First Alert Weather In-Depth: Alberta Clippers vs. Nor’easters

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The Rochester area gets all sorts of different kinds of snow. First Alert Meteorologist Glenn Johnson says that is just a joy of living in Western New York.

Tuesday he went In-Depth breaking snow down into two specific kinds of storm systems.

Number one is when we get an Alberta Clipper system that comes down across the U.S.-Canadian border. It is usually moving pretty quickly. This storm can produce light to moderate snow. The reason why we do not get the heavy snow is that it has very limited amounts of moisture to work with due to the limited moisture source.

The other type of storm is what is commonly known as a Nor’easter. This comes in from the southern states and then moves up the East Coast. Usually, there is a strip of some heavy snowfall somewhere through the Ohio Valley, the Tennessee Valley and then certainly through portions of northern New England. The reason for that heavy snow is the tremendous amount of moisture that comes out of the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic Ocean.

So we have one of those Nor’easters coming up this weekend.

Johnson took a look at some of the different computer models as it relates to potential snowfall.

The European model shows the snowfall as we go through Friday night, Saturday and into Saturday night. This particular model takes the storm a little bit closer to the coastline and you can see some of the heavy snow for the big cities and up throughout New England.

The American model is a little bit different. Right now, the current track of that storm is well off the East Coast and is farther out to sea. This is the is going to bring some heavy snow, but only through portions of northern New England.

Johnson thinks that in either one of these scenarios, Rochester will not have a direct heavy impact from the storm, though we will have to wait and see what the exact track is going to be with this storm.