From local to widespread snow....

Posted January 21st, 2013 by Bill Kardas. 52 comments

As we talked about yesterday, winter came in with a vengance.  Here's a look at the snowfall totals from last night:


Location Amount
Camden 17
Lowville 12
Forestport 12
Clark Mills 9
Frankfort Hill 8
New Hartford 7.2
South Utica 6.8
Westmoreland 5.9
Rome 5.9
Bridgeport 5.5
Marcy 4.5
West Utica 4.5
Whitesboro 4.3
Boonville 4
Westdale 4
Litchfield 4
Frankfort 2.5
North Utica 2
Holland Patent 1.5
Richfield Springs 1.1
East Winfield 1
Laurens Trace
Cooperstown 0

The heavy band was across a narrow area stretching from Sylvan Beach to New Harford.  Not to be forgotten was Camden and Lowville, which saw hefty accumulations yesterday.  The band has diminished over the past few hours and winds are about to shift into the southwest, carrying any remaining lake effect to the north.  We are not done with snow today though...

Surge of arctic air...

Yesterday's wind maker was only part one of this temperature plunge.  The next disturbance, a shortwave flying through, will push even colder air from the north into Central New York.  This wave will pick up moisture over the lakes and drop widespread snow to the area later today.  Accumulations on paper ought to range between 1-3", but I could see some higher reports out of this, especially closer to the lake shore.  Unlike last night's lake effect, most places will see accumulating snow later today and tonight.

Lake effect returns...

The blast of cold air will cause an immediate reponse from Lake Ontario.  850s plunge below -20 for several days in a row.  In order to get a better idea of where the band goes, we look at a program called BUFKIT.  BUFKIT did a FANSTASTIC job with yesterday's lake effect event.  According to BUFKIT the wind field setting up along the Tug Hill initially tonight.  The band starts out very strong, with not much wind shear.  The main wind field remains north across the Tug Hill with winds averaging 270 overnight.  Eventually the band will drop south, but will spend the better part of the day north.

Here's where things get tricky.  The inversion height is quite high Tuesday morning into the afternoon.  That favors tall clouds and heavy lake effect snow.  Winds are not ideal - which can serve to reduce lake effect snow.  Winds at the surface are light, and there's some wind shear involved.  Finally, the incredibly dry air will likely limit the extent of the band.  We talked about the reasoning behind that in an earlier entry.

Taking those factors into consideration, we expect a heavy snowfall across the Tug Hill, Adirondacks, and North Oneida County.  Several inches of snow will likely fall across Northwestern Oneida County again.  There could be a big disparity again in totals, this time in a 'north vs south' fashion.


Add a Comment


  1. WKTV Weather Alert:

    NWS has issued a Lake Effect Snow Watch for Northern Oneida County until 01:00 PM

    Posted January 21st at 9:20 AM

  2. Nick (West Winfield,NY):

    BUFKIT looks amazing….LICAPE around 100. EQLs 14,000-15,000 KFT. Lightning strikes within the band could be possible.

    Posted January 21st at 9:34 AM

  3. Rob (Whitesboro):

    NAM looks good too. Extends the band pretty far inland tomorrow.

    Posted January 21st at 9:36 AM

  4. Bill Kardas (WKTV):

    The extent of the band basically comes down to inversion height vs dry air. At this point it could go either way.

    Posted January 21st at 10:22 AM

  5. Nick (West Winfield,NY):

    Yeah Im interested to see if this thing holds togther Tuesday afternoon….for northern madison and south Oneida or does it weaken.

    Posted January 21st at 10:28 AM

  6. Mel (Westernville):

    Only 1.5” here yesterday. Started off great then quickly shifted south to Rome and never came back. Need a 285 flow to get good LES here. Seasonal total is 52.2”.

    Posted January 21st at 10:45 AM

  7. Jimmy (New Hartford):

    Seasonal Total here is 42.1 inches

    Posted January 21st at 11:30 AM

  8. Art (Oriskany Falls):

    We didn’t get any Snow at all here last night.
    It looks like Oriskany Falls did good this time.
    17 inches in Camden heh, That’s a lot of Snow.

