El Nino may be struggling to keep a foothold in the Pacific Ocean, but the long range forecasts from NOAA's Climate Prediction Center are still sticking with their consistent theme of increased odds of a warmer and drier winter.
So far, the maps have been relatively accurate. At least in Seattle we are running counter to November's forecast from last month that was saying warmer than normal -- with the chilly nights of late we're trending about a degree cooler than normal, although really that cold pattern went away about five days ago and chilly air has been trapped at the surface with the inversion -- the atmosphere just above ground level has been fairly warm.
As parts of greater Buffalo area deal with a historic lake-effect snow storm, other parts have barely enough for a decent snowman.
An intense, but relatively narrow band of lake-effect snow unleashed a relentless attack on Erie County that seemed to cut Buffalo into half with the haves (south side) and have nots (north side). (See radar animation here).
Some snow totals from Tuesday are difficult to fathom with a spotter 4 miles south of Cheektowaga (An eastern suburb of Buffalo) reporting 65 inches of snow while Lancaster, NY, just a few miles farther east, had 63 inches.
When residents of western New York say it's the most snow they've seen in a while, that's… quite a bit of snow. Sort of akin to someone from Duluth saying it's mighty chilly outside.
A massive lake-effect snow has dumped several inches to feet of snow across parts of the region adjacent to the eastern shores of Lake Erie, including shutting down a major freeway and stranding about 150 people on the road -- some for nearly 24 hours.
How much snow? Some reports near Buffalo had 5 feet of snow -- FEET! As in, 60 inches of snow and more on the way.
How much more snow? The National Weather Service in Buffalo says another 2 feet will likely fall again with a second event on Thursday, pushing some areas close to 6-8 feet of snow.
We've all done it before -- a day with bubbling cumulus clouds stacked against a crystal blue sky and your mind starts wandering to what the clouds look like: A bunny? Elephant? The Mona Lisa?
In Ontario Monday, it was apparently a puppy dog, as one observer in Sudbury noted on the official weather observation log: