Saturday, January 16, 2016

Shuffling Off to Very Snowy Buffalo -OR- What Exactly Am I Getting Myself Into??


So the Buffalo snow-viewing / snow-chasing trip with Gary is about to start and as of now, it is looking like this trip will be much more similar to our Jan. 2014 one than the snowless, drab one at Christmas 2014. As at Christmas 2014, we are staying at the downtown Hyatt Regency.

NWS Buffalo CWA map advisories as of 9:03AM EST January 16, 2016.

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There is a lake effect snow watch in effect for Buffalo proper for Sunday and just south of the city from early Sunday through late Monday with snow totals just through Sunday afternoon of 9 inches. In point of fact, places south of Buffalo could see multiple feet of snow -- so we are really capturing a significant lake effect event.

Grid point forecast for Buffalo, N.Y., with icons and text, Jan. 16 - 20, 2016.

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Grid point forecast for Athol Springs, N.Y., with icons and text, Jan. 16 - 20, 2016.

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I'm unsure how Gary and I will interact with all of this -- he is renting an SUV -- in particular on Monday.

Oh, yes, I'm still not feeling well. I am really going to have to keep things (i.e., night time bar drinking in Allentown) to a minimum.

Anyway, here is the Buffalo NWS area forecast discussion updated at 7:31AM this morning interspersed with some photos from my January 2014 trip with Gary to Buffalo and Niagara Falls (Click / download the images if you are interested in when / where they were taken).

THE BIG STORY DURING THIS PERIOD IS WITH A LONG LASTING LAKE EFFECT SNOW EVENT THAT WILL AGAIN LIKELY BRING FEET OF SNOW EAST AND SOUTHEAST OF THE EASTERN GREAT LAKES. THIS EVENT WILL BE TRIGGERED BY A BROAD AND DEEP -2SD 500MB TROUGH WITH EMBEDDED CUT OFF LOW THAT IS FORECAST TO DIG ACROSS THE GREAT LAKES REGION SUNDAY INTO TUESDAY. THE AIRMASS WITHIN THIS TROUGH WILL BE OF ARCTIC ORIGINS WITH 850MB TEMPS AS LOW AS -20C CROSSING THE STILL WIDE OPEN LAKES.

LAKE EFFECT SNOW EAST OF THE LAKES EARLY SUNDAY WILL INTENSIFY THROUGH MONDAY ENHANCED BY A WEAK SURFACE LOW/TROUGH AND APPROACH OF THE CORE OF THE COLDEST AIR ALOFT. WEST WINDS SUNDAY MORNING WILL BACK TO SOUTHWEST AHEAD OF THE SURFACE LOW LIFTING INTENSIFYING SNOW BANDS NORTH TO ABOUT BUFFALO OFF LAKE ERIE AND JUST SOUTH OF WATERTOWN OFF LAKE ONTARIO BY SUNDAY AFTERNOON.

THE SURFACE LOW/TROUGH WILL PASS ACROSS THE FORECAST AREA SUNDAY EVENING WITH A WIDESPREAD LIGHT SYNOPTIC SNOW FOR ALL THEN WINDS WILL VEER TO NORTHWEST WITH A SURGE OF ARCTIC-SOURCED AIR ARRIVING IN ITS WAKE. THIS WILL STEER SNOW BANDS TO SOUTHEAST OFF BOTH LAKES AS THEY INCREASE TO NEAR PEAK INTENSITY THROUGH MONDAY AS LAKE INDUCED EQUILIBRIUM LEVELS TOP OUT NEAR 15KFT OVER BOTH LAKES.


00Z NAM BUFKIT TIME-HEIGHT PROFILES FOR SPRINGVILLE AND FULTON SHOW STRONG CROSSHAIR SIGNATURES OF HIGH SYNOPTIC MOISTURE AND LIFT INTERSECTING THE SNOW GROWTH REGION ON MONDAY AS THE SNOW BANDS REACH PEAK INTENSITY. LAKE SNOWS WILL CONTINUE INTO TUESDAY SOUTHEAST OF BOTH LAKES BUT WILL WEAKEN SOME AND SURFACE AND MID-LEVEL RIDGING AND WARM ADVECTION ALOFT BEGIN TO LOWER LAKE EQUILIBRIUM LEVELS TO ABOUT 5KFT.

