Lake Ontario - Open Waters from the Niagara River to Hamlin Beach Marine Forecast
|This Afternoon...Southwest Winds 15 To 25 Knots Becoming West. Waves 3 To 6 Feet.|
|Tonight...West Winds 15 To 20 Knots Becoming South 5 To 15 Knots. Waves 3 To 5 Feet Subsiding To 1 To 3 Feet.|
|Saturday...South Winds 10 To 15 Knots Becoming Southwest 15 To 20 Knots. A Chance Of Waterspouts In The Afternoon. Showers Likely In The Afternoon. Waves 1 To 3 Feet Building To 2 To 4 Feet.|
|Saturday Night...West Winds 15 To 20 Knots. A Chance Of Waterspouts. Showers Likely In The Evening, Then A Chance Of Showers Overnight. Waves 1 To 3 Feet Building To 2 To 4 Feet.|
|Sunday...West Winds 15 To 20 Knots. A Chance Of Waterspouts. A Chance Of Showers. Waves 3 To 6 Feet.|
|Monday...West Winds 10 To 15 Knots Becoming Northwest. A Chance Of Waterspouts During The Day. A Chance Of Showers During The Day. Waves 2 To 4 Feet Subsiding To 1 To 3 Feet.|
|Tuesday...Northwest Winds 5 To 10 Knots Becoming North. Waves 2 Feet Or Less.|
| Area Forecast Discussion|
National Weather Service Buffalo NY
644pm EST Sunday Jan 16 2022
A major winter storm will move into the area, with heavy snow spreading into our region from south to north this evening and continuing through Monday. The snow may briefly mix with some sleet tonight. The heavy snow will taper off Monday afternoon, but winds will increase with blowing and drifting snow lasting through Monday night. Lake effect snow will develop southeast of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario Monday night through Tuesday with some localized additional accumulations.
Near Term - Through Monday
...MAJOR WINTER STORM TONIGHT THROUGH MONDAY... Regional radars early this evening showing leading edge of snow entering the western Southern Tier. Observations along the western Southern Tier into northern Pennsylvania supporting a rapid increase in intensity to the snow once it starts, with visibilities dropping to an mile or less.
Snow will move quickly to the north likely reaching the south shore of Lake Ontario by 9 pm. The heaviest snowfall rates still look to be several hours away, but we should start see snowfall rates exceeding an inch per hour across western New York by midnight and increasing to perhaps as much as 3+ inches per hour overnight into Monday morning.
Synoptic Setup... A strong closed low over the southeast US this evening will round the base of the longwave trough and move NNE up the eastern seaboard, while interacting with another strong shortwave digging through the upper Midwest. The initial low over the southeast will give way to secondary coastal cyclogenesis along the South Carolina coast today, with this low then taking an inland track up the east coast, reaching east central PA by early Monday morning before moving through western New England Monday afternoon.
Forcing for ascent will be supported by strong DPVA ahead of the sharp mid level closed low, impressive upper level coupled jet structure, and strongly diffluent flow aloft. A powerful 80+ knot southeasterly low level jet will support a strong warm conveyor on the front side of the system, transporting a plume of deep Atlantic moisture back into the eastern Great Lakes and supporting strong isentropic upglide. All of this will come together to produce a period of deep/strong ascent through the depth of the troposphere. Following the first phase of the system, a strong deformation zone and TROWAL airstream will continue to support heavy snow in the comma head of the system through early afternoon Monday.
Precipitation Type/Snow:Water Ratios... The strong surge of warm advection in the warm conveyor driven by the 80+ knot southeasterly low level jet may bring enough warm air aloft into play to allow for a brief mix with sleet tonight for a few hours. The mix with sleet may last a little longer across Central NY and the southern Tug Hill region. Across Western NY, the mix with sleet will be brief enough to not significantly impact snow amounts, but it will hold down amounts in Central NY to some extent.
Snow:Water ratios tonight in the warm conveyor will likely be fairly low, around 10:1 or even a little lower. A deep isothermal layer beneath the dentritic growth zone in the mid levels suggests heavily rimed conglomerates resulting in an "icy" snow initially. Snow:Water ratios will steadily increase from west to east late tonight and Monday as the thermodynamic structure improves within the deformation zone, and as the column cools. Ratios should improve to 15:1 across far WNY which will be in the TROWAL late tonight into Monday morning. By late Monday afternoon ratios will likely be 18:1 or better, especially in areas of developing lake enhancement.
Total Snowfall Forecast... The highest snowfall continues to focus on Western NY. The heaviest snowfall rates will be overnight tonight through early Monday morning as a wide/intense mesoscale band structure moves north across the area, with 2-3"/hr snowfall rates likely. Forecast soundings suggest slantwise and even upright convection is possible, with some potential for thundersnow. From mid morning through the afternoon Monday max snowfall rates will likely back off to 1-2" per hour.
Storm totals of 12-18" still look likely across much of Western NY. The pivot point of the strong deformation axis will likely exceed 20", but there remains some uncertainty on where this will be. Based on the 850MB low track in the latest model runs, this may end up being over the west end of Lake Ontario. The most likely areas to exceed 18" in Western NY will be the Chautauqua Ridge and Boston Hills with lake enhancement and upslope late in the event, and also in Niagara County with some Lake Ontario enhancement and close proximity to the potential pivot point of the deformation axis.
Farther east, expect 8-12" from roughly the Genesee Valley eastward across the eastern Lake Ontario region. A potential longer mix with sleet, and also dry slotting for a portion of Monday may keep totals under 9" for portions of Cayuga, Oswego and southern Lewis counties.
Blowing/Drifting Snow... Winds will be relatively light through tonight, with the exception of the south shore of Lake Ontario where gusts may exceed 30 mph.
