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Immaculate Conception at night by Vincent Embser

National Weather Service warns of powerful storm – winds and cold main threats

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Read the detailed forcast from the NWS

WARNING: THURSDAY NIGHT THROUGH MONDAY

Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Buffalo NY
649 AM EST Tue Dec 20 2022
…Incredibly Powerful Storm To Impact our Region Heading Into and THROUGH the Christmas Weekend…

An extremely amplified longwave pattern during this period will spawn one of the most intense storm systems in decades to impact the Mid-West and Great Lakes region.

This system will likely end up setting low pressure records once it passes north of the border and will have the potential to generate at least storm force winds over the Lower Great Lakes.

As if the very real threat for damage producing winds were not enough…there will also be the risk for a prolonged…paralyzing heavy lake effect snow event. All of this coming in the days leading up to…and through Christmas. Headlines (watches) will likely be issued within the next few forecast cycles.

Explosive cyclogenesis will take place over the mid western states Thursday night and southern Ontario on Friday…as an anomalously strong 150kt H25 jet will pass through the base of a very deep longwave trough. This will support rapid deepening of a corresponding surface low that will track from Indiana north-northeast to southern Ontario by late Friday. The low will deepen from roughly 1000mb Thursday evening to roughly 968mb by Friday evening…easily meeting the definition of bombogenesis (24mb/24hrs). Such deepening is relatively rare in the Lower Great lakes…but more common across the Upper Great Lakes and certainly with Nor`easters along the coast.

On Friday…rapidly intensifying low is forecast to pass just to our west. While this will support a significant increase in winds to 40 to 50 mph over our region…the most threatening period for high winds will be yet to come. As the system lifts past our region…the strong winds will open the door for MUCH colder air to pour across our forecast area. This will result in a RAPID change over of the rain to snow with deep frontogenetic forcing leading to a burst of moderately heavy snow that will yield accumulations of several inches expected by late afternoon. Temperatures that will start the day in the low to mid 40s in most areas will PLUMMET into the teens across the Southern Tier by the end of the day…while readings will range from the mid 20s across the remainder of Western NY to the mid 30s east of Lake Ontario.

Christmas Day promises to remain cold with highs only in the teens to low 20s and winds to 30 mph generating wind chills of 10 below to 10 abv. Meanwhile…a 240-250 flow will keep the lake snow machine in full gear for sites near and just south of the Buffalo and Watertown areas.
While the very cold weather will persist into Monday…surface based ridging should help to at least lessen the potential for additional significant lake snows.

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