Thursday Discussion: Brutal Bitter Cold!

…WIND CHILL ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 1 PM EST THURSDAY… 

* WHAT…Very cold wind chills expected. Wind chills as low as 20 to 25 below zero expected.  

* WHERE… Dutchess, Orange, Rockland, Westchester, Putnam, Eastern Ulster, Eastern Greene, Western Columbia counties. 

* WHEN…Until 1 PM EST Thursday. 

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…The cold wind chills could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes.

Wednesday Outlook : Snow Squalls then Deep Freeze

Tuesday saw a wide variety of weather across the Hudson Valley.  Anything from rain in Tarrytown… to a slushy couple inches in Fishkill… to 7 inches of powder in Pine Bush… to 12″ of fluff at the HVW station in Hurley.  We’ll have a complete recap Thursday morning… but only after we deal with the coldest air of the season, and brutally cold wind chills.

We’ll start the day off sunny and cold, with an increasing WSW wind.  Normally this is a milder breeze, but the air mass off to our west is so intensely cold… the WSW wind will provide us no comfort today.  Highs won’t do better than low to mid 20s around the region.  But we’ll track the arctic cold front moving from west to east during the mid afternoon.  And that’s going to mean brutal conditions for the PM commute…

Futurecast Radar on Wednesday

The radar will be quiet all day… with the exception of a 5 hour time period between 1pm and 6pm, as the squall line moves from west to east.  Most of us will see the effects between 2pm and 4pm in the Hudson Valley.  Closer to 2pm near the NY/PA border… closer to 3pm near I-87 and Hudson River… and closer to 4pm near NY/CT border.  This squall line will cause a LOT of problems this afternoon, as the timing will create treacherous travel for the PM drive home from School and the PM commute.  In terms of snowfall, a quick inch or two is possible in any location…

But the 0.5″ to 1.5″ that guidance is suggesting falls in 30 to 45 mins, is only half of the story.  The full impact will come in a variety of forms.  Lets start by looking at the 3pm radar and temperatures at the same time… and you’ll see just how much business this front means…

Just look at how temperatures are in the mid 20s ahead of the arctic front… but as soon as that squall hits, the temperatures begin to plummet.  In Poughkeepsie, temps plunge!  Look at these temps:
3pm – 27°
4pm – 20°
5pm – 15°
6pm – 9°

But that’s not the worst of it.  Temperatures will plunge almost 20° in about 4 hours all across the region.  By midnight, everyone is near or below 0°.  So the temperatures will certainly plummet.  But in addition to crashing temperatures, we’ll see HOWLING winds!

You know you have a powerful cold front when it generates wind gusts like what you see above.  30mph to 50mph gusts around the region, will surely take any light weight objects and throw them dozens if not hundreds of feet away from their original location.  But cars won’t be immune from the affects either, so make sure you have a firm grip on the wheel, as cars and especially high profile vehicles will be pushed around on the roads.

But the affects don’t end there.  Much of the Hudson Valley just saw anywhere from 3 to 12 inches of snow.  Sustained winds at 10 to 20mph, and gusts over 40mph, will blow and drift the snow that is on the ground… as well as the snow that falls with the squall line.  That will mean snow covered and icy roads straight through the night.  Make sure you’re planning for icy and snow covered roads if travelling tonight.  Ground blizzards will be possible… with blowing and drifting snow creating potential whiteouts in many areas, thanks to wind gusts over 40mph.  Travel from 3pm and after tonight will be difficult at best, and treacherous at worst.  Take it slow out there tonight.

But possibly worst of all… will be the wind chills tonight.  It’s not too often that we see wind chills the likes of what we’ll see tonight.  As the temperatures plunge this evening, and the winds howl in excess of 40mph at times… here are your projected wind chills as of 6pm…

Conditions will only get worse after this… as the wall of falling wind chills will push east through the evening.  By midnight, everyone is seeing temperatures near or below 0°, and wind chills… well… the picture says more than the words can say…

These are the sort of conditions where frostbite can develop on exposed skin in less than 30 minutes.  Going outside without proper attire can be life threatening Wednesday night and Thursday morning.  Make sure you are dressed appropriately for the conditions.  It wouldn’t surprise us to see schools delay and perhaps close on Thursday, as wind chill values will remain near or below 0° all day.  Some extreme weather coming the next 48 hours… we’ll have updates for you here and on Facebook as things develop.

Snow Squalls/Cold and Wind Chills

Good Morning,

The combination of cold temps and areas of blowing and drifting snow will make for perpetually treacherous areas of travel this morning across parts of our area. Yesterday’s storm forecast seems to have verified quite well, with the overachievers being zones that either were covered with (locally up to 8”, or zones that bordered our up to 10” zones), we have seen accumulations as high as 12” in some localized areas.

