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'Arctic airmass intrusions' for New Year may bring 'significant accumulations' of LES for weekend

With the calendar change from 2015 to 2016 will come a flip of the weather pattern too.

The warmest December recorded in the city of Buffalo will quickly give way to a blast of Arctic air that's expected to bring lake-effect snow to the region New Year's Day and into the first days of 2016, according to forecasts.

What the weather is projected to be at 1 a.m., Jan. 1, 2016 (National Weather Service map)

The weather forecast for 1 a.m., Jan. 1, 2016 (National Weather Service map)

It's still a little bit early to pinpoint when, where and how much, forecasters said Tuesday, but signs point to measurable snow above the measly 1.0 inch recorded this season at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport as of Tuesday.

 

From Tuesday's National Weather Service forecaster's discussion:

"WHILE IT IS FAR TOO EARLY TO TALK ABOUT HEADLINES OR
ACCUMULATIONS...GIVEN THE PROLONGED PERIOD OF DECENTLY FAVORABLE
CONDITIONS...WE COULD END UP SEEING SIGNIFICANT ACCUMULATIONS EAST
OF THE LAKES. ONE LIMITING FACTOR MAY BE A LACK OF MID-LEVEL 
MOISTURE...PARTICULARLY TO THE SOUTH ACROSS LAKE ERIE...THAT SHOULD
LIMIT SNOWFALL RATES."

The average amount of snowfall is 33.1 inches in Buffalo by Dec. 29.

Last year, as of this date, there was 30.4 inches.

The last two Januarys in Buffalo have been bitterly cold.

January 2014 brought the Polar Vortex into the Great Lakes region that set up the first of two official blizzards that winter.

Last January, the average monthly temperature was 20.4 degrees -- nearly five degrees colder than normal with 14 nights dropping into the single digits leading into the coldest recorded month ever, February.

The forecast calls for another "clipper" system late Saturday into Sunday to bring more lake-effect snow to the region before warmer air builds into the Buffalo Niagara region from the Midwest early next week.

 

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