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Monday, October 13

Lake Effect Snow Storm "Aphid" 8 Years Ago

Written by: Stacey Pensgen

Do you remember this? Eight years ago today western New Yorkers, the Buffalo area specifically, were cleaning up from more than 2 feet of heavy, wet snow from an extremely rare lake effect snowstorm. Many trees still had most of their leaves on them. As a result, hundreds of thousands of people lost power for as long as 10 days as a result. Brockport received about 3" of the heavy, wet snow. I remember because I was sitting in class that Thursday night that it began, and watched it developing and talking about it. Exciting! On the contrary, our weather today and tomorrow will feel much more like summer, with temperatures ranging between 10-20° above average, with some on Tuesday pushing 80°. Take in all that Mother Nature is capable of, and enjoy some Indian Summer weather instead of a snowstorm!

137 comments:

  1. It scares me to think that storm was 8 years ago! I would have guessed maybe 5 years tops.

    Well it's nice that mother nature has paid us back with a nice fall to make up for a rough August.

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  2. Do I remember that storm? I was right smack in the middle of that red blob on the map, it would be a sin against the Great Magnet for me to not remember. I still remember all of the forecasts calling for mainly rain with a few flakes possible. Snow started falling during my bus ride home from school (I was in 6th grade at the time), and later that afternoon we had a lake effect snow warning in place for 1-6 inches of dense wet snowfall. At 11pm we had accumulated about 6 inches of concrete, and schools began to close left and right as tree limbs started to audibly snap (my school ended up with 6 consecutive snow days, including the entirety of the following week). One of our neighbors had a small tree actually fall down across her lawn, so my dad and some other neighbors went out to dissect the tree and move it away. I stood at the end of the driveway watching this action and taking in the silent chaos that the storm was wreaking. The combination of yellow flashes from lightning, quiet blue flashes from transformers blowing, and the distant cracking sound of trees and power poles snapping was probably the most astounding and surreal experience of my life. It created a real sense of disaster being inflicted upon a substantial population of people. I went to bed around 1am with the snow coming down as hard as ever, and I woke up the next morning to exactly 23 fresh inches of white hellspawn draped across the neighborhood. The resulting scenery up and down my street can only be accurately described as a war zone. Tree branches and power lines strewn everywhere, street completely unplowed and various neighbors standing outside trying to comprehend the shellshock that mother nature had just delivered upon them out of nowhere. Our neighborhood lost power for 3 days, compared to many others we got off very easy. Anxiety dominated up until that point, as none of us had any idea when the utility crews could make it in and we were hearing estimations that many homes could be in the dark for as long as 2 weeks. I still remember exactly where I was when the power came back on, the little battery radio we used as our entertainment and news source, the pitch dark living room with nothing but that radio and a fire going in the wood stove, boiling our water before drinking it because the treatment plant was out of commission, keeping our perishable food items outside in the snow so they wouldn't spoil, receiving word that FEMA would be sending officials in...you all know I'm a fanatic for crazy weather but these are things I wouldn't wish upon anyone. Many of Buffalo's historic parks sustained massive tree damage, thousands of homes spent a week or longer without power, some streets weren't cleared for traffic until long after the snow had melted and the resulting cleanup cost over 500 million dollars. Some people even went as far away as Cleveland to buy generators when it became just about impossible to get any locally. Those 3 days we spent without power felt like an eternity, and they all seem to blend together when I try to recall them. It was amazing, surreal and horrifying all at the same time. It's something I won't forget until the moment I die, and it's something I never want to experience ever again.

    Now that my dramatic monologuing is over, it's time to focus on tomorrow's summer warmth and Wednesday's rainfall. Tomorrow's record high is 86 so we probably won't come close to breaking any records, but the stiff downsloping wind could make things a little interesting in that respect IMO. We still need to make up the substantial rainfall deficit that September created, so Wednesday's rain will be purely beneficial.

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  3. Rain does not look impressive on radar, The line is broken up over us. Hopefully most of it will miss us.

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  4. North American snow cover highest ever for September. Could mean an early winter for us.

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    Replies
    1. There is no known correlation between September snow cover and North American winters.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2014/10/13/fall-snow-bonanza-in-north-america-and-siberia-may-portend-brutal-winter/
      "'I’ve not come across something related to September North American extent and any subsequent connections over North America or elsewhere,' Rutgers’ Robinson said."

      October is the month to watch, and so far we've seen the fastest October snow cover expansion in many years.

      Delete
  5. Wonder how may polar votexs we will experience this year. Bring on winter, we are waiting.

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    Replies
    1. Hopefully zero polar vortices this winter and beyond. Remember how those played out last winter...frigid, windy and dry.

