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Saturday, December 6

Plenty of Uncertainty Remains Next Week

You've been hearing us talk about a potential storm system next week for several days now but plenty of uncertainty remains in the forecast.

All major forecast models that we use agree on the large scale weather pattern across the Lower 48 next week and all depict a deep trough of low pressure developing somewhere across the Northeast. Of course, the devil is in the details.

In recent days, some models have shown an area of low pressure developing off the Mid-Atlantic and then moving quickly northeast just glancing our area with some light snow. At the same time, some very reliable models have shown a more amplified pattern which would allow any storm system that develops off the coast to slowly move north into New England. This scenario would give much of the state, even western New York, a shot at accumulating snow.

Today, model consensus is slowly improving and the trend is toward a slower low pressure center moving almost due north across eastern New England but there are still enough difference to make this an uncertain forecast.

For example, the GFS model shows the low moving just off Cape Cod by early Wednesday morning with the heaviest precipitation staying east of our area. With this scenario, we could still see widespread light snow with a couple inches of accumulation.



Meanwhile, the ECMWF model is showing the low pressure system centered near New York City during this same time spreading heavier precipitation much farther west into western and central New York. In this scenario, we would have the potential to see several inches of snow and maybe more in some areas. 


Temperatures will also be a very tricky part of the forecast. Since this storm system won't have much cold air to work with, we'll have to rely on elevation and dynamic processes within the atmosphere to keep the precipitation in the form of snow. Also, with a milder system, lake enhancement remains very much in question at this point. 

Bottom line: still plenty of uncertainty in the forecast! More updates to come in the next few days. 

Written By: Matt Jones









95 comments:

  1. This does not sound like a lot of confidence in us getting good snows.

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  2. This storm does not have enough cold air to work with to create large snow amounts. his along with a more easterly track with mean minimal impact in western NY>

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  3. But the News 8 blog update is appreciated.

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  4. Anyone know what the latest NAM said we are getting in the range where the NAM is more reliable.

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  5. The NAM is trending west from earlier runs. Its full run is not complete. I would NOT call the NAM a reliable model at this time.

    I wouldn't trust the NAM with this system before next Friday at the earliest.

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  6. Next Friday is that a joke?

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  7. Yes it was a joke. The system will have already passed by next Friday. I have very little faith in the NAM at ANY range.

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  8. What do you think will happen with this storm HP?

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  9. The NAM is to far east for any big impacts here in WNY, similar to the GFS.

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  10. Everything will be fine, we just need CCCC to give us an update and calm those anonymous posters down. In the end even if we just get 2-3 inches it will be better than nothing especially since so many of you had written this off all together several days ago. I prefer the optimistic route but that's just me.

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  11. The EURO has been the most consistent in handling it so far with every new run more favorable for WNY than the last. I would love to see something similar to the 12z EURO occur; however, my gut tells me further east and quicker moving with much less of an impact in western NY. Hopefully my gut feeling is only gas and we do indeed get heavy snow. I have my doubts, we shall see.

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  12. I agree with you that is will be more East of us but hope like you that the EURO holds serve and west is the best.

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  13. Anyone know what latest GFS showed?

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  14. To me it looks like the GFS is moving towards the more Westward track like the EURO.

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  15. EURO says storm is no more. It heads to the Atlantic quickly. We are safe now that the EURO has gone in the tank we will not see a big storm goodnight.

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  16. Looks like the GFS had the solution correct when all were touting the EURO.

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  17. Hope CCCC has a few cocktails before he looks at latest EURO. This may be the only way he can explain what is going on because the storm is gone for us.

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  18. Our prize racehorse got into the liquor cabinet tonight...good holy god that Euro run has to be the most bizarre thing I've ever seen. Rarely do I toss a model run outright, but I'm tossing this one. We still get some pretty nice QPF out of it, nearly an inch in fact. But it's such a huge deviation and such a strange looking solution all the way to the end of the run that I just have to discount it. Otherwise the rest of the guidance looks good for us AND sensible as well, although there is still zero track consensus after hour 72 or so. The GFS has shifted markedly west but still represents the eastern edge of the guidance envelope, while the GGEM has finally abandoned the compact nuke depiction it had before while also shifting substantially westward.

