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FXUS61 KBUF 090914

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Buffalo NY
414 AM EST Mon Dec 9 2019

Low pressure will track across the central Great Lakes today with 
above normal temperatures and rain showers, followed by colder air 
and lake effect snow showers for mid week. High pressure will move 
across the region and bring a return to dry weather for Thursday 
night and Friday.


Regional radars showing reflectivities increasing along the north 
shore of Lake Ontario up through the Saint Lawrence Valley early 
this morning. Upstream ground truth showing just light rain with
temperatures in the upper 30s to lower 40s. This activity will 
continue to push slowly south through the morning hours and 
will tend to weaken as it encounters some drier air in place 
across the area. Will maintain the winter weather advisory for 
now across Lewis county, as there is a chance that despite 
surface temperatures a few degrees above freezing some surfaces 
may be cold enough for some spotty icing potential, though this 
will be relatively isolated.

An upper level trough will dig across the Great Lakes region through 
tonight, while a surface low strengthens as it tracks across the 
central Great Lakes today and into southwestern Quebec by tonight. A 
south-southwest low level jet of 45-50 knots will provide warm air 
and moisture advection and favorable jet dynamics will support a 
round of widespread rain. Rainfall amounts heavily influenced by 
upsloping, with higher resolution guidance showing localized amounts 
exceeding an inch, while the majority of the area will get between a 
half inch and an inch of rain. The steadiest rain will be this 
afternoon/evening, then will taper off from west to east tonight.

Temperatures will be well above normal during the period with high 
temperatures actually being met during this evening in the 40s 
across most areas, and even some lower 50s near the Lake Erie 
shoreline where downslope warming will be most pronounced. The cold 
front will enter western New York late tonight with southwesterly 
winds gusting to 35-45 mph. This front may also produce an 
additional round of rain showers.


A still deepening surface low will move across central and northern 
Quebec on Tuesday, with a trailing cold front crossing the eastern 
Great Lakes early in the morning. The majority of the large scale 
forcing and moisture transport will be associated with the warm 
advection regime well ahead of the cold front. The actual cold front 
will only produce a few brief showers as it moves east across the 
area early in the day. Developing upslope flow will allow showers to 
linger a little longer across the higher terrain east of Lakes Erie 
and Ontario. Precipitation will change over to wet snow in these 
upslope areas, but any accumulation will be minimal. Temperatures 
will still be in the 40s before daybreak, but will drop through the 
30s during the day with moderately strong cold advection in the wake 
of the cold front. Wind gusts will reach around 30 knots in the 
morning northeast of the lakes in the wake of the cold front.

A weak secondary cold front will move south into the area late 
Tuesday afternoon and evening. This feature may produce an uptick in 
snow showers along the south shore of Lake Ontario as it captures a 
weak lake convergence band and moves it onshore. This may produce 
some light accumulations southeast and east of Lake Ontario. 
Following this secondary front, shear and dry air will likely force 
Lake Ontario lake effect to end completely for a time overnight 
Tuesday night. Off Lake Erie, the close proximity of surface high 
pressure will continue to introduce dry air and shear in the 
boundary layer, greatly limiting lake effect potential despite 
deepening cold air. Expect nothing more than a few snow showers 
Tuesday night across the western Southern Tier. Accumulations will 
be light Tuesday night, with no more than an inch or two southeast 
of the lakes.

Wednesday a mid level trough and associated clipper low will pass 
well north of the area, with the clipper cold front crossing the 
eastern Great Lakes during the mid to late afternoon. The cold front 
itself will do little, with nothing more than a few light snow 
showers. It will introduce a more favorable lake effect environment 
however. Convergence along the advancing cold front will merge with 
pre-existing lake induced convergence over both lakes, resulting in 
intensifying bands of lake effect snow. Lake induced equilibrium 
levels will briefly rise to 10-12K feet with the passage of the 
clipper as moisture improves and a pool of cold air aloft crosses 
the eastern Great Lakes. A favorably deep mixed phase layer will be 
located within the cloud bearing layer, yielding dendritic growth. 

Off Lake Erie...

Expect a band of relatively light lake effect snow showers to move 
north out of the Southern Tier and across Buffalo in the morning, 
ending up north of Buffalo across the Northtowns and Niagara County 
by late morning. This band will begin to move back south and east 
across the area by early to mid afternoon as the cold front reaches 
eastern Lake Erie. The band will intensify as it crosses the Buffalo 
area from a boost of synoptic support from the cold front, and 
increasing lake induced instability. The strong band will then move 
onshore from Buffalo all the way down to Chautauqua County and push 
inland through the Southern Tier through the late afternoon. The 
band of snow will continue for a few hours across the western 
Southern Tier Wednesday evening before quickly weakening as 
inversion heights lower, shear increases, and moisture decreases 
with high pressure building over Lake Erie.

The fast pace of the southward band drift will greatly limit 
accumulations, even though the band of snow may become quite heavy. 
Early estimates suggest 2-4 inches from the Buffalo Metro area into 
portions of Genesee County, and 3-5 inches across the higher terrain 
of Southern Erie/Wyoming counties into the Chautauqua Ridge. Even 
though amounts will be limited, if the brief burst of heavy snow 
materializes it would produce very difficult travel for a few hours. 
Winds will also gust 30-35 knots around this time, producing blowing 
and drifting snow.

Off Lake Ontario...

