Wide right...

Posted February 16th, 2010 by Bill Kardas. 58 comments

More light snow is expected today, but the winter storms continue to miss Central New York.  Today's storm will give New England a decent snowfall.  We're too far away from the storm track to see any significant snows.  We do expect a general 1-3" of snow out of this, with slightly more to the south and east.

Today's storm will pass east, head up into Canada, and stall.  This will lock winds into the northwest here in Central New York over the next several days.  If this were November, December, and January, it would be a solid lake effect event.  Not so much now that we're later into the season.  The lakes are cold, and it's going to take cold airmasses to create widespread heavy snows.  More importantly, there isn't much in the way of cold heading this way.  Northern Canada has been having quite a mild stretch of weather, so it's not all that cold up there at this point.  If this doesn't change by March, it may signal the possibility of an "earlier" spring.  We've got a long way between now and then though.

No major changes are expected in this weather pattern looking into next week.  Still looking at a cool northwesterly flow from Canada, keeping the storm track well to the south.  This is not what you want to see if you're still looking for big storms to hit CNY.  At some point this pattern has to change.


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  1. randy Vitullo :

    There is a potential storm on the GFS for Sunday night through Tuesday morning. It looks to hit us now, but the question would be whether it is a mix, a rain event, a snow event, or, eventually a miss to the south or to the east. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS ONE BILL? I know it is 6 or 7 days out, but….

    Posted February 16th at 7:20 AM

  2. Bill Kardas (WKTV):

    I’m assuming you’re talking about the 06z GFS because the 00z GFS keeps us cool and dry during that time frame. I don’t put much stock in the “in between” runs…aka 06z and 18z model runs after about 48 hours. My reasoning is that these model runs don’t have the weather balloon data that the 00z and 12z utilize. In my opinion, the 06z and 18z model runs are inferior to the 12z and 00z after 48 hours.

    The 06z and 18z models are very useful in the short term, picking up on short term trends of storms and lake effect.

    Posted February 16th at 7:33 AM

  3. Tony - CNYWeather.com (Westmo):

    0.2” here @ 7am. Wide right is right.

    Posted February 16th at 7:46 AM

  4. Bill Kardas (WKTV):

    The snows are filling in well on the radar in Central New York. We expect the activity to pick up here over the next few hours. Heaviest snows will fall to the south and east as expected.

    Posted February 16th at 8:40 AM

  5. Gordon (Northwestern):

    9:25AM, and still no snow here

    Posted February 16th at 9:29 AM

  6. Rob (Whitesboro):

    Getting some flurries here, but nothing has accumalted so far. Too bad there isn’t any cold air up in Canada. We would be in for a decent LES event behind this. The flow looks pretty good for the valley.

    Posted February 16th at 11:12 AM

  7. Bill Kardas (WKTV):

    The snows are not materializing. Our storm farther east than even the latest computer models place it. We’ll be lucky to see an inch or two out of this.

    Posted February 16th at 11:13 AM

  8. Bill Kardas (WKTV):


    Absolutely. If this were a month or two earlier it would be a good snow event for the Mohawk Valley. Not going to happen in mid February though without a decently cold airmass.

    Posted February 16th at 11:16 AM

  9. Cedarville:

    Moderate snow for the last 15 minutes, good sized flakes and sticking.

    Posted February 16th at 11:19 AM

  10. Jeff H (Sherburne Hills):

    Well,looked at the models, looked at the radar, and decided that it would be a good time to plow the driveway (i had not done it in a week and the drifts were getting a little tough to go through). So just as I am finishing a blizzard starts?!?!?!?!? It is snowing moderate to heavy with very large flakes, is this going to last very long?

    Posted February 16th at 11:52 AM

  11. Mrboom:

    Thank you bill .. wide right .. i like that one . Hey we arent getting the storms might as well laugh about it. Nothing you can do. Our time for winter is running short, so i think ill just cheer for an early spring. :)

    Posted February 16th at 12:07 PM

  12. Bill Kardas (WKTV):


    Looks like there are some light bands attempting to organize here over CNY. This is our best chance for accumulations. The eastward motion of the storm will pull this bands out of Central New York this afternoon…but it will take a few hours.

    Posted February 16th at 12:39 PM

  13. Art (Oriskany Falls):

    It’s snowing here at a pretty good clip right now.
    I was just on the Griffiss radar and animated it and it was showing snow coming from the South and the North. That was a first time for that. That all met at just North of Rome.

    We probably got an inch of snow so far. I hate going out to the driveway for just a measurment of an inch.:-) Also the radar looked like we will get a break and the snow will stop for a while.

    The temp is__31*__ right now. The barometric pressure is falling now.

    Posted February 16th at 12:40 PM

  14. Scott (HP):

    Can we all just prepare now that the next storm that isn’t even on the map yet will definitely miss us to either the South, West or just be plain rain.