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    2. Hey it is what folks on the blog wanted -- not to have the system miss our area, which they did not. Remember the blizzard of 2014!

      Delete
  6. The 2014-15 winter forecast from Accuweather is out:
    http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/us-2014-2015-winter-forecast/35422753

    The general theme for the Northeast is this: snowy overall, cold early on but with the brunt of it holding off until January and February, not as intense or persistent as last season. I still really don't like that they communicate these forecasts in such certain terms, but I'm willing to excuse them this time due to the forecast itself...

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  7. My only winter prediction is this: someone on this blog will declare winter to be over at some point before New Years Day.

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  8. Chris now in PenfieldOctober 15, 2014 at 8:37 PM

    December will be the 12th month of the year!! Mark it down!!!

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    Replies
    1. Pope Gregory's ghost has decided upon major revisions to the calendar...December will now be the 11th month of the year, and November will no longer exist. The new 12th month will be dubbed Ponytime, because Pope Gregory just really loves ponies. And you should too, lest the great wrath of Applejack be thrust upon thee.

      Delete
    2. Chris now in PenfieldOctober 16, 2014 at 7:11 PM

      Um, Cx4, take the plastic wrapper off the cigar prior to smoking.

      Delete
    3. You know I prefer to keep my cigar wrapped ;)

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    4. Chris now in PenfieldOctober 20, 2014 at 9:42 PM

      I suppose it is better to be safe than sorry. Though, I am sure you can ever call that situation "sorry."

      Delete
  9. I just want December to be snowy because of Christmas. Of course I want the rest of the winter to be snowy as well but especially December.

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  10. Some more winter outlooks:

    http://www.weather.com/news/weather-winter/winter-forecast-outlook-theweatherchannel-20141015
    http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2014/20141016_winteroutlook.html
    http://weatherworksinc.com/winter-outlook-2014-2015

    They aren't quite in line with each other, but they all keep the warmest temp anomalies near the west coast. For us they range from very cold to slightly greater odds of above normal temps. The current progression of ENSO combined with the record Siberian snow cover expansion tempts me to lean ever so slightly towards the colder outlooks. No comment on precipitation, something which is next to impossible to predict long term.

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    Replies
    1. Could get for episodes of the polar votex this winter if we are expecting very cold winter.

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    2. We have only a giant bucket of "ifs" at this point.

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    3. Chris now in PenfieldOctober 20, 2014 at 9:46 PM

      Lots of indicators pointing to a similar winter as last year (perhaps a little shorter and less severe, with a later start, like 2006-07.) The one thing that worries me…a TOO STRONG -AO leads to the northern jet buckling into a horseshoe too far east, directing THE POLAR VORTEX…AHHHHHH! pushing not only storms away from us but stifling lake effect with a flow that is far too northerly.

      Delete
    4. I haven't seen anyone mention 2006-07 so far, which is a bit refreshing since it seems to be referenced every fall by at least one person. One big difference between last year and this year is the two major oceans...last year the Pacific pattern was very favorable while the Atlantic pattern was dubious. This year it's the opposite, with the warm pool in the Gulf of Alaska currently under siege while a cold pool develops in the north Atlantic south of Greenland. The Atlantic cold pool would promote a -NAO regime while continued weakening of the Pacific warmth would make the PNA more of a wildcard. We have yet to see if the advancing cold water in the Pacific will simply bisect the warm pool, neutralize it, or even overtake it to an extent and promote more of a -PNA look. We also have to watch for persistence with the Atlantic cold anomaly since it just recently began to strengthen. Siberian snow cover experienced more explosive growth in the past week, and looks to continue growing through the end of the month. That bodes very well for a -AO regime especially since the rate of expansion is pretty much record-breaking. I've also seen the term "Modoki" begin re-emerging recently pertaining to the oncoming El Nino, which finally appears to be getting its act together. I share your concern about the AO being too negative and shunting the bulk of the storm activity south a la 2009-10. Biggest difference between that season and the upcoming one is that the El Nino will be much weaker this time, however that one was a Modoki as well. Modoki El Nino events promote cold more often than not. So most indicators are indeed pointing to a cold winter, but a lot more still needs to happen before the picture becomes clear. At bare minimum the Siberian region should save us from a full-fledged torch, but it could also portend too much of a "good" thing. A neutral or weakly positive NAO could alleviate a good deal of the pain wrought by a strong -AO, I believe December 2008 had that setup actually.

      Fun times ahead...

      Delete
  11. Anyone keeping up on Hurricane Gonzalo? I really, really hope Bermuda is prepared to handle the punch to the mouth they're about to absorb. I'm 99 percent sure they'll be more than ready though.