    Posted January 21st at 12:09 PM

  9. WKTV Weather Alert:

    NWS has issued a Lake Effect Snow Warning for Northern Oneida County until 01:00 PM

    Posted January 21st at 1:20 PM

  10. MG (Point Rock):

    It’s amazing that Camden and Forestport had so much snow — I’m right between them and only had 4”. Must have been a strange pattern.

    Posted January 21st at 1:32 PM

  11. Mel (Westernville):

    MG – I think Bill misread Winter from Forestport’s post in the last blog. he said he was 12 degrees with 1” of snow, unless Bill had another report, but Winter’s made sense.

    Posted January 21st at 1:54 PM

  12. Rob (Whitesboro):

    I just ran out to the casino and there was at least 10” there. Snowing pretty good on the thruway west of Westmo too.

    Posted January 21st at 1:55 PM

  13. Winter (Forestport):

    Yes, there was only 1’‘ (one inch) of snow from yesterdays storm here in Forestport…

    Posted January 21st at 2:10 PM

  14. Bill Kardas (WKTV):

    Sorry about that.

    Posted January 21st at 2:20 PM

  15. nugfin (Neil) (South Utica - Genesee St.):

    Steady light snow here.

    Posted January 21st at 3:20 PM

  16. Nick (West Winfield,NY):

    Snowing Mod. here.

    Posted January 21st at 3:25 PM

  17. Rob (Whitesboro):

    Looks pretty heavy off to our SW.

    Posted January 21st at 3:27 PM

  18. Art (Oriskany Falls):

    It’s been Snowing here for the past half hour or more. I just checked out the Griffiss Radar and it paints a much better picture than the Binghamton Radar does. Some of these Radars it’s hard to pinpoint exactly where O.Falls is. Griffiss is great for pin pointing this.

    Posted January 21st at 3:36 PM

  19. Nick (West Winfield,NY):

    Looks like a nice burst to the SW…looks fun :) Still snowing light to mod.

    Posted January 21st at 4:37 PM

  20. Brian (Lairdsville) (Vernon):

    I had 9 inches last night, 6 of which fell from 8-11 pm. Moderate snow again and 1 inch in the last hour.

    Posted January 21st at 4:44 PM

  21. Rob (Whitesboro):

    Heavy snow with large flakes here.

    Posted January 21st at 5:17 PM

  22. (Westmo):

    Daughter was stuck in traffic for an accident. She said the visibility was like it was last night during the heavy lake band.

    Posted January 21st at 5:26 PM

  23. (Westmo):

    Just measured 3” here at work. At least 1” an hour rate right now i’d say

    Posted January 21st at 5:31 PM

  24. Adam Musyt:

    445 PM EST MON JAN 21 2013








    Posted January 21st at 5:31 PM

  25. Bill Kardas (WKTV):

    Heavy snow here because visibility is less than a quarter mile (can’t see the end of the street). Picked up 1.75” for round 2 so far.

    Posted January 21st at 5:43 PM

  26. Jimmy (New Hartford):

    Already a quick 2.5”

    Posted January 21st at 5:47 PM

  27. Adam Musyt:

    2.0" here on the hill. Snows should be winding down by 7:00 for the city of Utica and surrounding locales.

    Many reports of minor accidents into the newsroom. Please exercise caution if you must travel.

    Posted January 21st at 5:54 PM

  28. nugfin (Neil) (South Utica - Genesee St.):

    3.0” here, starting to lighten up a bit.

    Posted January 21st at 6:03 PM

  29. Rob (Whitesboro):

    Snow has ended here. Just measured 2.8”

    Posted January 21st at 6:03 PM

  30. sue (fairfield):

    only an inch for me as of 6pm

    Posted January 21st at 6:07 PM

  31. Nick (West Winfield,NY):

    Big flakes…heavy snow and now back to light to moderate,

    Posted January 21st at 6:14 PM

  32. Rocino (N.Marcy):

    3.0” here for round 2 and steady snow falling right now…. just ran down to whitesboro and it is snowing much harder up here right now on top of the hill….

