Lake Effect Potato Flakes Wind Down, Widespread Snow Returns Thursday

JAMESTOWN – We’ve been dealing with some light lake effect snow showers at times this morning, which will begin to taper off throughout the afternoon. We are keeping our eyes on a developing Nor’easter that could bring Western New York some snow over the next 48 or so hours.
Any lake effect flakes will go to bed by the evening hours tonight, leading to some party to mostly cloudy skies. With some partial cloud breaks, that will allow temps to dip into the upper teens for some by Thursday morning!
The main story for Thursday will be a deep storm system passing to the South and East of the region Thursday through Friday. This system will be come a Nor’easter and move along the East Coast, bringing some snow and maybe some icing to major cities across the Northeast.

While the actual center of the storm is passing away from Western New York, the storm will still be close enough to were we will see some impacts from this system. Our thinking is, as the system approaches out of the South and East, precipitation will begin as rain. That will very quickly changeover to a wintry mix of rain and snow showers with some sleet at times.
It will be this changeover that will decide how much snowfall we will see out of this. If we keep sleet mixing in throughout a good part of the day, that will limit overall snow totals. If we see a quicker changeover to all snow, we’ll bump the snow totals up.
While the in-house FutureScan model is trying project this event as mainly rain, most of the global high-resolution models have been depicting that mixed bag of precipitation. Below is a snapshot of the high resolution NAM (North American Model) at 3km resolution, valid 6 PM Thursday.

You can see how the NAM is bringing more of that sleet and freezing rain into Western New York.
Based on all of this data, we’re thinking a general 3 to 6 inches of snowfall is likely across the area, with higher amounts once you work south and east and closer to the storm center. However, I do have to say, these totals could be off if we see a quicker transition to snow. We’re going with the idea of more sleet/wintry mix to hold down accumulations.

WNYNewsNow is a proud Ambassador for the NOAA Weather-Ready Nation program.