Expect a similar trend just a few hours later. Tuesday morning 
disorganized lake effect snow showers over the lake will push to the 
northeast end to near Kingston Ontario, possibly clipping Cape 
Vincent in northern Jefferson County. The band of snow will then 
intensify during the mid to late afternoon as the cold front 
approaches and synoptic support/instability improve. This 
intensifying band of snow will then move southeast across Jefferson 
County, crossing the Tug Hill region during the evening. The band 
will reach maximum intensity during this time frame as the best lake 
parameters line up with a period of upslope flow across the Tug 
Hill. The band will continue to march steadily southeast overnight, 
with a WNW to ESE oriented band of weakening lake snow moving into 
northern Cayuga/Wayne counties. A few snow showers may also clip the 
south shore farther west overnight from eastern Niagara to Monroe 
counties as boundary layer flow veers.

Similar to Lake Erie, the short residence time of the band in any 
one location will limit accumulations. Expect 2-4 or 3-5 inches 
across the lower elevations of the eastern Lake Ontario region, with 
up to 6 inches across the Tug Hill Plateau. Wayne and northern 
Cayuga counties may see a few inches overnight. While amounts are 
not overly impressive, this band may produce difficult travel for a 
few hours with heavy snow and 30-35 knot wind gusts producing 
blowing and drifting. 

Thursday a few lake effect snow showers may linger in the morning 
southeast of Lake Ontario with minor additional accumulations. High 
pressure will then build east across the eastern Great Lakes, ending 
the lake effect snow and bringing some partial clearing.


High pressure will move east off the east coast Thursday night. Warm 
advection in its wake will bring an increase in clouds across the 
eastern Great Lakes, but any precipitation will stay well north of 
the region. Warm advection continues Friday as a mid/upper level 
ridge builds into the northeast states. The warm advection will 
produce some cloud cover, but dry weather will continue. After a 
chilly start, temperatures will warm into the upper 30s to lower 40s 
in most areas.

A complex system will then cross our region this weekend. A southern 
stream trough will support low pressure developing over the Gulf 
coast Friday. The resulting low will move almost due north, with one 
low center moving up the west side of the Appalachians and into the 
eastern Great Lakes by Saturday, with a second weak lee side low 
moving up the eastern seaboard. This southern stream trough will 
phase with a northern stream trough moving towards the western 
lakes, allowing an expansive area of deep layer ascent to move north 
across our area late Friday night and Saturday. This will produce 
another round of rain areawide. There is a small chance the rain may 
start as a wintry mix across the North Country if precipitation 
begins early enough, otherwise this looks to be an all rain event as 
temperatures warm into the 40s on Saturday.

The northern stream portion of this phasing system will then cross 
the eastern Great Lakes Saturday night and Sunday, producing 
additional chances of rain and wet snow showers as colder air moves 
back into the region. Highs Sunday will be in the mid to upper 30s.


Ongoing warm air advection will support increasing low level 
moisture reaching the western Southern Tier with MVFR cigs 
developing by 12z, then over the rest of Western and Central NY 
before 18z.

Rain showers, possibly starting as mixed precipitation over  
inland cooler valleys of the North Country, will accompany the low 
level moisture early this morning. KART will be all light rain.
Rain will then spread across the rest of Western New York this 
morning, then spread east by afternoon. Expect the southerly 
downslope flow to keep all TAF locations in the MVFR flight 
category with the exception of KJHW which does not benefit from 
southerly downsloping.

A 40-50 knot LLJ will largely remain through this morning, which 
will result in LLWS.


Tonight...Areas of MVFR/IFR in rain. 
Tuesday...MVFR with rain showers ending from west to east. Snow
showers possible late. 
Wednesday...IFR within lake effect snow east of the lakes. 
Thursday...VFR with localized IFR in lake effect snow showers 
east of the lakes. 


Winds will stay generally out of the south today at 10 to 15 knots, 
but could be a bit higher east of Rochester this morning. 

A windy period is expected through much of the week as a strong cold 
front crosses the area Tuesday, followed by moderate westerlies 
Tuesday night through Thursday night. Marine headlines are 
outlined below.


A period of warmer temperatures will cause snow melt which will
add to run-off from rain on today through Tuesday. For most 
basins, rainfall amounts will be less than an inch and the snow
pack in place is limited, resulting in little risk for 

There is a bit more snow pack in place in the Black River basin,
with Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) values in the 1-2 inch range.
Model guidance shows a bit more QPF here, with 1-2 inches across
localized favorable upslope regions. Latest RFC forecast has 
Boonville reaching action stage by late Tuesday, with Watertown
poised to reach it just beyond the forecast period. This is in 
line with latest MMEFS ensembles which show a fairly high 
likelihood that these points will reach action stage but very 
low probabilities of flooding.

Based on this, have added a mention of this risk to the HWO. The
most likely outcome remains action stage, but the situation 
bears watching. The greatest risk is if temperatures are warmer
than expected. If this happens then the additional snow melt 
would be a concern, but for now there is not enough confidence 
to issue any flood headlines.


NY...Winter Weather Advisory until 7 AM EST this morning for NYZ008.
MARINE...Small Craft Advisory from 10 PM this evening to 4 AM EST 
         Thursday for LEZ040-041.
         Small Craft Advisory from 4 AM Tuesday to 1 AM EST 
         Wednesday for LOZ043-044.
         Small Craft Advisory from 1 AM to 10 PM EST Tuesday for 
         Small Craft Advisory until 10 AM EST this morning for 



NEAR TERM...Apffel/TMA/Zaff

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