    Had 5.5” of LES last night…

    Hoping to get hammered tomorrow….. let the snowshoeing resume after that thaw :)

    Season total is 56” right now….and counting..bring on the snow

    Posted January 21st at 6:17 PM

  33. Nick (West Winfield,NY):

    Just measured 1.5 for this afternoon sofar.

    Posted January 21st at 6:19 PM

  34. Rocino (N.Marcy):

    Check out the band from ROC to BUF... almost looks like a thunderstorm line and moving east… maybe we can get another “burst” out of that

    Posted January 21st at 6:20 PM

  35. Adam Musyt:

    Rocino – those are the two lake effect bands over Lakes Ontario and Erie already filling in already behind the departing Pennsylvania storm. And they certainly do look intense.

    It’s gonna be a busy 24 hours :)

    Posted January 21st at 6:28 PM

  36. sue (fairfield):

    make that 2” for me…...was corrected by my daughter…...that’s what i get for not having a flashlight

    Posted January 21st at 6:28 PM

  37. Rob (Whitesboro):

    There’s like a little meso low over Lake Ontario. That’s pretty interesting.

    Posted January 21st at 6:45 PM

  38. Adam Musyt:

    Yeah it is. Sometimes when you have lake effect interacting with an old frontal boundary you can get a convergence zone that is unimpeded by friction from the terrain (because its over the open water). If the setup holds for a long enough period of time the coriolis effect becomes involved and you’ll get these mesoscale vortices.

    Posted January 21st at 6:57 PM

  39. Chris (HP Weather) (Holland Patent):

    Picked up 2.5 inches here in the village of Frankfort. Not sure what’s going on at home with this round of snow. Snow is light here at this time. Hoping to cash in late tonight with the Les band as flow looks favorable more up in my direction. Very strong line over Lake Ontario coming in maybe next hour or 2 north of Syracuse and north country. Maybe central n northern Oneida and central Herkimer counties could see this feature. Are there any lightning strikes with this line over the lake now?

    Posted January 21st at 7:21 PM

  40. Tom (Richfield Springs):

    Snowing hard here now, 2.6” so far with almost 1” of that in the last hour.

    Posted January 21st at 7:22 PM

  41. Tom (Richfield Springs):

    Snowing hard here now, 2.6” so far with almost 1” of that in the last hour.

    Posted January 21st at 7:23 PM

  42. Tom (Richfield Springs):

    Snowing hard here now, 2.6” so far with almost 1” of that in the last hour.

    Posted January 21st at 7:23 PM

  43. Adam Musyt:

    Chris – Haven’t seen any lightning with the band so far, but the radar echoes over the western end of the lake would easily produce 2”/hr snowfall rates.

    Posted January 21st at 7:27 PM

  44. Rob (Whitesboro):

    Looks like this feature might make a run at us before the LES sets up. New 00Z has nice 290 flow tomorrow. Maybe coming in a bit earlier than first thought.

    Posted January 21st at 9:24 PM

  45. Rob (Whitesboro):

    Snowfall rates have been insane off Lake Erie. Just saw a report of a foot of snow in 3.5hrs. Wow.

    Posted January 21st at 9:32 PM

  46. WKTV Weather Alert:

    NWS has issued a Lake Effect Snow Watch for Madison County until 07:00 AM

    Posted January 21st at 9:55 PM

  47. Rob (Whitesboro):

    BGM just sounded the alarm for Utica/Rome. Another wild day ahead!

    Posted January 21st at 10:02 PM

  48. Ralph L (New Hartford ( 900 ft )):

    Looks very interesting !

    Posted January 21st at 10:39 PM

  49. Chris (HP Weather) (Holland Patent):

    Rob, I saw those reports and they had some heavy bands off of Lake Erie. The feature coming into Oswego County is going to start the lake band for Ontario. Going to be interesting, BGN says band is going to have a lot of fluctuations in it.

    Posted January 21st at 10:48 PM

  50. Chris (HP Weather) (Holland Patent):

    Lake Effect Snow Warning for Southern Oneida County from 1am Tuesday til 7am Wednesday

    Posted January 21st at 10:50 PM

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