Winds will then become northwest Monday afternoon and rapidly increase, with gusts of 30-40 mph areawide and locally 45+ mph close to the Lake Ontario shore. This will result in significant blowing and drifting snow as the widespread general snow is tapering off.
Short Term - Monday Night Through Wednesday Night
Lake effect snow will linger across our region Monday Night in the wake of the departing synoptic storm. As Lake induced equilibrium levels climb to 6-7K feet bands of lake snows will be found Southeast of the Lakes on a NW flow. Both the NAM and Canadian focus low level convergence and moisture upon the Chautauqua Ridge, as well as along the southern Lake Ontario shoreline and inland across Oswego. If an upstream connection to Lake Huron materializes, which the NAM/RGEM have been pretty consistent on, snowfall amounts from lake effect could reach half a foot or more Monday Night and into Tuesday morning. Meanwhile off Georgian Bay, this connection does not appear to line up with the major band off Lake Ontario, thus snowfall amounts will be spread out over a wider area. Off both lakes continued gusty NW winds will bring blowing and drifting to the fluffy snow.
Lake effect snow as well as gusty winds will then diminish Tuesday as surface high pressure nears the region with now poorer lake effect parameters. A weak band of snow or flurries will lift towards Watertown Tuesday afternoon in the backing winds in front of the surface high pressure.
This surface high will provide a brief period of quiet weather later Tuesday before an alberta clipper low races towards our region Tuesday Night and Wednesday. Southerly flow ahead of this low will begin to increase temperatures late Tuesday Night, especially the downslope areas of WNY. Gusty southerly winds will remain Wednesday, with favored downslope areas potentially gusting into the 30 mph range.
Initial snow late Tuesday Night and early Wednesday may mix with a little sleet and rain towards midday Wednesday ahead of the cold front. Areas that could see a change over to rain or a light drizzle would be the lake plain and Genesee Valley, where downslope flow warms the lower boundary layer enough for a change over. Rain fall amounts will be low.
Hesitant to go above model guidance for temperatures Wednesday in this synoptic set-up, a set-up that can favor increased warmth due to downslope compression, due to potential deep snowpack across portions of our region. Snow across WNY looks to be minor as models are converging on the track of the surface low north of Lake Ontario. East of Lake Ontario, and closer to the center of lift and moisture a few inches of snow is possible during the day Wednesday.
Late Wednesday afternoon and early evening Wednesday a cold front will cross our region. Gusty winds along this front will usher in another period of much colder air for our region.
This westerly flow behind the cold front will again bring lake effect snow, with a general westerly flow. This would focus lake snows on the Southern Tier and Ski Country, as well as the Tug Hill. Along the long stretch of Lake Ontario a period of accumulating lake snows will need to be monitored Wednesday Night, this in an area where better low level convergence will be found in the wind fields.
Air temperatures Wednesday Night will again drop back into the single digits to low teens, with a few sub zero readings possible east of Lake Ontario.
Long Term - Thursday Through Sunday
In the wake of the cold frontal passage, aloft in the upper levels of the atmosphere on Thursday morning, a broad trough will span across the vast majority of the eastern half of the CONUS, with its positively tilted axis overhead from the Four Corner Region to the Upper Great Lakes. Additionally, this will place a jet streak across New England, with western and north central NY being located on the poleward entrance region of the jet, and favor anticyclonic vorticity advection, cold air advection, and subsidence, all things indicative of incoming high pressure. Initially this pattern will advect in much cooler air (temperatures at 850mb dropping toward - 18C) across the region Thursday, which in combination with the left over moister from the exiting front will support lake effect snows southeast of both lakes Erie and Ontario Thursday through Friday. While a couple of days of lake effect snow are expected, snowfall accumulations should remain in check due to the colder and slightly drier airmass entering the region, causing a limited dendritic growth zone.
High pressure will then push overhead of the region late Friday night through Saturday. With the introduction of high pressure, subsidence and dry air lake effect snow will diminish Friday night, with a quiet day expected Saturday.
Meanwhile Friday, following the trend of the ECMWF (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts) and Canadian models, the upper level trough axis will allow a shortwave to round its base and support a surface low to develop across the southeastern United States. This low will then follow a classic Miller Type A/nor'easter track. This late week nor'easter will advance north along the Atlantic coastline Friday night through Sunday. With the passage of the low well to the southeast of the area Saturday afternoon/evening, there is a slight chances that the far eastern portions of the forecast area may see some snow. Otherwise, northwest flow on the backside of the exiting front will support lake effect snow southeast of both lakes Sunday.
Low pressure will strengthen rapidly as it tracks from the Carolinas to eastern PA/NY on Monday. Southeast winds this evening will become northeast later tonight and early Monday and increase to around 30 knots, before becoming northwest Monday afternoon.
Small Craft headlines for all the nearshores and the lower Niagara River from late tonight through Tuesday as outlined below.
NOAA Buffalo NY Office: Watches - Warnings - Advisories
NY...Winter Storm Warning from 10pm this evening to 1am EST Tuesday for NYZ005>008. Winter Storm Warning until 7pm EST Monday for NYZ001>004-010- 011. Winter Storm Warning until 7pm EST Monday for NYZ013-014-021. Winter Storm Warning until 10pm EST Monday for NYZ012-019-020- 085.
Small Craft Advisory from 1am Monday to 4pm EST Tuesday for LEZ040-041. Small Craft Advisory from 4am Monday to 1am EST Tuesday for LOZ030. Small Craft Advisory from 1am Monday to 4pm EST Tuesday for LOZ042. Small Craft Advisory from 1am Monday to 7pm EST Tuesday for LOZ043-044. Small Craft Advisory from 4am Monday to 4pm EST Tuesday for LOZ045.