Get your daily dose of weather news

with Scott Hetsko, Chief Meteorologist

RSS FEED SUBSCRIBE BY EMAIL

Our weather blog brings you expert perspective on the latest weather news. Our weather experts share the inside scoop with blog entries from the studio and from the field. Check out the latest weather news and storm coverage in our most recent blog entries.

Saturday, January 2

Blast of Frigid Air and Snow!

For those that have been patiently waiting for true winter weather, your chance will come Sunday night and Monday as a strong Arctic cold front dives south through the region!

Scattered snow showers along with gusty west winds will be the rule Sunday ahead of the front with only spotty light accumulations for most. A brief but intense burst of snow could form along the Arctic front as it pushes south from Lake Ontario by late afternoon.

As much colder air arrives and wind direction switches to the northwest, multiple bands of lake effect snow will develop along the south shore of Ontario Sunday night and then continue through Monday afternoon. Eventually, the air will become too dry and stable to support snow and this will occur by late Monday afternoon shutting down the lake effect. Before that happens, many locations that have yet to see much snow this season could pick of several inches of fluff.

Here's our latest thinking for snowfall amounts:


In addition, the coldest air of the season will be arriving behind this front with highs by Monday struggling to climb out of the mid teens and wind chills in the single digits and even below zero.

Here's a look at projected wind chill values by midday Monday:


Written By: Meteorologist Matt Jones

74 comments:

  1. What was the final Dec snow total and departure from normal temp? Where did they rank.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Average temp was 42.2, a departure of +12.2 and the warmest December on record by more than 3 degrees. Snowfall was 2.3 inches, least on record for December by three tenths of an inch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Almost as much over avg temp as last Feb was under. Crazy stuff.

      Delete
  3. Updated LES Advisory has totals of 4-7 inches.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is that overnight amounts or total amount through Monday?

      Delete
  4. Got an anecdotal question for everyone, since most of us are snow junkies:

    Two parter: what's the hardest you've ever seen it snow in Rochester area?
    What's the hardest you've ever seen it snow, anywhere? (I already know ccccs response to q2)

    SW

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't even remember what my response to q2 would be. I know I've experienced 4+"/hour rates several times, including in ROC. Happened last Feb with the meso low that crossed the area with bitterly cold temps, couldn't see 100 feet even with zero wind. Extreme instability allowed it to happen, Lake O basically manufactured its own favorable flake growth environment from upward heat flux and delivered a brief burst of insanely heavy snowfall.

      Delete
    2. Don't know the rate but hardest snow I've ever seen was driving across route 177 on the Tug Hill at night. Zero wind but the snow was so hard you could barely see past the hood of the truck and even then you had no idea if you were still on the road. It was actually pretty scary and exciting at the same time.

      Delete
    3. Chris now in PenfieldJanuary 3, 2016 at 8:38 AM

      Caledonia, you stole my story! Same area, same road. Was towing my sled back to Sodus Point from Barnes Corners when a tremendous lake effect event began. It was January 2002, a month not known for its cold and snow. Heading west towards I-81, huge flakes came down at a ferocious rate...4-5 inches of snow had accumulated on the road within an hour. I still have the image in my mind of not being able to tell my lane from the oncoming lane, from the shoulder. I drove right over the I-81 overpass and didn't even know it! I missed the on-ramp and had to turn around, trailer in tow. I was afraid to pull over because I couldn't tell what was the shoulder and what was the ditch...not to mention, someone coming from behind would've plowed right into me. Ended up jack-knifing the trailer while attempting to back up, damaging my tow vehicle. Eventually found my way to I-81, which had cleared up just a few miles south of the Rt. 177 on-ramp. BY FAR the heaviest snow I've ever seen, accompanied by large claps of thunder and lightning.

      The most snow I've seen at once was when I was at my camp in Feb. 2013. With lake effect warnings in place, it started snowing moderately at 5:00am and did not wane until 7:00pm. In that 14 hours, 30 inches of snow had piled up. It continued to snow lightly after that, ended up with an event totaling nearly 35" within 24 hours. The record is 77 inches within 24 hours at Montague, not too far from Barnes Corners, as mentioned in the previous paragraph.

      On a side note, I continue to have issues with my posts being published to this blog...this is my second attempt to get it to show up in the feed.

