New York’s Buffalo Shot
By Tim Whitcomb
While it cooled off in Boston, the locals and tourists in upstate New York woke up last week to a record-setting snowstorm. According to the National Weather Service event report, two consecutive days set records for snowfall: the earliest lake effect snow storm on record as well as the all-time record for daily October snowfall (records began in 1870 and the previous record was set in 1917). Weather reports showed almost two feet of snow in some locations, which led to the shutdown of the New York Thruway. The beauty of the season provided the backdrop for electrical trucks driving west to restore the power lost during the storm.
The warm days and cool nights provide stimulation for the production of anthocyanins, which are one of the chemical pigments in leaves that are responsible for the brilliant sought-after red color. Leaves change color as the annual cycle of solar insolation results in less and less chlorophyll, revealing the other pigments that were present all along, but the climatic dependence of anthocyanin production means that the foliage is slightly different every year. The amount of anthocyanins depends on the climate and is sensitive to the temperature and the amount of sunlight available (regulated by the cloud layers).
To finish off the tourists ogling the old growth, we are now getting our own bit of precipitation, associated with a frontal zone that should come with some warmer air, especially at night. Rain should spread through the area late today and arrive by early Wednesday morning. It will be a little wet, but thankfully not as cold.
Today: Afternoon scattered rain. High 57 F (14 C).
Tonight: Widespread rain, some fog. Low 52 F (11 C).
Wednesday: Rain early. High 61 F (16 C).
Wednesday night: Rain gone, but cloudy. Low 54 F (12 C).
Thursday: Clouds. High 65 F (18 C).
Thursday night: Chance of some rain. Low 61 F (16 C).