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  19. Just want to take a minute to thank Matt for the blog update..graphics were appreciated too.

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  20. The storm is not gone for us. In fact it got better. The NWS in Buffalo also states the potential for significant snow in Western, NY. This will also be prolonged event lasting through Thursday at least. It should be mostly snow for us.

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  21. That sounds good snowdog. I was hoping to wake up to good news!

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  22. Where did you see that Snowdog about the NWS in Buffalo?

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    Replies
    1. http://forecast.weather.gov/product.php?site=NWS&issuedby=BUF&product=AFD&format=CI&version=1&glossary=1&highlight=off

      Delete
  23. I notice the above pictures, the GFS is from wxbell, but the euro is not labeled...i have wxbell, and it does not show euro 6 hourly precip like gem, navgem, canandian, and gfs does...and the above picture for the euro is not stamped from the company that provided it. Any suggestions?

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    Replies
    1. Do you have a premium subscription? That's the only way to see the 6-hour Euro maps.

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  24. From the NWS:
    \IT IS DIFFICULT TO DETERMINE SNOW AMOUNTS AT THIS POINT...GIVEN SO
    MANY VARIABLES. THIS WILL BE A PROLONGED EVENT...SO STORM TOTALS
    COULD BE SIGNIFICANT...EVEN IF SNOWFALL RATES ARE NOT AS HEAVY AS A
    LAKE EFFECT EVENT. THE POTENTIAL FOR SIGNIFICANT SNOW WILL BE
    DISCUSSED IN THE HWO FOR TUESDAY NIGHT THROUGH THURSDAY.

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  25. So I can hear it now. Some posters are going to claim NBD etc. Of course we can handle warning criteria snow especially if it comes over the course of a few days. To me though, it will be cool to have snowy conditions for a few days even if it doesn't add up to a foot or something. Hope everyone stays positive no matter what happens. And let's take CCCC's suggestion and not play into the anonymous posters who post negative or untrue info just to get a rise out of us. Soap box complete.

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  26. Slightly off topic but this is how I feel whenever I'm watching the forecast with friends/family and there's a storm in the works:

    http://imgur.com/pBzNB2r

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  27. I believe the latest GFS now has us for 10-12 inches by Thursday morning if I am reading it correctly. I am sure the great CCCC will fill us in correctly or maybe Scott?

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    1. That is correct. The GGEM has similar amounts.

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    2. So I should proabably take my brand new snow blower out of the box and check the oil. Sounds like at least enough snow for a test run.

      Sweet.

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  28. What do you think CCCC? Is the storm going to retrograde back and will there be lake enhancement?

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    Replies
    1. Not sure about lake enhancement, temps might be pretty marginal for that. I think at least a little will occur though, and then to top it off the upslope zones of the northern Finger Lakes should receive additional help. Right now it looks like the system is going to retrograde to near NYC before slowly wandering across New England.

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  29. Do you think a foot is realistic?

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    Replies
    1. Given the amount of moisture and the projected track/behavior, absolutely.

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  30. The next EURO comes out in an hour is that correct and if yes that should be an important run?

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  31. The December Nor'easter of 1992 might be an apt comparison when discussing the upcoming storm. Here's a summary of that event from the NWS:

    "10th-11th: Low pressure moved east from the Upper Great Lakes bringing snow to the area while another low pressure system formed off the South Carolina coast. The two systems consolidated and then moved north along the Atlantic Coast bringing additional snow across the region. General snowfalls reports of between six and sixteen inches were common. Schools were closed in parts of the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes Region. Greater Buffalo Airport was closed for about an hour and a half while crews cleared the runways. Rochester Airport was closed for nearly two hours for the same reason. A tree, felled by heavy snow, knocked out a power substation in Frewsburg, Chautauqua County, causing power outages there and in Kiantone. One man was seriously injured in Orchard Park, Erie County, when a tree branch fell onto his car pinning him in the vehicle. Snow-covered roads were blamed for numerous traffic accidents. The weight of the heavy snow caused a roof to collapse on a Pittsford, Monroe County, office building. Specific snowfall amounts included: 19 inches - South Bristol; 17 inches - Sodus and Bergen; 16 inches - Salamanca, Sinclairville, and Olean; 15 inches - Friendship and Webster; 13 inches - Whitesville; 11 inches - Portageville; 10 inches - Buffalo, Angelica, Rochester and Colden; 9 inches - Avon, New Albion, and Warsaw; and 8 inches - Lancaster."