      Delete
    4. CCCC I seems to remember you describing your experience in one of the big lake Erie LES events in one of your posts a while back. Back in 2001 or 2002 I was driving dump trucks for a local guy who got subcontracted by a big rochester truck company that got called to buffalo when they got pummeled with 6 feet of LE. Me and another driver were sent out to the roc thruway exit to meet up with a 30 truck convoy. Bad for us we got there first, because we ended up at the head of the convoy following the boss in his 4x4 jimmy. Sun was out til we hit Batavia and things quickly went downhill from there. When we hit that wall of snow it was coming down so hard that the snow was covering up the tire tracks from the jimmy before we got to them. We were just guessing where the road was but pulling over wasn't an option with all those trucks behind us. That was the hardest I've ever seen it snow and the worst I've ever driven in. When we finally made our way into Lackawanna the people literally we're standing outside their houses on 7 feet snowdrifts cheering the trucks as they drove by. Totally surreal event, we were out there almost a week hauling snow out of the city.

      The hardest locally has been a couple times on 531 when the road disappeared and I found my way by mile markers.

      Delete
    5. You won't earn your "survived a WNY/CNY winter" card until you've nearly soiled your driver's seat in a beefed-up LE band.

      I've been in numerous big Erie events since I grew up in the Buffalo area. My sister was born in the middle of the 1995 record event, the 2000 storm extended my Thanksgiving break from 4 days to 6, the 2001 storm nearly buried my backyard fence, the 2006 storm killed the power to the house for 2 days and cancelled school for a week plus a day. Then there was a smaller one in December 2008 that was brief but extremely intense, and caused some of the nastiest drifting I'd seen in awhile. Most recently it was the 2014 "polar vortex blizzard" which happened during my winter break from college and caused snow to accumulate between the storm door and the main door at the side of the house. Probably the only time in my life where the phrase "hell on earth" accurately applied to the weather conditions.

      Delete
  5. New LES advisory bumps totals a bit further, now 5-8 inches.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The following text from the NWS explains why the short fetch won't be a total deal breaker, pertaining specifically to Sunday night:

    "LAKE INDUCED EQUILIBRIUM LEVELS REMAIN AROUND 8K FEET OVERNIGHT WITH A FAVORABLE LAYER OF DENDRITIC CRYSTAL GROWTH IN THE SHALLOW CLOUD LAYER BELOW. DESPITE THE SHORT NORTHERLY FETCH...STRONG THERMODYNAMICS AND FAVORABLE CLOUD MICROPHYSICS SHOULD SUPPORT SOME DECENT ACCUMULATIONS ALONG THE SOUTH SHORE OF THE LAKE WITH THE GREATEST AMOUNTS FOCUSING ON THE GENESEE VALLEY INCLUDING ROCHESTER INTO PORTIONS OF THE NORTHERN FINGER LAKES."

    I believe that any 5+" amounts will occur in a localized fashion, with 2-4 inch totals being a more common theme.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Over on americanwx.. there is a debate if the polar vortex has split or not. This brings up two questions for me.

    1.) Has the polar vortex split?

    2.) How can it be a debate in the first place? Isn't either yes or no?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1) The tropospheric vortex is splitting. The stratospheric one is merely stretching.

      2) AmericanWx will debate everything because they're all weenies :P

      Delete
  8. Channel 10 last night talked of Winter Storm Watch. Everyone else talking about LES Advisory. What are they seeing that the rest are not?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can tell you what they're apparently not seeing: the actual NWS headline, which is still a LES Advisory.

      Delete
  9. Do you see the 8+ inches for the City or along the Lake Shore for the higher amounts? Just trying to plan my morning commute.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. IDK about 8+, but the best shot at the high end of the forecast should be in the northern half of the metro.

      Delete
  10. Bob Barker Bannister BeautifulJanuary 3, 2016 at 2:18 PM

    Could be very interesting a week from today. Have to keep an eye on a potential large storm on the coast. Very early but potential there would you agree CCCC?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Lots of model confusion still but it's definitely a window for something.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Looks like Snowdog was right on earlier in the week when he said there would be a Lake snow advisory and 4-8 inches of snow. That is exactly what Scott is calling for now. 8" North of the Thruway.

    ReplyDelete
  13. That was a very wimpy arctic front. Barely received a dusting with that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was probably out of practice.

      Delete
  14. Replies
    1. Chris now in PenfieldJanuary 3, 2016 at 7:51 PM

      They are inherently dry in nature, I believe...until they run into a moisture source.

      Delete
    2. Much like my humor.

      Delete
  15. An inch at best for Monroe county not sure where they are getting 4-8 inches.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are u a Meteorologist? Where are you getting only an inch?

