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Lake Effect snow, Yeah Right

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Plowtoy, Dec 7, 2005.

  1. Plowtoy

    Plowtoy Senior Member
    Messages: 929

    Alright, I know that the lake effect snow is hard for a weather man to forcast but i am getting sick of them telling me that it is going to dump on us and then it never does. Is it really that hard to predict????
    Since the begging of this week 12-04-05 TO today we were supposed to get up to a foot (12") of snow, but the city i live in only saw around 4". I get so fed up with the weather man always being wrong, i watch 3 different stations (the weather channel being one of them, by the way there always wrong) and try to predict the weather my self, most of the time im closer to predicting what actually happens. Does anyone have a good way (or source) of forcasting the weather or am i just full of hot air???

    Thanks for feeling my pain:nod:
    Frustrated, David C. Kortman
  2. nekos

    nekos Senior Member
    Messages: 586

    haha try living in Chicago !!!
    it always snows about 40 miles north of us , 60 miles south and of course all you guys out east of the lake ... you have all the fun !!! :(
  3. mole

    mole Senior Member
    Messages: 182

    plowtoy you know it's all up to the wind with lake effect, I live in buffalo the lake effect capitol. We have nothing in the city but our south towns have over two feet today. it was a nw wind so it took all there. you can never predict lake effect. last year where i live the sun was out. 2miles over where my mom lives and my wife works, they got over a foot.
  4. troy28282

    troy28282 Senior Member
    Messages: 178

    I am in the same boat that you are in. My driveway had about 2 inches on it, most of which fell last night. I got up 3 times thinking we were going to have so much snow, but didnt have much of anything. It gets old after a while. All I can say is that it must be nice to have a job and still get paid if you totally mess up. We still ended up plowing everything in the morning and planning on going out later to do some clean ups and salting if need be. As far as forecasting, I read what the forecasters say, average the numbers, and then subtract a 1/2 inches, that gets me fairly close for the most part.
  5. Exciteable

    Exciteable Member
    Messages: 38

    If you're in the midwest, try www.johndee.com
    Just a real meteorologist with a really neat site.
    Sorry though, there is no "ACCUWEATHER", "DOPPLER 7", "Doppler Max" "Viper the Tornado Hunter" "Bliz-trak" "Snowtracker 2" "DLD - Digital Live Doppler" "Sky-Cam Weathernet" and whatever other hoky names the TV station weather dudes have to give it to get ratings. Just a good old fashioned guy that predicts the weather.
    I have to say I rely on his "forecast graphic" all the time to see how much snow we can anticipate here in Southeast Michigan.
    More times than not, he is pretty damn close, if not right on the money.
    Check it out, let us know what ya'all think.
  6. 04superduty

    04superduty PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,354

    i got about 4-6" here in otsego, but i dont plow anything here. in kalamazoo where i do plow there was about 2" or so. my truck and plow dont work as hard with only 2" of snow, but i think it is more fun to push more. seems more worthwhile.
    and about the weather stations, being so close to the lake it makes it harder to predict. if it was coming off the plains, then it would be easier to predict. luckily i am a sub and get called when it is time to go plow. :)
  7. PetalsandPines

    PetalsandPines Senior Member
    Messages: 260

    Don't try to take on the weathermen either.

    They don't take lightly to criticism. I was so frustrated a couple weeks ago, I blasted the National weather service of Bufffalo with an email. Two of the top forecaster wrote me back in full page letters saying:


    Let's get one thing straight. This is NOT misinformation. We DO NOT
    make up forecasts.

    Weather forecasting is not an exact science. If we knew that we were
    going to get snow from a lake effect snow event that is on the scale
    of a summertime thunderstorm a day or so in the future, it would have
    been in the forecast.

    All of the sophisticated computer models that we use to help us
    predict these small scale weather events suggested that this snowband
    was going to move northward more rapidly through the Buffalo area.
    Our forecasters felt it was going to move through rapdily as well. It
    didn't. The band was locked in along the lakshore for a longer period
    of time. It had two effects. Instead of snowfall rates of 1/2 to 1
    inch per hour, they ended up being 3 inches per hour. The band also
    hung in 3 hours longer than anticipated in the forecasts a day or so
    earlier. As a result, we ended up getting 3 hours of 3 inches an
    hour, or about 8 inches more than we earlier anticipated.

    If you think that we are not upset with the results of the event based
    on our forecast from a day or so earlier, than you are dead wrong. We
    take a lot of pride trying to predict weather on this scale. A lake
    effect snow band is about 10,000 times smaller in scale than a
    hurricane or a large scale snow storm that might affect a large
    portion of the country. Even our most sophisticated computer models
    cannot accurately predict such events as with the case in question.