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  32. Not complaining but this is not a big deal because this again is over a long duration of time and 10 inches is not that hard to handle over 2 or 3 days.

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    Replies
    1. That much dense, wet snow could lead to some scattered power outages and downed tree limbs. Even if it takes 3 days to happen. I'd wager that the lion's share of our total will occur early in those 2-3 days anyhow.

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  33. I thought yesterdays 12Z EURO looked good, todays 12z EURO is even better. LP tracking from NYC north to eastern NY western Vermont area. Couldn't get much better of a track at this point.

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  34. What a whackadoodle Euro run...but it looks good for us. Basically tucks into NYC before spiraling northward and slowly rotting over NY state. I can't see a snowmap right now but I'm sure it gives us a foot or more.

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  35. It is right in line with the GEM it is not on its own at the moment.

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  36. This was a great run for us. Colder air too at least a foot as CCCC said.

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  37. And here's why that run is whackadoodle: it says the upper low just hangs out across the east for about a week, then creates a surface low that develops offshore and tracks due SOUTH. That's right, south. It also tries a bunch of wonky redevelopment bullmess with the midweek storm. Still matches the general scenario of the other models though.

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  38. The NWS out of Buffalo still has not even put up an HWO. They drive me nuts. Watches should go up by tomorrow.. Not a peep out of KW either.

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  39. I like the EURO consistency in LP placement at 12z Wednesday. It has LP in northern NJ for three consecutive 12z runs now. It is the next 12 hours after that the new 12z run has me excited. If it tracks north instead of northeast that would be a perfect track.

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  40. After this storm we warm up significantly and whatever snow we get melts away quickly.

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  41. Where is Scott? This storm I believe is suppose to arrive on Tuesday. Not a peep from Rochester's Most Accurate?

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    Replies
    1. Scott will be back for the 11pm show this evening.

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  42. Okay thanks Matt do you have anymore feelings since the most recent model runs?

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    1. Still a toss up. More model spread than I'd like to see and with today's latest runs uncertainty is still high. I do have more confidence than I did yesterday that Rochester and surrounding areas will see a decent accumulating snow. The question is just how much? At this point, it looks like a long duration light to moderate snow that will add up over several days.

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  43. According to the new SREF plume we could see between 0 and 19 inches of snow.

    http://imgur.com/cLwlUDR

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    Replies
    1. That details it. I can say we will see 0-19 inches and I would be 100% accurate. LOL

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  44. JN just posted one scenario that gives us well over a ft of snow.

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  45. I do not get just a few days out how there can not at least some agreement on the outcome. Everything is sampled and we have great technology how can it go from 0-19 inches.

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    Replies
    1. Very complicated setup. Recall my comment from several days ago that it would take until one or two days prior for the models to have this thing resolved, since it's a closed low. Immense spread in the SREF will probably continue through tomorrow evening's run.

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    2. I know it seems really ridiculous that it is only 2 days out and they still do not know what will happen. What good are models if they do not help us predict more than 2 days out???

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    3. If we didn't have models then we'd all be sitting here with our thumbs up our asses instead of tracking a storm.

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  46. Lost in all of this is the fact that our alleged "torch" has gone completely byebye.

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  47. It will probably be an elevation event since this storm has to make its own cold air.

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    Replies
    1. Are you suggesting only higher elevations get good snow? That would stink.

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    2. No. But they will receive the highest amounts

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  48. This might be a stupid question and I've read it numerous times in your recent posts but what are you referring to when you say " torch"?

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    1. An extended period of well above normal temperatures. Like at least 3 days and at least 10 degrees above average throughout. And in this case it would seem the persistent upper low will prevent any such situation.

