No Snow for Buffalo: City Breaks Record Dating Back to 1899

4 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Tisn’t the season.

It’s not just Buffalo that is snow deprived. The last time Buffalo made it through Dec. 3 without measurable snowfall — defined by the National Weather Service as at least 0.10 inches — was 1899, according to NBC affiliate WGRZ.The start of the winter season couldn’t be more different from last year, when some areas of Buffalo and the suburbs saw 7 feet of snow in November during what’s now called the “Snowvember” storm. The lake-effect snows just haven’t been happening as the cold fronts that howl out of north country that typically lift moisture out of the Great Lakes just haven’t been happening. The actual date that is logged in the record books for 2015 will likely be much later than Dec. 4, since precipitation isn’t in the city’s forecast until late next week, and the low temperature will be a relatively balmy 38 degrees, according to Weather.com.

As for the north country, itself, we were in beautiful Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, last week, and those folks still were waiting for their first official centimeter. The reason for the higher temperatures, which most of the country can also expect through the middle of December, is that the jet stream and all the chilly air it carries, remains far north in Canada, Weather.com reported. And Buffalo may go through the entire month of December without any meaningful snowfall, given the high pressure and much warmer than average pattern that has set up over much of North America this month. Two key players are behind this pattern: El Niño, which has a huge influence on winter weather in the United States, and the North Atlantic oscillation (NAO), which has been remarkably positive this fall.

While a negative NAO often means big winter storms for the East, a positive NAO suggests the cold air will stay trapped up in the Arctic. “Mild temperatures are projected to cut into the lake-effect snow season, making late fall and late spring snow rarer,” says Brian Kahn at WxShift. “According to recent research, winter snowfall could decline by more than 50 inches in upstate New York and parts of Ohio, Pennsylvania and Ontario.”

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