      Delete
  16. Snowdog look at the arctic front what did that bring you? LES always disappoints too unless you are in the traditional snow belts. Us mets have a hard time predicting theses total many factors you may get an inch or two.

    ReplyDelete
  17. You'll be disappointed if you expect closer to 8 inches than 4. You're getting more than one inch unless you live well south of the Thruway.

    ReplyDelete
  18. NBD this is going to be LE flop, betting my lawn will still be green tomorrow morning, didn't even pull the shovel out of the shed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you are confident with such prediction then sign your prediction.

      Delete
    2. I'm the NoBigDealer 'nuff said!

      Delete
  19. You are right anon 8:04! Looking at radar not a very impressive lake effect band at all. Again north of the thruway may get an inch or two.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's different than not covering the grass.

      Delete
  20. The lake effect has just started to form. It is all West of Rochester right now, but should start forming over Monroe and Wayne counties. I still say by Monday night we will have 4-8. It gets warm again by the end of the week and next weekend and it all goes away, whatever we get.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Had some light to moderate bursts recently resulting in a solid coating, maybe a few tenths of an inch of fluff. Everything seems to be evolving as expected, with most of the snow expected to hold off until later tonight as progressively colder air works in. This may turn out to be another one of those situations where the radar doesn't tell the whole story, even just now I was getting some pretty decent rates with hardly any radar returns over my head.

    ReplyDelete
  22. The north side of Hamlin has not seen a single snow flake yet. Hopefully it doesn't all blow overhead to rt 104. I guess I will see in the morning.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I don't know if the 104 corridor got any snow, but I do know Hamlin did not. We got a very fine dusting. Oh well, maybe next time.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Chris now in PenfieldJanuary 4, 2016 at 6:15 AM

    About 2-3" here in east side of Penfield, still lightly snowing...and not showing up on radar.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Within the City got about 1-1/2 to 2 inches of light fluffy snow. However, the wind chill is another story. Be careful driving as salt does not work well when it is this cold, and there is patches of black ice.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Picked up 2" in Gananda. Not much but I will take anything at this point.

    ReplyDelete
  27. As predicted another great LES bust for those areas north of the thruway. Pattern change coming too wink wink. All weather stations predicting mid 40s and rain this weekend. Great winter but hold the hope miser Mr.CCCC will be posting about the pattern change is right on schedule hang in there folks. We will be lucky to get 50 inches of snow this season as I posted a while back. Someone better keep an eye on Snowdog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Clearly, you should be in MENSA.

      Delete
    2. I guess a pattern change means 3 feet of snow in the yard the next morning. The flip to cold stil looks on track. Hoping the period after the 20th is only a brief relaxation.

      Delete
  28. Funny how KW is throwing out there all weekend the possibility of a major east coast storm next weekend. Even stating frigid temperatures from January 10-21. Then RC this morning and all mets have high temperatures in the 40s and rain next weekend. They all just can not give up the thought that this winter will be minimal snow and cold. I will take that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Really, who still pays attention to KW!

      Delete
  29. The pattern has changed. December, 50's and 60's common. January changed just like I posted over 2 weeks ago. Jan 20's and 30's will rule with only brief visits of 40's. This also exactly as I posted over 2 weeks ago. Don't look now, but the week of the 11th will spend most of the time at or below normal.

    That is a pattern change.

    BTW the LES is right on target with the map in this blog and those numbers will be met by end of day today.

    ReplyDelete
  30. The lake effect snow was kid of a bust. Many lake shore areas did not pick up much of anything. A far cry from the 4-8 predicted. Oh well. Maybe next time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Have to keep in mind, that the 4-8 inches were totals through Monday afternoon/evening, and the day is not over with yet. But do have to say that the weather reports from each of the TV stations were all over the map from 3-6 inches to 1-3 inches to 2-4 inches. As each said, with LES it is difficult to predict where the winds will blow and the bands of snow will line up. The day is still young -- so don't give up hope -- don't be a Debbie-Downer

      Delete
    2. Exactly anon 9:22!

      Delete
  31. This is a lesson in why "in the most persistent bands" is not a flyover phrase. This thing isn't over but it looks like 2-4 inches will be the general rule, which is what I had from the beginning. I can at least guarantee that you aren't able to see your grass in most areas unless you live near or south of the Thruway, or apparently right along the lake shore. Maybe the extremely warm water temps meant they were fooked from the start? Whatever.

