Merry Christmas! We ended up getting a white one for sure this year. A storm system brought an inch or two of snow Christmas eve night, followed by a few more inches of snow Christmas Day as lake effect snow developed. The stage is set for a monster lake effect snowfall Christmas Night through Tuesday for the Tug Hill Plateau. Take a look at the projected snowfall amounts. The purple is two to four FEET of accumulation:
As you can imagine, the lake effect parameters are off the charts. We have ample moisture from the departing storm, plenty of cold air in place, and a very consistent wind from the west. Combine that with orographic lifting over Western Tug Hill, and it's the ideal scenario for heavy lake effect snow.
While all this is taking place we want to point out that Lake Erie will also be active, allowing snow squalls to occasionally hit the Southern Valleys. This is why we hedged our map to include a trace to 3" for this region, rather than keep all the accumulation north of the NYS Thruway.
The winds do shift into the northwest on Tuesday night, allowing the band to shift south. At this point, areas near and north of the Mohawk Valley could see a burst of snow Tuesday night. We'll keep you posted on that end of the deal, as the wind direction is quite challenging to hit even within 36 hours.