    Posted February 16th at 1:48 PM

  15. Becky (West Leyden):

    Snow has stopped here. I’ve had a few light flurries today; with an accumulation of one quarter of an inch. At least the snow drought for northern parts of Maine and Vermont is over.

    Posted February 16th at 1:53 PM

  16. Becky (West Leyden):

    Looks like the next clipper will follow the same track as this one. The GFS is having a hard time with the storm that will form around the 24th. However the EURO shows it blowing up into a major storm impacting the Mid Atlantic and NE. At this time, it looks like the worse of it will be south. However, it will be a close call. Maybe the end of the month storm will change the overall pattern. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

    Posted February 16th at 2:21 PM

  17. fairfield:

    how is it possible to see a potential storm weeks ahead?

    Posted February 16th at 3:17 PM

  18. cynic:

    Weeks ahead you ask? Its not possible. We’re lucky if they can tell us what will happen tomorrow. Like yesterday when EVERYONE said we’d get 2-4 or 3-6 in Utica area. Even if they came back today and said light snow with no accumulation for rest of today, I’d be suspicious. Weather forecasting is a lot like the “science” behind Global warming.

    Posted February 16th at 4:05 PM

  19. Becky (West Leyden):

    17, The Ensemble’s project out into the future. each model has different parameters. For Example, The GFS goes out to 384 hours; It is a common tool for developing an extended forecast (3 to 10 days out. The EURO is for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts . The further out into the future you look the less accurate the results. Therefore it’s a good idea to compare the different models and look for patterns and trends. the more experience you have at interpreting the runs the better. However, looking out much more than 60 hours is still just an educated guess.

    Posted February 16th at 4:12 PM

  20. Becky (West Leyden):

    I met to say looking out more than 36 hours..not 60

    Posted February 16th at 4:15 PM

  21. fairfield:

    thanks Becky for that explaination, it makes sense even though I don’t have time to study this stuff like most others. it is fun to try and predict…...i just have a sinking feeling that we are pretty much done with any major snow and any that we do get will disappear quick

    Posted February 16th at 4:23 PM

  22. Becky (West Leyden):

    fairfield, You may be right. The SOl values have come up a lot and the NAO is slowly heading toward 0. This setup eight times out of ten will lead to more of a warming trend. All that’s needed is something to mix things a bit. That why I think the storm at the end of the month could be a pattern changer. Looking out I don’t see any major storms hitting CNY very hard over the next few weeks. I don’t know if this means we are heading for an early Spring. The next few weeks will tell the tail

    Posted February 16th at 5:03 PM

  23. Anthony (Oriskany):

    Becky, Have you ever visited Eastern Weather Forums? There is a met on there (DSutherland1) who had a detailed writeup of the next few weeks. He indicated the block will be around right through the end of March at least. He uses analogs, etc. and he has been pretty accurate in the past. I certainly hope he is wrong, but I have noticed that the blockiness duration seems to get worse year after year. I grew up here and do not remember blocks lasting this long.

    Posted February 16th at 6:31 PM

  24. Becky (West Leyden):

    Anthony, I’m a member. However, I haven’t been on in a while….Last winter people were doing a lot of arguing and complaining. What forum and thread are they on? As for the pattern, I’ve been doing a lot of digging into records and I have yet to find a year that compares to this year. different places in CNY and the TUG have seen mild winters but not the whole region at one time. I’ve been all over the Tug Hill the last few weeks and the snowpack is light everywhere.

    Posted February 16th at 8:10 PM

  25. mike:

    when does the weather up here usually start getting warmer?

    Posted February 16th at 8:54 PM

  26. Jeff H (Sherburne Hills):


    Usually around the middle of May!

    Posted February 16th at 9:37 PM

  27. Jeff H (Sherburne Hills):

    Hey Bill or Jill,

    With the persistant cold NW wind flow what kind of LES is really going to set up?? I see the flow is favorable for my area, and the GFS is showing .5-1” of QPF in the next 84 hours. Are we looking at LES ratios like 20 to 1??

    Posted February 16th at 9:45 PM

  28. Justin (Whitesboro):

    Jeff i dont think the 850mb temps are going to be cold enough for a LES event….maybe a few inches at best…

    Posted February 16th at 9:51 PM

  29. Adam Musyt:

    Hi gang. Lots of good questions tonight and I’ll try to answer them.

    We don’t have a good handle on the potential wave for early next week. The 12z GFS shows a storm cutting across the Mid-Atlantic and giving snow to Pennsylvania in a similar fashion to so many other storms this season.

    18z GFS has jumped off the reservation and now actually shows an overrunning event with the potential for mixed precipitation here in upstate NYS and a track to the northwest by Monday Night and Tuesday. This is quite a departure from prior runs and 18z runs of the model are generally less than stellar this far out – so I am not ready to jump on this scenario yet – but it will be interesting to see if it holds up because if it does it could finally breaks us out of the pattern we’ve been into…basically since the beginning of meteorological winter.