    By the way, the pattern has indeed changed EXACTLY AS I AND MANY OTHERS SAID IT WOULD. It's going to be temporarily disrupted at the end of the week exactly as I said it might be awhile ago (you know, "transition month" and all that). And it's going to be replaced by an even deeper winter pattern afterwards, which will also very likely relax for a time after hanging around for about a week to ten days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are going with "relax" at the end of the month then? Like a January thaw and reload?

      Delete
    2. Basically. The GOA trough returns but the background pattern doesn't portend a permanent shift. After the reload is when a blockier North Atlantic potentially sets up. Anthony Masiello's twitter feed has some interesting assessments in that regard.

      Delete
  32. Thanks CCCC it will be great when we get another rain storm next weekend during this pattern change. Nothing better than rain during the winter. Does this pattern change you have been pushing come with any WINTER storms?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nobody on the planet can predict a storm that far out. Need to get the cold air first and that starts right when people have been saying it will. MID MONTH!!!!!!!!!!!!! Read that part again. MID MONTH!!!!!!!!!

      Delete
  33. Though there is talk of rain this weekend, need to keep in mind that with a change or two in degrees in temperature -- that rain can turn to freezing rain and ice. So if it is going to rain in January, rather have the rain that freezing rain and ice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. KW still keeps beating the possible east coast storm at the end of next weekend. Blah blah blah loves to throw that out there to get the viewers.

      Delete
  34. Bob Barker Bannister BeautifulJanuary 4, 2016 at 2:22 PM

    Nothing locked in for this weekend at all. Have to believe things need to be watched for the Sunday/Monday period based on the models something still possible. Would that be correct CCCC?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, a window for possible mischief remains open for early next week. The signal in the ensemble means has been getting stronger over the past few days and the overall pattern looks favorable for an eastern storm. Operational models will probably remain confused for at least a few more days. The usual caveats apply, with the added issue of how much the weekend system screws with our cold air supply.

      Delete
  35. LES is extremely frustrating if you go into a given time frame thinking you are guaranteed any specific outcome. When I was growing up it would drive me crazy to wake up to bare ground when 3-5 was forecasted. Now I have learned to appreciate its unpredictability. Next week LES could dump 8 inches when there are no headlines at all. Bare ground still today, maybe next time.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Am I seeing signs that the end of week warm up maybe muted somewhat?

    ReplyDelete
  37. Did not pick up any more snow today. Total for Gananda was 2". Disappointing but better than nothing. At least it looks like winter finally. Maybe the air was just too dry for the lake effect to kick in. One time I would like them to say 3-5 inches and we get a foot of lake effect. I am sure it has happened many times. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  38. El Nino years are usually active with fluctuating temps anyway aren't they? I shouldn't be looking for deep deep winter for 12 weeks at a time?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. La Ninas promote fluctuation. El Ninos promote persistance. Really neither ENSO phase in strong form is all that favorable for deep extended wintry spells, La Nina due to its -PNA tendency and El Nino due to its +EPO tendency. Even the "colder" strong El Nino winters haven't produced extremely long stretches of deep winter, mainly because the cold patterns are drawing from a modified source region (warmer than average Canada) much of the time.

      Delete
  39. I think the NBD guy works over at wunderground. They are still sticking with their warmer than normal Feb and Mar but at least admit the cold snap could last longer.

    http://www.wunderground.com/news/january-march-outlook-2016-noaa-wsi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really have no idea what Todd Crawford is looking at lately. Not long ago he was basically cancelling winter while evidence of a major pattern change was mounting. Now he's going with a warm first half of January followed by a cold second half? If anything the signs point to moderation during the back stretch after a cold pattern, not a turn to much colder following a warm pattern. Then afterwards it's just a boilerplate "super nino" outlook which isn't an approach that I prefer, and IMO the current crop of evidence still doesn't lean that way.

      Delete
  40. Chris now in PenfieldJanuary 4, 2016 at 7:56 PM

    I just finished reading Cohen's AO update. AO is negative (-1.0) but NAO is neutral. His 30 day forecast calls for below average temperatures, overall, east of the Mississippi with the greatest departure from normal in the Midwest and Upper South. MJO model about to enter Phase 7 & 8, which indicates ridging out west and troughing in the east.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a near total reversal from what we had in December. Almost every teleconnection has flipped or will flip in the near future, with the NAO still being somewhat of a holdout by going neutral instead of negative.

      Delete

Blog Archive