Cold In New England, While Historic Snows Fall Near Buffalo

One of the first things I do in the morning is reach over and check the thermometer. I do this every day regardless of the time of year. Mostly, I want to know how I need to dress to walk the dogs. I usually know about how cold or mild it is, but there’s something about seeing the actual number that helps me get ready for the walk.


This morning the temperature read 20.3F. Now this certainly isn’t close the coldest I’ve seen, that is -7F, but this is rather wild for this time of year. While I need to bundle up and put on the hat and gloves today at least I don’t have to shovel. The image above shows temperatures at 4AM eastern standard time

Historic Snow
What’s going on in the metro-Buffalo area is simply stunning from a meteorological standpoint. It also reminds me given the choice between extreme cold and extreme heat, as much as I hate the heat, I think I would take it.

As this unusual arctic air mass blows over the warm water of the great lakes it picks up moisture and then dumps it on the other side. The bands of lake effect snow are incredibly narrow.

lake effect snow formation 111914.png

The numbers below give you an idea of the amount of snow that has fallen in a few days. These numbers will be updated today and will grow larger again Friday when more snow hits the same area.

snow 111814.jpg

This isn’t a storm that can move here. Unless we move the Great Lakes to Framingham we are good. The gradient of snow totals is impressive. You can drive just a few miles and go from being able to push the light snow with a broom to being stopped in your tracks. Imagine leaving Mount Auburn Cemetery and driving to the North End for lunch and seeing the snow go from a few inches to 5 feet! That’s how intense the gradient is out in New York.

tight gradient.jpg

When the snow is falling there is often thunder and lightning as well. The snow is very light, but when you get 5 feet of light fluffy snow in less than two days it’s still a problem.


Cold For A Few More Days

Here in New England the cold pattern will be with us into the weekend. Today is a mid-winter like day with highs just above freezing in Boston and staying in the upper 20s across the higher terrain west of Route 495. This is well below average and while not a record cold day is certainly among the top coldest November 19ths on record.


There might be a flurry overnight tonight as slightly milder air moves into the area. Thursday will be less cold, reaching the lower and maybe even mid-40s, but this is still not where you would expect us to be this time of year. It’s back to the cold Friday and Saturday with two more days of highs in the 30s.

Finally on Sunday the jet stream will reconfigure itself and bring much milder air back to the area. The ground will begin to thaw and it will feel rather spring-like after the cold snap. While there is the risk of showers late Sunday night and Monday it’s going to be mild. Highs on Monday will get into the lower 60s.


Dry and seasonable to slightly below average temperatures will take us into the Thanksgiving holiday. Thanksgiving Thursday looks partly sunny and chilly, but not as cold as what we are having on our plates today.


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