Powerful cold front tonight...
Posted January 30th, 2013 by Bill Kardas. 63 comments
The big warmup has begun across the area, with some folks south of the valley already starting out in the mid 40s this morning! Buffalo and Rochester are already 60°+ this morning. That mild air is heading our direction. An east wind and local topography will help reduce the strength of this mild air. Still 50°+ will be more than enough to damage the snow pack across the area.
A powerful cold front arrives tonight, bringing with it 1) potentially damaging winds, 2) heavy rain, and 3) a sharp drop in temperature. The wind will be the big headline here, with a very strong low level jet swinging through the area. Winds at 2000 feet are running around 60mph on the NAM as the front arrives. There's just enough instability in the atmosphere to generate thunderstorms tonight too, with the lifted index approaching zero. If any storms develop they could mix these strong upper level winds to the surface. We'll keep you posted.
Temperatures will still hover near 50 degrees before the front arrives near midnight, but then the numbers drop. By tomorrow morning, temperatures will be in the 30s with rain changing to snow showers. There could be a minor accumulation, but the bigger story will continue to be the wind. Winds sustatined tomorrow between 20-30mph with gusts surpassing 40mph.
It does turn cold enough for lake effect snow, but the primary target will be along the Tug Hill during the daytime. The wind field looks 270-275 for most of Thursday. Eventually, the wind does shift into a 280-290 flow Thursday night into Friday morning, bringing the band south across the Mohawk Valley, Southern Oneida, and Madison County. MOre details on that tomorrow as we focus on the snow melt & tonight's wind event.
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