow band moved down across Niagara and Genesee counties early Wednesday morning. Surface ridging and a crashing inversion along with increasing shear shut off the event by mid morning Wednesday.
Snowfall totals were in the 6 to 10 inch range across most of Monroe and western Wayne counties...with only a few inches further east across Oswego county because flow was too northerly for great fetch. Also a few isolated 3-inch amounts were reported in a couple of the narrow bands further west in Niagara...Orleans and Genesee counties.
This was a marginal event but affected a heavily populated area. Therefore..."Fox" rates as a 2-Flake storm.
Some representative snowfall totals (included 1-4" synoptic):
.Rochester metro...6 to 10 inches .
.Wayne Co....5 to 8 inches west...2 to 4 inches east.
.Oswego/Nrn Cayuga counties...2 to 4 inches.
.Orleans/Niagara/Genesee counties...1 to 4
Flake Scale: **