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  12. Bermuda is going to be devastated from Hurricane Gonzales.

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  13. For those who haven't had this link tweeted at them 4 dozen times today, a live feed from Bermuda can be viewed here:

    http://www.portbermudawebcam.com/

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  14. The last major hurricane to pass this close to Bermuda was Hurricane Fabian back in 2003. That one was slightly stronger upon its approach and inflicted 300 million dollars in damage, including substantial damage to roofs and vegetation. I would imagine a similar scenario here with Gonzalo, but they'll pull through just as they did with Fabian.

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  15. Next week looks dismal again.

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    Replies
    1. It's why I roll my eyes when someone says we need rain. We don't ever NEED rain because at some point it''s going to rain forever.

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    2. But by the time it happens we will have needed it for a significant length of time. Eventually it happens, but people like to gripe when it comes on the heels of a dry pattern lasting multiple weeks.

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    3. Not that we've been dry recently or anything, that's not what I'm referencing.

      Delete
  16. So. Moved to a new house. Have a 2 x 4 car driveway. What snow blower recommendations do people have / what considerations should I be making?

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  17. Chris now in PenfieldOctober 20, 2014 at 9:40 PM

    More important than the size of your driveway is where you live, SSG.

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  18. About 2 miles north of the thruway, almost due south of the city. I am very excited about having a due south facing driveway. I'm usually out the door about 6:30 in the morning, and afraid they'll be a couple mornings where I wouldn't be able (or frankly want) to shovel in time to get out. I'm also not sure a plow guy would always get there in time. No offense Hamlin. I'm not worried about your ability to clear the roads.

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    Replies
    1. Chris now in PenfieldOctober 22, 2014 at 7:38 PM

      You are not in a heavy snow area. You will get an occasional lake effect event off of Erie on a WSW wind, and you are a little too far south to get consistent LES from Ontario - except when the alignment is just right off of Georgian Bay. A 26", 8 hp machine built by Ariens or Honda will serve your needs. Consumer Reports now rates snowblowers - check out their ratings before purchasing

      Steer clear of those non self-propelled little 5 hp machines - they are almost useless for our area.

      Delete
    2. Can confirm, that area gets just about zippo from lake effect unless the wind alignment threads the needle. I'm reminded of those painful years living in Henrietta where several inches of lake effect was in the forecast, but by the end all I saw was a dusting on car windshields because the bands stayed north of me -_-

      Delete
    3. Thanks for the reccomendations. I wound up going with an 8 hp 24" "Snow Tek by Ariens"

      I've only ever shoveled and I'm reaching the 'I deserve this. I'm tired of shoveling for 2 hours' phase of my life.

      I know I'll only 'need' a blower a handful of times a year. But even for a 3 or 4 inch wetter snowfall it sure will come in handy.

      And if we don't get any 6+ days it's because I finally broke down and bought a blower.

      Delete
  19. "Nor'easter to Threaten Millions" was the headline on weather.com earlier today. That's just absurd and irresponsible, it implies a situation far worse than what we actually have for the coast (manageable rainfall with a stiff breeze). Watch carefully for that sort of clickbait nonsense, folks. Be mindful of the difference between that which is based in facts vs that which is based in hype or emotion, and be skeptical of everything you read until a sufficient factual argument is given.

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    Replies
    1. Chris now in PenfieldOctober 22, 2014 at 7:41 PM

      Yeah, saw this on the Capitol Weather Gang and on DT's page. They have gone downhill for years, even worse since NBC bought them and but profit above science. I remember the TWC in the 80s and 90s being a perfect place for weather weenies like us.

      Delete
    2. Speaking of DT.. he put out his winter forecast and it didn't look bad.

      Delete
  20. So, uh, the GFS wants to bring something up the coast along the tail end of the cutter next weekend. Looks very interesting...

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    Replies
    1. That was the 6z run. The 12z has a 992mb storm over southern Ontario instead. The killjoy Euro has cold high pressure while the GGEM has a 998mb low in extreme southwestern Quebec.

      Delete
  21. Still a ton of wrap around with a secondary low forming on the 12z. Would give us a fair amount of precip regardless

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  22. Euro doesn't surprise me though, it's always quick to move storms out and is very reluctant to show double barrel scenarios until later in runs. Time will tell though, definitely something fun to watch...

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  23. Really nothing to watch guys. We are barely in November next weekend. Nothing big will happen just relax guys.

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    Replies
    1. R E L A X. Relax.

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    2. You're telling a bunch of weather nuts to relax about the weather. Spelling it out might work for the Packers fanbase but not for us. People will watch it even if it isn't a big deal, because it's still interesting to many of us.

