A Wintry Turn Later in the Week, but HOW Wintry?January 9th, 2012 at 8:59 pm by Don Paul under 4 Warn Weather
Temperatures will remain above average into Thursday, peaking on Wednesday. But in the wake of an area of low pressure, colder weather will be returning Thursday night into the weekend, with a change from rain to some snow. There are indications of some Lake Effect Snow before Friday morning into Friday. As of this posting, it’s too soon to focus in on lake snow intensity and/or location. Some computer guidance points to a more prolonged period of southwest winds for Friday, which would bring measurable lake snow close to the metro area, while other guidance suggests a brief period of SWly winds, veering more quickly to westerly. In that event, any lake snow would be steered from possibly near the metro area into ski country more quickly.
While this will be something of a wintry outbreak and pattern, there are still no signs of a more fundamental pattern shift to truly wintry conditions of any real duration. Without a blocking ridge of high pressure setting up near Greenland, the northern branch of the jetstream can only “buckle” southward (allowing true arctic air to move south) for relatively short timespans, rather than the lengthier cold periods we’re more accustomed to in the Great Lakes and NE. Buffalo’s official snow total for the season is at 5.5″, while normally we would have had more than 43″ by this date. And, Lake Erie is at 39 degrees, an impressive 5 degrees above average. That would mean if we had a lengthier period of SW winds on Friday with modified arctic air crossing those warm waters, snow totals could be more impressive. The Meteorologists of WeatherWatch 4 will keep you updated on this potential.