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  49. I get what you are saying CCCC about the complicated set-up but that is why Scott has the tremendous expertise and experience. I would just love to hear what he thinks may happen based on previous history of looking at set ups like this and his experience. Not that we would hold him to it but that may be what he is worried about just like to hear his opinion.

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  50. Binghamton just put up Winter Storm Watches for their areas. They are always on top of things.

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  51. Buffalo will put them up once the storm starts. LOL

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    1. "THE CURRENT TRACK WOULD PLACE THE HIGHEST ACCUMULATIONS FROM AROUND ROCHESTER EAST ACROSS THE NORTHERN FINGER LAKES INTO CENTRAL NEW YORK. WHILE IT IS A LITTLE EARLY TO GIVE AMOUNTS FOR A PARTICUAL LOCATION...ACCUMULATIONS OF 6 TO 12 INCHES IN THE MOST FAVORED REGION ARE POSSIBLE OVER THIS MULTIDAY EVENT.

      WE WILL HAVE TO CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE TRENDS IN THE MODELS TO MAKE SURE THE WESTWARD TREND SEEN TODAY IS NOT AN ANOMALY. WINTER WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS MAY BE NEEDED SHOULD THIS MORE INLAND TRACK HOLD SERVE ON FUTURE MODEL RUNS."

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  52. Can I just say that besides Glen, Channel 13 is the worst.

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    1. That other guy they have just irritates the hell out of me.

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  53. CCCC what did the most recent GFS show?

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    1. http://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/gfs/2014120718/gfs_asnow_neus_23.png

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  54. Believe it shows us 12-14 inches by Thursday?

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  55. JN states that over a foot is definitely a possibility.

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    1. Is that "from hilltop to lakeshore"? LOL Sorry I had to. It bugs me when he says that every time.

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  56. So Wednesday morning commute gets messy? Or even earlier than that?

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  57. Binghamton NWS has Syracuse 2-4 inches so not sure where JN or anyone getting a foot. I believe this storm has let down all over it for us. No HP to the north to feed the cold air.

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    Replies
    1. Peruse each of these links then tell me you can't see a foot of snow or enough cold air:

      http://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/gfs/2014120718/gfs_asnow_neus_24.png
      http://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/gem/2014120712/gem_asnow_neus_23.png
      http://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/gfs/2014120718/gfs_T850_neus_14.png
      http://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/gfs/2014120718/gfs_T850_neus_15.png
      http://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/gem/2014120712/gem_T850_neus_12.png
      http://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/gem/2014120712/gem_T850_neus_13.png
      http://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/ecmwf/2014120712/ecmwf_T850_neus_4.png
      http://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/ecmwf/2014120712/ecmwf_T850_neus_5.png

      From what I can tell BGM's snowfall forecast only goes out to Wednesday morning, with the bulk of the storm still to come for the SYR area. They also tweeted that their midnight shift would expand the watch area.

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    2. CCC, don't listen to that post. They do not know what they are taking about. They are not looking at the models obviously.

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    3. Snowdog. You know CCCC can't just ignore it. It's like telling him not to look at the Sun. He can't look away.

      The waiting to see what happens. Never gets easier. Now. We wait.

      As a tangent. It would be nice if this forum supported pictures and hyperlinks.

      Delete
  58. I'm sure 2-4 at this range is them playing it safe. Almost saying " we will at least get 2-4 but as we get closer we will increase numbers when out confidence does". Its easier to increase numbers than to have to lower them later and look bad doing it

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  59. CCCC do you know what the latest NAM showed?

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  60. CCCC do you what does the latest GFS how?

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    Replies
    1. It shows why this thing is going to be a bitch to nail down...18z run jackpotted Buffalo while this run jackpots Oswego. Little to no difference for us though.

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  61. Scott posted!!!!!!!!!!

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  62. So for Wednesday is the prediction for 10-12 inches of snow to fall during the day on Wednesday. if that is the case the City needs to prepare. Have to admit that I have not seen JN so excited as he was last night giving the forecast -- grinning from ear to ear. For those who have to work, they need to begin to look at snow fall predictions so that we can plan our day for Wednesday and then into Thursday.

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