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    3. Me too. I just like to spell. The packers haven't lost since I spelled out RELAX on radio. There will be a blizzard. M A R K I T D O W N

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  24. The Euro now has something along the lines of what the 00z GGEM depicted. The 12z GGEM has high pressure instead. Something might happen but I doubt it will be as intense as what the GFS depicts.

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  25. It is just going to be rain. What is there to be excited about.

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  26. Heavy rain tracking it for Halloween how exciting.

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  27. I will get excited when it is snow, not rain.

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  28. Does anyone know what is going on with the potential for next weekend? Because KW seemed a little giddy when hinting about Halloween weather possibilities?

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  29. Since when is rain something to balk at? Get some strong gusts in there and you have something way more enthralling than 90 percent of our snow events.

    Anyway, the reason for KW's giddiness is probably the model guidance depicting a NW flow possibly cold enough to produce multibands of lake effect snow. Some of the guidance brings a vigorous disturbance through the area, with the 00z Euro depicting a strong storm centered over southern New England. I have doubts that the degree of blocking in the pattern would favor such an amplified storm. At the very least Halloween night looks chilly.

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  30. So CCCC as Weatherguy was alluding to yesterday we do not have to worry about a snow storm next weekend?

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    Replies
    1. Probably not, but nothing is truly impossible at this range. Weatherguy never explicitly talked about a snowstorm anyway, though he definitely implied that there would've been some snow on the backside of yesterday's 12z GFS solution.

      Delete
  31. The 12z GFS as well as the latest Euro are still showing signs of some pretty chilly air intruding our area November 1st, with lake flakes flying at the very least. Models are still all over the place, but that is expected this far out. As CCCC said, yesterdays GFS went bananas and I doubt that is going to play out, but I wouldn't be surprised if everyone saw snow flakes next weekend...

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  32. The 12z Euro closes off a powerful coastal storm and tracks it due north during Halloween weekend, with rain changing to snow. The Euro ensembles confirm that their operational counterpart smoked way too much crack before unleashing that solution. The 12z GFS had a strong system as well, but the 18z run depicts cold high pressure instead. The 12z GGEM has a meager shortwave with primarily light precipitation. Perfect lockstep agreement with excellent run-to-run consistency as per usual...welcome to model mayhem season once again -_-

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  33. So what does the great CCCC think?

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  34. Interesting little thunderstorm tonight!

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    Replies
    1. Chris now in PenfieldOctober 26, 2014 at 6:25 PM

      Was riding home on my motorcycle from Greece to Penfield around 9pm last night, so I got a panoramic view of that storm over the lake, over the ponds north of the Parkway, and out over Irondequoit Bay. Neat stuff.

      Delete
  35. No matter what happens next weekend it will be a quick hitting cold shot and then it warms up again, which is expected this time of year,

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  36. Looks like a possible accumulating snow next weekend?

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  37. I think there's a good chance of accumulating snowfall next weekend, especially in the higher elevations. If any accumulates in Metro Rochester it probably won't be anything to write home about.

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  38. Could see some lake effect here in Rochester especially at night when the temps get into the 20's.

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  39. There will be at least one blizzard in the Flower City within the next 6 months. Mark it down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  40. How do people feel about Daylight Savings Time?
    Would you rather we stuck
    a) EDT (Summer) year round.
    b) EST (Winter) year round.
    c) EST + 1/2 hour
    d) I like falling back and tolerate springing forward.
    e) I have an idea
    f) Bacon

    Poll:Which would you prefer?

    http://vote.pollcode.com/31182832

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  41. I vote 'Summer'. Like having more daylight at night. It's too dreary coming home from work in the winter in the dark.

    ReplyDelete
  42. If we could only have it one way, keep the clocks ahead. Extra daylight at the end of the day is more useful to most.

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  43. where is everyone

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    Replies
    1. Chris now in PenfieldOctober 28, 2014 at 6:49 PM

      Right here. Interesting winter outlooks so far. SIberian snow cover this October same as Oct. 2002. The 2002-03 winter was probably the best overall this century. It is only one factor, but it is a big one. My main concern this winter is that the polar jet will swing too far south and resemble too much of a horseshoe…providing us with dry air on a north flow, and diverting all east coast storms well east of us. This happened in 2009-10.

      Delete
  44. This cold snap is not going to be very impressive and it will be a quick hitter.

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    Replies
    1. The strength of the shortwave diving through the cold, however, will be quite impressive. The resulting nor'easter could also wind up being a humdinger.

