By THIS Winter’s Standards, Pretty Wintry Event enroute

January 12th, 2012 at 2:15 pm by under 4 Warn Weather

A sharp arctic cold front will usher in very gusty winds by dawn, and change a mixture to all snow by the start of the Friday AM commute. What would be merely a modest snowfall will be complicated by the strong winds, producing considerable blowing snow and potential whiteouts. As the cold air begins to deepen during Friday, the snow will begin to take on a lighter density, making it easier to be whipped up by the winds. Most of what falls on the Niagara Frontier will be part of a broad/”synoptic” snowfall covering the region on Friday, rather than a narrow band of Lake Effect. The temperature difference between the warm Lake Erie surface and the atmosphere up to about a mile in altitude won’t be great enough to make for the narrow, convective band of true lake effect. However, some of Lk Erie’s moisture may enhance the general snowfall on the Niagara Frontier, especially through midday–that’s called Lake Enhancement, rather than actual Lake Effect. SW winds in the AM should average 20-30 mph with gusts to 45. The winds will turn Westerly during the afternoon, at 20-30 with gusts to about 40. Snowfall rates will be lighter in the afternoon, but there will still be problems from Blowing Snow–some Whiteouts will likely occur, especially in open country. Late inĀ  the day and overnight, some modest Lake Effect snow will finally develop as the atmosphere aloft cools further. Most of this lake snow will focus on the hilly terrain of Ski Country and the srn tier.

A preliminary estimate of general snow accumulations for the Niagara Frontier for Friday is 2-4″, with a little more on the hills to the south by later in the day. But it must again be emphasized this modest snow accumulation will be complicated by the strong winds. The hilly terrain may see amounts of 4-7″ by Saturday AM. Saturday’s high temps will range from the teens to near 20, and Saturday night will be one of the colder nights of the season–especially if clearing develops. It looks like only some flurries or lt snow shwrs will be around for parts of a seasonably cold Sunday.

510 Responses to “By THIS Winter’s Standards, Pretty Wintry Event enroute”

  1. C from P says:

    HV was outstanding this weekend…was out on the slopes both Saturday and Sunday, returned last night. Great powder conditions on both days. Unfortunately it appears as though this weekend may be the last one for awhile where natural powder conditions prevail.

    Guess the brief cold snap was all it took to drop the Lake temperature back to average. That’s the problem with a shallow Lake, water temps can rise and fall quickly with variable weather patterns.

    The NWS AFD is anything but positive for snow lovers…

    LOOKING FURTHER OUT TO THE FIRST FEW DAYS OF THE NEW WORK WEEK… THERE IS STRONG CONSENSUS BETWEEN THE ECMWF AND GEFS THAT THE WARM PACIFIC FLOW WILL REMAIN IN PLACE FOR MONDAY INTO TUESDAY. THIS PATTERN WILL PROMOTE DAYTIME TEMPERATURES TO CLIMB WELL INTO THE 40S…WITH SOME 50S NOT OUT OF THE QUESTION FOR THE GENESEE VALLEY. WHILE A FRONTAL P@SSAGE WILL LIKELY KNOCK SOME STEAM OUT OF THIS WARM UP FOR MID WEEK…THE OVERALL PATTERN SHOULD REMAIN VERY PACIFIC IN NATURE FOR THE REST OF NEXT WEEK. THIS TREND IS SUPPORTED BY THE 6 TO 10 AND 8 TO 14 DAY TEMP OUTLOOKS SUPPLIED BY THE CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER.

  2. Dan says:

    Still some opportunity for LES according to these websites. Not sure how accurate they are.

    http://www.glerl.noaa.gov/res/glcfs/glcfs.php?lake=e&ext=swt&type=N&hr=15

    http://co-ops.nos.noaa.gov/ofs/leofs/fore_temp.shtml

  3. Amelia Segal says:

    Lake Erie is now at 33, average for today, Lake Ontario is at 39

  4. Don Paul says:

    At 11am, KBUF is S 6. Dunkirk is S 25 G 36, with a previous gust to 44. Winds will increase across the Niag Frontier this afternoon, though not to Advisory criteria.

  5. Don Paul says:

    Very active and changeable pattern this week, as foreseen last week…a couple of very windy and wintry blasts to precede Sunday’s longer lasting warmup.

  6. Thinksnow12 says:

    one last bit o’ proof that theres ALOT of energy left in Lake erie…

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/Blizzard92/show.html

    Scroll down a ways and you’ll come across a picture of Lake Erie and different shadings. ONLY the VERY eastern tip and the Very western beginning are in the dark blue or 33 degree waters. The rest is 36 and above and the whole middle is still 39 to 42 degrees. This as of today.

  7. Dave from Roc says:

    Don – Do you see conditions turning “nasty” again this week, in terms of snow and/or blowing snow, similar to what happened last week?

  8. storm watcher says:

    What Dave said…”wintry blast” sounds ominous!…

  9. Juju the cat says:

    The lake is a long way from freezing over. Today and tomorrow will slow the freezing down, and then wed-fri will be in the 20′s before basically a week of 40′s and maybe some 50′s. Also, even if we get a pattern change, it would take at least few weeks of really cold for the lake to freeze.

  10. Don Paul says:

    NEW THREAD IS UP.

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