    You’re not going to realize ratios that high for a couple of reasons. First off, 850 mb temperatures are only going to be marginal at best for lake effect, so intensities shouldn’t be too high and the precipitation accumulation is going to be spread out over a large time frame. Lake effect clouds aren’t all that thick and the sun’s rays are getting stronger and stronger by the day this time of year. Lake effect snow this time of year (with a few rare exceptions – March of 2006 comes to mind) has a tough time building up during the daylight hours because of the thin cloudiness and transitory nature. Even if the temperature during the next several days were only in the high teens or lower 20’s (they’re likely to be near 30) we’d still notice that the accumulations would be wet during the day – less fluffy and more “packy”. In fact, when you spread a half inch of liquid equivalent over 84 hours…at the end of those 84 hours the ratio will quite likely be even less than 10 to 1. Maybe even 7 or 8 to 1. This would be a totally different story in the case of a dynamic synoptic-scale storm with intense snowfalls over a shorter time duration.

    Now with that caveat, there is a chance that any shortwave trough over the next few days could locally enhance snowfall over a brief interval of time and in especiallly intense squalls a few inches of snow could pile up quickly – but the overall dynamics are such that lake effect snow is less effective and efficient in piling up as we had into the back half of February, and especially March.

    Posted February 16th at 10:30 PM

  30. Bill Kardas (WKTV):

    A friendly reminder about how we collect our seasonal snowfall totals. If you want to be on this list please have your reports posted to this blog or emailed (weather@wktv.com) by 11am Monday morning. If you can’t make it that morning, send them in the night before. Thanks!

    Posted February 17th at 4:32 AM

  31. Bill Kardas (WKTV):

    This list *

    Posted February 17th at 4:33 AM

  32. Bill Kardas (WKTV):

    There may be some sleet and freezing drizzle mixing in with the snow showers this morning.

    Posted February 17th at 5:33 AM

  33. Michael- (Dolgeville):

    Just a touch of freezing “mist” here. Roads are fine. Temperature 25 degrees.

    Posted February 17th at 6:56 AM

  34. Bill Kardas (WKTV):

    Thanks Michael…very helpful to know that this morning.

    Posted February 17th at 7:14 AM

  35. MG(Point Rock):

    I’m having a fine-grained snow presently, but there must have been some freezing drizzle before 7 AM, because the car was pretty well iced up— especially the side windows on the upwind side

    Posted February 17th at 8:15 AM

  36. Bill Kardas (WKTV):

    We’ll keep the threat in for a very light freezing drizzle through the morning hours…I think once the snow begins that threat should wane. Once the droplets have something to stick to (such as the falling snow) they’ll freeze before they hit the ground instead of on the ground.

    Posted February 17th at 8:57 AM

  37. randy Vitullo :

    Mr. “cynic”, there is a lot of science behind global warming. Anyways, any updates on the Monday event?

    Posted February 17th at 11:06 AM

  38. Bill Kardas (WKTV):


    It’s more than 120 hours out in the forecast, but the general trend seems to be the same here. The storm looks to pass to the south, then out to sea. It’s hard to dispute that idea, only because this has been happening all winter long and the pattern refuses to change.

    Posted February 17th at 11:18 AM

  39. Becky (West Leyden):

    I too had a little freezing drizzle this earlier this morning. Right now, I have a few snowflakes in the air.

    Cynic, I prefer the term climate change to global warming. I think it is more accurate. There is no doubt climate change (global warming) is happening. The only question educated people have is what is causing it man or nature. I think it’s a combination of the two; what the exact percentage between the two is what people are trying to find out. As for weather forecasting, I don’t see your forecast anywhere. It’s easy to be a armchair quarterback after the event. Forecasting is hard work. Getting exact precipitation amounts is very difficult, especially in CNY. The WKTV crew do an excellent job.

    Posted February 17th at 11:43 AM

  40. Rob (Whitesboro):

    Jan 28th of last year is the last time we (utica area) were under a Winter storm Warning. I picked up 6.5” that day. I haven’t seen anything higher than that ever since for a 24hr total. Is that crazy or what!

    Posted February 17th at 12:42 PM

  41. Anthony (Oriskany):

    Becky – Eastern US Weather Forums, Weather Forecasting and Discussions, Topic 225145 (March 2010 to Provide a February Sequel)

    Posted February 17th at 3:29 PM

  42. lilbabs:

    You do a great job

    Posted February 17th at 3:32 PM

  43. Becky (West Leyden):

    Anthony, Thanks

    Posted February 17th at 3:47 PM

  44. snow totals:

    It is odd that west leyden have 117 inches of snow total and the next highest have 89? I know lake effect snows are different from town to town. Any totals from up on Tug Hill?