      Delete
  45. I'm still not completely sure that we're going to see flakes around here this weekend, although the chance for such a thing remains rather high. There's also still the chance for accumulating snow even at lower elevations, but we need the air to be cold enough during any heavier precipitation which comes down to timing and strength of features (how amped they'll be, how soon they'll phase, how quickly they'll move through, etc). Those details have yet to be ironed out. As for lake effect snow, there's so much working against anything organized that I'm not even going to bother thinking about it. Short fetch, limited moisture and questionable boundary layer temps do not bode well for anyone hoping to cash in on lake flakes. Maybe some drizzle or wet flurries, that's all I'm expecting.

    Weatherbell posted their winter forecast on their free site today. Needless to say it's way over the top with cold and snow, especially for the Appalachians up through interior New England. It's "needless to say" because Weatherbell is headed by Joe Bastardi, who has a well documented cold bias. Still, it's yet another outlook leaning towards a cold winter for the East. The Rutgers site is still down but according to NESDIS satellite data there has been more explosive snow cover growth across Siberia since last week. However, the warm anomalies in the northeast Pacific continue to fade away as a cold pool bleeds east. If the cooling continues it would promote more of a trough in that region instead of a ridge, which would mitigate the amplitude of any downstream trough in the East or even help promote more frequent ridging. This is the only concerning factor so far if you're hoping for a cold winter though, and I strongly doubt it holds the potential to flip the whole season by itself. Just be very cautious of any outlook referencing that warm pool, because anyone who relies too much on it will get burned in the end.

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  46. It would seem that the NWS did a complete 180 on the available moisture content for lake effect on Saturday...that'll teach me to use old info when I post. All it means to me is that the flurries and drizzle will be somewhat heavier than I previously thought.

    Brett Anderson released his winter outlook for Canada today. Surprise surprise, it's the same theme as most of the other ones: cold and snowy in eastern North America, but with the added flavor of milder temps at the high latitudes. He honed in on December being somewhat mild but also active for southern Ontario, with the mean storm track close to the eastern Great Lakes region yielding a decent chance for significant snow events. January and February are colder, but the mean storm track is *slightly* too far south and east for elevated storm chances. Extrapolate that down to our region, you get a mild but active December with an increased potential for one or two significant snowfalls (think December 2008 but maybe a degree warmer). January and February would be cold, but not as cold as last winter, and we would find ourselves on the northwestern edge of the best storm chances. What really surprised me were his top analogs: 1969-70, 1977-78 and 2009-10. Two of those seasons were quite snowy in our region (one of them was the second snowiest of all time), and all of them were colder than normal. It's surprising because 1977-78 and 2009-10 were both extreme winters pattern-wise, and Brett isn't typically the sort of person to latch onto extremes. Possibly lends a bit more credence to some of the bolder forecasts out there. Regardless, I like the call of a warmer than average start to winter given the history of December temperatures during El Nino, combined with the amount of lag time for the Siberian snowpack to fully exert its influence on the pattern.

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  47. Not looking good for snow for us. Mainly higher elevations at best. November looks boring for snow lovers. I think you are right CC. It is going to be a late start for winter this year.

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    Replies
    1. November holds the potential to have some wild temperature swings, so it may not be boring at all even for snow lovers. The first week or so may lull some folks into a false sense of security. And even if December turns out to be mild we could still do well in the snowfall department...recall my comparison to December 2008. That month had slightly above normal temps but still ended up being incredibly snowy. This is all predicated on continued cooling of the northeast Pacific anyway, if we progress into more of a positive PDO (Pacific Decadal Oscillation) look instead then it lowers the odds of a mild December.

      A positive PDO looks like this:
      http://www.nc-climate.ncsu.edu/images/climate/enso/PDO_WARM_2.gif

      Here is what we've seen global SSTs do over the past three weeks. The links are ordered chronologically and represent the time period from 10/6 through 10/27. Pay special attention to the north Pacific:
      http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/data/sst/anomaly/2014/anomnight.10.6.2014.gif
      http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/data/sst/anomaly/2014/anomnight.10.9.2014.gif
      http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/data/sst/anomaly/2014/anomnight.10.13.2014.gif
      http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/data/sst/anomaly/2014/anomnight.10.16.2014.gif
      http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/data/sst/anomaly/2014/anomnight.10.20.2014.gif
      http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/data/sst/anomaly/2014/anomnight.10.23.2014.gif
      http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/data/sst/anomaly/2014/anomnight.10.27.2014.gif

      One interesting thing to note is that the infringement of the cold anomalies upon the warm ones seems to have halted since 10/23. That could be a temporary blip or it could portend a positive PDO signature. Lots of important variables to keep track of leading up to the season.

