More precise lake effect snow warnings coming in 2018

Earlier this fall, the National Weather Service announced that in an effort to simplify a confusing lineup of winter weather products, lake effect snow advisories and lake effect snow watches would no longer be issued.

However, lake effect snow warnings, which are issued when disruptive snowfall rates are imminent or ongoing, will still be used.  And now, thanks to new technology, those warnings will be much more precise.

Traditionally, when a band of lake effect snow is forecast for Western New York, lake effect snow warnings are issued for the entire county that will see the heavy snow.

The problem is, a lake effect event usually only covers a small part of a county at any given time, meaning many people will get a warning, but not have to deal with much snow at all.

To account for this, new software will become operational in January of 2018 that will allow meteorologists at the National Weather Service office in Buffalo to trim lake effect snow warnings to directly affected areas only.

For example, if a band of lake effect snow is expected to set up in downtown Buffalo in the morning but then shift southward to the Boston Hills by the afternoon, forecasters will issue two separate warnings at the specific times for those areas rather than keep all of Erie County in a lake effect snow warning for the whole day.

You can rely on Storm Team 2 this winter to let you know about these warnings as they happen on Channel 2 and on all of WGRZ's social media platforms and the free WGRZ app on your favorite mobile device.

© 2017 WGRZ-TV


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