LAKE EFFECT SNOW WATCHES HAVE BEEN ISSUED AS OUTLINED IN THE LOWER PART OF THE DISCUSSION AS CONFIDENCE FOR THIS SIGNIFICANT LAKE EFFECT SNOW EVENT HAS INCREASED TO THE MEDIUM TO HIGH RANGE. THE COMBINATION OF EXCELLENT MODEL SOUNDING PROFILES AND SUPPORT FROM CIPS ANALOGS HAS LEAD TO THIS INCREASE IN CONFIDENCE.

THREE OF THE TOP FIVE CIPS ANALOGS FOR SUNDAY EVENING MATCH PREVIOUS SIGNIFICANT LAKE EFFECT EVENTS. SNOW TOTALS FOR THESE TOP ANALOGS FROM JAN 2-5 1995...DEC 21-24 1999 AND JAN 6-9 2004 MEASURED SEVERAL FEET EAST OF BOTH LAKES. THE BETTER PREFORMING LAKE BAND WILL AGAIN BE OFF LAKE ONTARIO AS A MULTI-LAKE UPSTREAM MOISTURE CONNECTION IS SHOWN IN THE MODELS. SNOWFALL RATES WITHIN BOTH BANDS WILL ALSO LIKELY REACH 2-3 INCHES PER HOUR DURING THE PEAK OF THE EVENT MONDAY AND MONDAY NIGHT.


OUTSIDE OF THE MAIN LAKE EFFECT BANDS...EXPECT JUST SCATTERED LIGHT SNOW SHOWERS AT TIMES WITH SOME BREAKS OF SUN POSSIBLE. BLOWING SNOW WILL BE POSSIBLE ON MONDAY AS WINDS BECOME GUSTY WITH THE ARCTIC PUSH. OTHERWISE...TEMPERATURES ON SUNDAY AND TUESDAY WILL ONLY TOP OUT IN THE LOW TO MID 20S WITH THE COLDEST DAY BEING MONDAY WHERE TEMPS WILL STRUGGLE TO BREAK INTO THE UPPER TEENS WITH THE ARCTIC SOURCED AIRMASS OVERHEAD.

OVERNIGHT LOWS ON SUNDAY AND TUESDAY NIGHT WILL BOTTOM OUT IN THE LOW TO MID TEENS AND EVEN SINGLE DIGITS ACROSS THE NORTH COUNTY. MONDAY NIGHT WILL BE THE COLDEST AS NEARLY ALL LOCATIONS DROP INTO THE SINGLE DIGITS WITH SOME BELOW ZERO READINGS ACROSS THE NORTH COUNTY.

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Allen and Mariner Streets in the Allentown section of Buffalo, 7:41PM Jan. 26, 2014

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For his part, Gary sent me the following texts the other day on what he thinks the "sensible weather" will be like for our Buffalo trip ...

Saturday evening ... cloudy/flurries.
Sunday ... cloudy.
Late Sunday and Sunday night snow developing. Heavy snow over Buffalo 8PM (Sunday) - 8AM Monday.
Monday ... snow bands shifting to the south.

My guess is there is a 99% chance of 3" and 50% chance of 8" ... where we are. Then if we want to drive on Monday, we'd get the further lake effect event as the wind backs to the WNW.

Monday won't make 15F ... so pack warm.

In response to my text about looking forward to going to the Cheesecake Factory at the Walden Galleria in Cheektowaga, he wrote:

That might be our Monday trip if we're sick of snow. Sunday night really looks quite good right in downtown. Winds a perfect 250 degrees.

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OK, that's all for now. I will try to update this blog while away -- using the little business center at the Hyatt, but we'll see. I should be back late Tuesday.



(The song starts around 0:48. Before that, it's a cartoon.)

Shuffling off to Buffalo!

--Regulus

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