      Delete
  48. Larry Cosgrove released his winter outlook back on the 23rd. I can't link it here because its only vector is a private mailing list, but I'm certain all of you could guess the general theme by now. It mentions that November and December could feature volatile temperature swings, with an increased risk for snow events in the Appalachians and lower Great Lakes during November's second half. Things get progressively colder through February, then March sees slow relief. A lengthy January thaw is possible as well. Offshore storm tracks are the most favored, but inland tracks are also pegged to occur frequently including clipper tracks much farther south than usual. The outlook mentions the northeast Pacific SST as a potential wild card as well.

    All in all it's yet another interesting forecast.

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  49. Allan Huffman's winter forecast:

    http://raleighwx.americanwx.com/Winter1415/Winter201415Forecast.pdf

    Since there is now clearly a consistent pattern with these outlooks I think this will be the last one I post, unless I find one that goes against the grain.

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    Replies
    1. Chris now in PenfieldOctober 30, 2014 at 9:03 PM

      Thanks for sharing. Those slideshows from Allan and DT are very informative, with Allan's being particularly detailed this year.

      Delete
  50. There will be at least 1 blizzard in The Flower City within the next 5 months. Mark it down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Replies
    1. There will be 287 guarantees this winter. Mark it Down!

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    2. There will be 90 days over the course of December, January and February. Mark it down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Delete
  51. Now that it's November, can we get some updates from Channel 8? :)

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  52. First official trace of snow at KROC for the season.

    It begins...

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  53. Also FYI, Tropical Tidbits now offers the Euro ensemble mean:

    http://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/ecmwf-ens/

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  54. he GFS and Euro are picking up on a NE storm this coming weekend bringing down maybe the coldest air of the season. Does anyone else so this?

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  55. Chris now in PenfieldNovember 2, 2014 at 1:26 PM

    Yes, I saw that, but it is not a nor'easter…it is a surge of energy coming down through the Great Lakes that should react with warmer air along the eastern seaboard to create some snow for at least the upper elevations in the interior NE

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  56. I'm more focused on the monstrous cyclone modeled to churn up in the Bering Sea in about a week...that could produce a humdinger of a system somewhere in the Lower 48 later this month if it verifies.

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  57. The way things have been trending lately, those calls for a mild November are going to be horribly, horribly wrong. Warmth building in the stratosphere over eastern Siberia portends a sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) event over the north pole, which would disrupt the polar vortex and promote a negative AO by mid month. This sort of thing isn't a quick-hitting deal either, it can have impacts which linger for months on end. Think back to January 2013, when a SSW occurred early in the month and led to cold temps from mid January all the way through March.

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  58. Going to be a big winter I think.. or hope. BIG BIG!!

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  59. The NWS took any mention of snow out of the forecast for this weekend.

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    Replies
    1. My point-and-click mentions rain and snow shower chances for much of the weekend. There's also this from the discussion, right at the beginning:

      "A COLD FRONT WILL CROSS THE REGION TUESDAY NIGHT BRINGING SHOWERS FOLLOWED BY COOLER TEMPERATURES FOR THE LATTER HALF OF THE WEEK WITH A CHANCE OF SNOW BY THE WEEKEND."

      And this towards the end:

      "MODELS THEN REMAIN IN FAIR AGREEMENT FOR SATURDAY SHOWING A 500MB TROUGH DROPPING ACROSS THE UPPER GREAT LAKES. THIS LOOKS TO PROVIDE ENOUGH SYNOPTIC FORCING AND MOISTURE TO COVER FOR A CHANCE OF RAIN SHOWERS LATER SATURDAY WITH TEMPERATURES DROPPING COOL ENOUGH FOR A CHANCE OF RAIN/SNOW SATURDAY NIGHT. AFTER THIS...MODEL SOLUTIONS THEN DIVERGE IN HOW FAST THEY SHIFT THE 500MB TROUGH AXIS ACROSS THE LOWER GREAT LAKES."

      Did you miss a few details when you were looking through the forecast?

      Delete
  60. From KW:


    Kevin Williams ✔ @whec_kwilliams

    Working on longer range outlook for national client...seeds are being planted for episodes of sig winter this month, esp. Great Lakes S & E.


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  61. I'm starting to form a general idea of how this winter will go for us:

    -Cold will dominate more often than not.
    -Snowfall will be above average but most of the major storms will be concentrated south and east. This will lead someone here to remind us that "big storms always miss Rochester."
    -We will see several significant snow events like the ones we're used to seeing every winter. Without fail, someone will declare each one to be a "bust" or "NBD" whenever the rate of snowfall temporarily diminishes, a dry slot shows up, or the back edge appears to be "approaching quickly" despite still being a good 4-6 hours away. Also without fail, that one freak with four girl names will make about 10000 posts per minute while getting 1 total hour of sleep in the days leading up to each one.
    -Ultimately we will get one big storm somewhere along the line. The blog will see a combination of weenie posts calling for 5 feet of snow, weenie posts overreacting every time the NAM ticks the jackpot zone a few pixels to the south or north, and that freak with four girl names making the local news for stumbling drunkenly through the village of Webster with no clothes on during the height of the storm.
    -A lengthy January thaw will occur, which will spur the usual rash of "winter is over time for spring" posts. Actually, those will happen regardless of how frozen solid our nether regions are at the time.
    -Captain Crystal Ball will predict "a blizzard in the flower city within [X amount of time] MARK IT DOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" And this will occur roughly twice per week through at least April Fools Day. Many of us will secretly believe this person to have ESPN or something, just because we all invoke irrational hope sometimes and because he somehow ended up being correct last winter.
    -Someone will miss the Mean Girls reference in the above bullet point, likely because they are a fun-hating curmudgeon who has never watched Mean Girls :P
    -It will be a fun time for all, full of the usual mixture of exciting fantasy storms, actual storms, surprise storms, surprise busts, informative blog posts and blog posts reaching previously untold levels of stupidity. But above all, those of you who haven't watched Mean Girls will do so ASAP. Or you will get pregnant. And die.

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    1. Factual and funny post.

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  62. Chris now in PenfieldNovember 3, 2014 at 7:05 PM

    CCCC - FYI - you can get 90 day scripts nowadays, not just 30! :-)

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  63. Chris now in PenfieldNovember 3, 2014 at 7:52 PM

    By the way, aside from parts that serve as a subliminal ad for the Rochester Psych Center, I agree with your commentary on the upcoming winter. I am skeptical of the extended January warm up, however…time will tell.

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    1. Why not advertise the psych center? I get lonely here sometimes...the voices are my only companions...

      I mentioned a January warmup because of Larry Cosgrove mentioning that many of his analog winters included such a thing, and a substantial chunk of those analogs are being employed by others as well.

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  64. CCCC you forgot the News 8 posts once a month that often pisses many people off.

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    1. Don't worry, we'll probably ramp it up to once every 3 weeks once we hit Thanksgiving -_-

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  65. Good post CC. We are all used to missing the BIG storms so that is nothing new. They usually go south and east. Next week looks kinda wintry. We will see.

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    1. Keep in mind that I'm not saying it because of the standard "storms always miss Rochester" trope, I'm saying it because most of the winter forecasts place the best chance for big storms closer to the coast. The signs pointing to a predominant solid -NAO and strong -AO are the reasoning behind that from what I can gather. Our time to shine IMHO would be sometime in December through early January before the Siberian snowpack begins to exert its full influence on the AO (also before any January thaw sets in), or early March when the winter pattern starts to bog down and storms aren't as restricted from tracking inland. Any way you slice it I think the odds are that we won't be completely left out of the good stuff...most of the top analog winters being tossed around featured at least one major event for us.

      Next week does indeed have some wintry flavor to it. Mid to late week might introduce the first meaningful lake effect snow threat for someone. I'm going to go out on a bit of a limb and wager on that time frame to bring KROC's first measurable snow of the season.

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  66. Could someone be a lamb and provide a link for a place to generate analog maps? I used to could..but I don't remember where I did it. NOAA maybe?

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    1. The one weather related link in existence that I can't provide :\

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  67. Looks like the brunt of the cold air will go North and East of us next week. We will get clipped by it and then it is outta here.

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    1. Lows could still dip solidly below freezing for at least a few nights though. I wouldn't expect to be struck by the brunt of any cold airmass this early in the season anyway.

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  68. Now that I've had a chance to look more thoroughly at the operational models...the GFS is the only one that wants to graze us with the cold then zip it on out late next week. Its soon-to-be replacement has been running parallel to it for the past few days, and it falls more in line with the other less progressive models. There's also these from CPC:

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/610day/610temp.new.gif
    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/814day/814temp.new.gif

    Confidence is 4 out of 5 for both periods. The ensemble means naturally have a flatter look to them, as one would expect at this time range with greater spread amongst their members, but they all indicate an eastern trough.

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  69. And from the WPC:

    "LEANED MORE HEAVILY ON THE ECMWF ENSEMBLE MEAN THAN THE GEFS MEAN BY THEN TO FAVOR A SOLUTION MORE ON THE AMPLIFIED AND LESS PROGRESSIVE SIDE OF THE FULL ENVELOPE OF SOLUTIONS CONSIDERING UPSTREAM FLOW LOADED WITH THE DEEP EXTRATROPICAL LOW ASSOCIATED WITH CURRENT WEST PACIFIC TYPHOON NURI HEADED TO THE BERING SEA/AK BY THIS WEEKEND...WATER VAPOR LOOPS...AND RECENT FLOW HISTORY."

    We may have to watch for a storm system to move up the coast next week as well, bringing the possibility of a wintry mix.

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  70. KW says next Weds-Friday arctic air invading with lake snow for sure.

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  71. Well where are the updates about next week?

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  72. The models have backed off on the cold next week it looks like.

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    1. The models haven't "backed off" on anything. Let's not do this sort of thing for every miniscule shift in model output, it's about one step away from being troll bait.

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  73. Anon 12:19 is right. Sorry CCCC not much next week the models backing down.

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    1. That's some basic b8 m8, try something more creative next time.

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  74. Any lake effect snow next week looks to be east of the lakes and not affect Rochester. The Tug Hill could get hit hard. We will just get somewhat cold. NBD for the immediate Rochester area.

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    1. We can't rule out the potential for veering to send a brief burst close to or into the metro. We also can't take the current prevailing wind vector forecasts as gospel, they are subject to change with a week's worth of lead time. Lake effect is not a static entity, it can swing through large areas in a relatively small amount of time, and relevant forecasts can change drastically in a matter of hours let alone a full week. Patience.

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  75. Anon 4:27, it's only November 6th, no one is or should be expecting major cold or snow this time of year! But it looks like we have a decent chance at seeing a few days of well below average temps and some snow, but the placement of the low near the Hudson Bay is crucial as to who gets the snow...

    Also, as we begin to see the winter pattern set up, it will be interesting to see how an extensive/early Siberian Snow pack and a weak/moderate El Nino shape the PNA and AO... Plus, we cannot forget about the MJO as it can be a party crasher in certain instances...

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    1. This will be more than a "decent chance" of well below average temps, and likely more than a few days worth of them as well. I think the cold pattern temporarily breaks soon after the 20th as the tall western ridge kicks east.

      "but the placement of the low near the Hudson Bay is crucial as to who gets the snow..."
      We want the low to be well east of Hudson Bay, otherwise it's congrats Buffalo/western southern tier/Tug Hill.

      "Plus, we cannot forget about the MJO as it can be a party crasher in certain instances..."
      Luckily our old nemesis doesn't seem to want to throw a wrench into things any time soon:
      http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/MJO/foregfs.shtml

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  76. The 12z GFS is throwing us a bone for next week with a synoptic snowstorm. I choose to ignore that bone and chalk it up to typical GFS buffoonery.

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  77. Big storm on 12z GFS hey you never know even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while.

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    1. It's not even that big of a storm.
      And it represents a huge break from continuity.
      And the 18z run shifted it 300 miles to the southeast.
      And the solution envelope is all over the place.

      You never know for sure, but I'm going to bet on this blind squirrel bumping into a forest's worth of trees before it finally finds the same nut that all of the international squirrels found days prior, but were kind enough to save.

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  78. Buffoonery is a fantastic word.

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    1. "Behavior that is ridiculous but amusing"...describes the GFS perfectly doesn't it?

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    2. Whoa! That word is the topic of an article in the D&C today. What are the chances of that? I also didn't know it was a questionable word for some people.

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    3. I just finished reading that article. There are obvious reasons to get offended by being labelled a buffoon, but I can't see a single reason to be offended by the word itself. Especially in a racial context. There's such a thing as "making everything about race," and this is a blatant example regarding a word that has zero history as a racial slur. Kind of ridiculous if you ask me...I suppose you could call it "buffoonery" ;D

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  79. OMG. Is it ever going to stop raining!!!!!

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    1. Maybe those are tears. It's still early November.

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    2. You had to know this was coming:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SbUC-UaAxE

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  80. Next week's lake effect setup looks meager compared to previous indications, but a more northerly component to the prevailing wind has been introduced.

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    Replies
    1. CCCC, were you even alive when that song came out?

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    2. I was less than a year old. Discovered it back in 10th grade and fell in love.

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  81. Small piles of graupel accumulated on my car during the course of today. It's been light flurries all afternoon with a stiff NW wind. Just a regular day in late fall I suppose.

    We know that a major cold wave is on the way for next week, but there are still timing differences between the various model suites regarding its arrival. A modest storm system may track close enough to bear some watching, but I'm not holding my breath given the recent flipping and flopping of models.

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  82. Check this out...it's the Euro model depiction of total snowfall over the next 10 days:
    https://twitter.com/MascoFromABC2/status/530795498957848577

    Pretty unusual to see that so early in the season. The GEM is even slightly beefier than that. The GFS, on the other hand, depicts almost nil over the same span. The output from the parallel GFS isn't showing up at all.

    Remember: flipping and flopping has been occurring recently.

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  83. http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/610day/610temp.new.gif

    Good god...

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