    Posted February 17th at 4:07 PM

  45. Jimmy (New Hartford):

    Seasonal Snow Total: 58.7 inches

    Posted February 17th at 4:28 PM

  46. Becky (West Leyden):

    snow totals,

    The West Leyden area had a fairly good December; especially between 9-16 Dec, the best day was West Leyden getting 28 inches on the 11th of Dec. The total snowfall this year is 118.075, last year on this date we had 226.925. AS you can see were running a huge deficit compared to last year. Like everyone else West Leyden has been getting nickel and dime snow since December. I don’t have current snowfall amounts for other places on the Tug, except to say they are way down from normal. Actually MG has been slowly catching up to West Leyden, since December Point Rock has been doing better than most with these nickel and dime events.

    Posted February 17th at 4:50 PM

  47. Mrboom:

    Hey bill thought we agreed to say go wide right :) no more out to sea anyways .. light snow here in canastota, maybe an inch since 5pm .. nothing new ..nothing major take care all

    Posted February 17th at 7:31 PM

  48. Art (Oriskany Falls):

    I just went out and measured the snow in our driveway. It measured 1.75”, That’s for a 24 hr period.
    I even got ambicious and shoveled a spot so I can measure again in the morning, just in case we get more snow.
    Again, this snow a bit heavier than fluff snow.
    It’s still snowing, the barometric pressure is falling,The temp is__27*__,we have a wind chill, Of course it depends how fast the wind is blowing.

    Can anyone tell me what dew point is? My weather station is saying it’s 21.9. I don’t know anything about dew point. :-)

    Posted February 17th at 8:22 PM

  49. Art (Oriskany Falls):

    Now I wish I had kept track of my snow measurements. But I didn’t. ;-(

    Posted February 17th at 8:24 PM

  50. Rob (Whitesboro):

    Measured 1.0” of snow here. It’s still falling lightly.

    Posted February 17th at 8:26 PM

  51. fairfield:

    Don’t feel bad Art. I really had no way to keep track of snow either. i have 4 kids and howling winds most of the winter. I’m just surprised that it’s been snowing just about all day. From what I was taught about dewpoint, if i’m correct, it will be relative to the outside temp. if the dewpoint is lower than the temp there is generally no precip (from my experience. when they meet, it’s probably doing something out there. If i’m wrong please someone correct me

    Posted February 17th at 8:48 PM

  52. Becky (West Leyden):

    Art, The dew point is the temperature that the air must be cooled under a steady barometric pressure to allow water vapor to condense into water

    Posted February 17th at 8:54 PM

  53. Becky (West Leyden):

    That is correct, when the relative humidity is at 100% indicates the dew point is equal to the current temperature and the air has as much water as it can hold. However, if the dew point remains constant but the temperature increases then the relative humidity will decrease.

    Posted February 17th at 8:59 PM

  54. Becky (West Leyden):

    Art, in case your wondering, your weather station is right. My station is saying my DP is 22%

    Posted February 17th at 9:08 PM

  55. Adam Musyt:

    1.0" of snow on Smith Hill.

    Overnight snowfall forecast

    Fairfield, That’s basically correct. The only thing I would add is that precipitation can and often does occur when ground-level relative humidity is in the 80-90 percent range – because the saturation takes place perhaps 1 or 2 km above ground level. So that makes it possible for precipitation to occur when the dew point is cooler than the air temperature.  Usually the difference in steady precipitation isn’t more than 2 or 3 degrees. 

    Oftentimes, like in the case of virga, precipitation slowly works its way from cloudlevel through the column of air down to the surface, saturating from the top down.

    Posted February 17th at 9:20 PM

  56. fairfield:

    my dewpoint doesn’t measure in percentage, it trends like the temp and the windchill and right now both are at 25. And thanks Adam cause it was either you or Bill that taught me, although the rest is still rather “foggy” to me most of the time ; )

    Posted February 17th at 9:31 PM

  57. Chris ( HP Weather Observer ):

    Picked up 1.5 inches of snow today which kinda made up for yesterday some what. Outside of some snow flurries we did not receive not more than a dusting at best. Hoping for something better down the road but will take what ever snow we can get. Things seem to be iffy with next wave coming early next week. I wouldn’t be surprised to see things change before then. Snowing moderately at times this evening road were a little tricky

    Posted February 17th at 10:05 PM

  58. Bill Kardas (WKTV):

    With a strengthening inversion along with more moisture, freezing drizzle and sleet will become more widespread over the next two days along with the snow showers. Unfortunately, we can’t “see” this type of precipitation on the radar, and have to rely on ground reports. Keep us posted if this starts to happen in your area. We’d appreciate it :)

    Posted February 18th at 4:32 AM

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