    If I could predict these events, I should also be able to tell you
    where and exactly at what time a small scale thunderstorm might occur
    in the summer as well as exactly how much rain will fall, every time
    one of these events is expected. We cannot do that. In today's
    world, a lot of people expect perfect information all of the time. I
    wish we could provide that type of information. We do the best with
    what we have. We were extremely unhappy with the way in which this
    weather event unfolded. Believe me, when we go home at night, or any
    other time of the day because we work rotating shifts, we have to live
    with these busted forecasts. There will be more busts, but I hope we
    can learn a little about each event and provide a better forecast next

    I would not want to have to rely on the weather forecast being correct
    all of the time in your field of work, but we understand that is what
    you need. I can only say that we will try to do our best and
    hopefully get the next one correct. I will relay your feelings to my
    staff. If you have any other concerns or questions, please fell free
    to write.


    Tom Niziol
    Meteorologist In Charge
    National Weather Service Buffalo, NYBrian,

    Tom passed your e-mail on to us and I felt compelled to answer you as
    well. You were obviously frustrated by the recent lake effect event
    for the Buffalo area, just as frustrated as we get sometimes trying to
    forecast it. Some lake effect events are easier than others. This one
    was fairly easy during the first day and a half but it got very tricky
    near the end. As Tom pointed out, we know how important forecasting
    these events is to the public and to the people who plow the snow. I
    must tell you though, as an off duty forecaster on Friday, following
    the latest forecasts and discussions from home on the internet, that
    this event was not a surprise for the metro area even though it wasn't
    forecast perfectly.

    The late morning discussion you spoke of, had a strong hint that the
    forecasters were worried about the band moving north into the metro
    area and there was already a long history of plowable amounts of snow
    where the lake effect was going on. The forecast steps that followed
    weren't perfect but the warning came out with more than 2 hours lead
    time. By 5 pm when the lake effect started in earnest, I was not at
    all taken by surprise and felt the forecast crew did a very good job
    catching a mesoscale event the way they did.

    As a snow plow contractor in the Buffalo area you should know by now
    just how difficult the prediction of the precise movement and location
    of these narrow bands is, unless of course you just moved here. If
    so, you have probably learned an important lesson.

    If I were a snow plowing contractor. I would always have the internet
    at my finger tips so that I could keep up with the latest trends,
    short term forecasts and the latest radar loops that are available.

    As Tom said, in the future we will always strive to forecast these
    events as well and as soon as possible, but we must rely on you and
    the public to stay on top of the new information we send out. In this
    day of the internet, there is no excuse not to be informed if it is
    vital to your business.

    Thanks for you time.

    David Sage
  8. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    Like they said it depends on the wind,the strength, the temp/angle, the water temp of the lake, the elevation of the land. You have to keep in mind a lot of the multiple for casts you read on the inter-net come from the National Weather Service. Word for word most times. Just watch the National Map and local radar. It's not an exact science, there's too many variables involved.
    I end up getting up every 2 1/2 hours to hit the bathroom and I look out at the minivan next door,the roof racks 3 inches off the roof, I can gage how much snow right there. If it's over 3" shortly after that the cell phone rings!
  9. qualitylawncare

    qualitylawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 501

    It's very hard to predict..

    Here's an example.. We cover most of Western NY. Here are last nights numbers:

    Rochester Metro- 1" on ground. No New
    Scottsville (8 miles south of Rochester)- 1" on ground. Dusting New
    Geneseo (15 miles south of Scottsville) - 2" on ground. 1/2-3/4" New
    Honeoye (12 miles south east of Geneseo)- 3 1/2" on ground. 3" New
    Springwater Lower Elevation (8 miles south of Honeoye) 5" on ground. 4" new
    Springwater High Elevation (my house) 11" on ground. 9" new
    Canaseraga/ Swain (20 miles south of Springwater) 6" on ground. 5" new

    That is less than 50 miles north to south and 20 miles east to west.. Numbers vary so much.. I can see why it is so hard to predict.
  10. BayviewLawn

    BayviewLawn Member
    Messages: 67

  11. qualitylawncare

    qualitylawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 501

  12. THE BOSS 1975

    THE BOSS 1975 Senior Member
    Messages: 120


  13. Remsen1

    Remsen1 Senior Member
    Messages: 188

    Is there a service that provides these figures? If so, can you post it? Are the figures posted realtime (ex. while the snow is still falling)?

    I used to live in Avon, New York so it was neat seeing you post some of those towns, but now I live in real snow country, I'm just off the Tug Hill Plateau. We've already got more than 12" on the ground. Started the day after thanksgiving. That all melted, but since then we've had 12" and 6", neither have melted but it has packed down to around 12".
  14. Weather Bug Is Bad

    THe weather bug works great for weather, but downloads a hole bunch of ***** onto your computer!!!!!!!!!!!!
  15. qualitylawncare

    qualitylawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 501

    I wish there was a place that could give me these numbers.. I find it best to not rely on the forecast, rather work off my own.
  16. finnegan

    finnegan Senior Member
    Messages: 313

    hey petals

    your bashing the weather guys is bad ju ju --they're gonna do some voodoo mumbo jumbo and youll have a heatwave over all of per push contracts.......