Our high temp today will top out late this morning in the low 20’s north and upper 20’s south, a powerful arctic cold front mentioned in last nights post will cross the region this afternoon between 2-4pm. Along this squall line will be 30-40 MPH wind gusts that will combine with ground snow and falling snow to create near white out conditions as it passes. Roads will quickly cover over as this front passes through the entire region. Our concern is the timing of this frontal passage will be during school dismissal and early commute, this can be a recipe for a dangerous combination, please be alert for this potential. Behind this front the temps will begin to plummet to near zero or below by tonight. These temps are way below the effective range of rock salt, therefore the combination of the coating to 2 inches that may fall as the front passes, and the persistent blowing snow may lead to travel issues that linger well into Thursday in some locations.

The low temps will combine with strong wind gusts and create wind chills that will be dangerously low. Wind chill temps will range from -15 to -40 across the region, this can cause frost bite in 10-30 mins on exposed skin, keep this in mind for bus stop waits tomorrow AM, pets and people alike. We will live track the squall line which is currently in western NY as it approaches our region, please factor its passage and effects into your travel plans this afternoon. Thanks

Below is a simulated radar for 2,3 and 4PM tomorrow, you can see as the narrow but intense band of snow moves across the region..

 

Final Storm Forecast – Tuesday Frontal Snows

Well to say that forecasting this winter has been a bit fickle, some winters we see every storm trend colder and snowier, and watch the track of the storms slowly adjust themselves into more and more favorable positions as the hours get closer, then some winters we watch storms trend warmer and warmer, every storm have a transitional zone that always seem to set up right through our region, tracks that are not conducive to all snow events, and cold air that seems to be available when storms arenas and warm air that arrives in time to meet every storm that does show up. A headache for a forecaster, a let down for a skier, a bad season for a snow removal expert and a bummer for snow lovers alike.

While myself and Bill were discussing this storm of the last few days, one of the conversations we had while going over our forecast was the fact that when a winter get habitual about underperforming, under producing or managing to be warmer than expected, its best to adjust your forecasting as such. This is why our preliminary forecast was much lower than what was out there yesterday and why our final forecast is……. wait for it….. NOT changing from our preliminary forecast. We are going to continue to err on the side of caution and keep the forecast on the lower side.

We have low level warmth to contend with, some down-sloping effect, daylight snowfall, and a somewhat progressive system. With that said, we expected localized heavier amounts in the higher locations, Hudson Highlands, Gunks, Taconics and Southern and Eastern Catskills. We expect areas away from the valley floor and into the hill towns and higher elevations to also see the higher accumulations. Snow will likely turn to rain across our southern most zones, and into the valley locations, just how far north up the valley that warm air progresses (ie Newburgh,Poughkeepsie,Kingston) is to be determined. In events like this it is not uncommon for the times of heaviest precipitation to see it fall as snow, and as it lightens it up it may turn back to a wintry mix and vice versa as the precipitation rates fluctuate. This is because despite the warmth flooding up the valley at the lower levels, the temps in the upper atmosphere and mid level atmosphere will mostly remain below freezing. This can cause heavy snow to pull down that cold air and cool the entire column down enough for snow, this is called dynamic cooling.

All of that aside, the roads and other surfaces are very cold after two nights of lows in the teens, this means that at the onset of snowfall, travel will get slick quite quickly and only worsen where snow continues to fall. Areas that do transition to rain also have another threat to contend with. Cold air will once again crash in behind this system tomorrow night. Areas where rain is falling will transition back to a period of snow, and yes you guessed it, flash freeze again. No need to panic, we know the routine! We are experts now at this smorgasboard of precipitation, we either leave the snow to get rained on and then frozen into permafrost that must be removed with hydronic fluid powered equipment, or we attack it before! Work smarter not harder! Also keep in mind that the winds and temps behind this storm will once again be brutal! Be prepared

Timing on Tuesday:
– 8am to 12pm: Light snow develops from west to east, may be delayed across areas of east of the river
– 1pm to 8pm: Snow falls moderate to heavy at times
– 3pm to 7pm: Snow could mix with rain south of I-84
– 7pm to 11pm: Snow tapers from west to east

Impacts:
– Temps below freezing at start… snow sticks to all surfaces
– Temps rising near freezing as snow intensifies, heavy wet snow possible
– Similar to early season snowstorm, low snow ratios & more at higher elevations
– Snow covered and icy roads likely, especially north of I-84
– Warm air at surface may mix/change to rain the further south you go

Snow Accumulations:
– Catskills (Zone 1,2,5,6): 4 to 8 inches (locally 10″ in highest elevations)
– Mid & Upper Hudson Valley (Zone 3,4,7): 2 to 6 inches (locally 8″ in highest elevations)
– Lower Hudson Valley (Zone 8,9): Coating to 3 inches (locally 5″ in Hudson Highlands)

 

Preliminary Snow Forecast : Tuesday Arctic Front Snow

A very unusual setup has a very difficult forecast ahead of us for Tuesday.  As we watch an arctic front have a low pressure develop along it, which should lead to a burst of snow across the Hudson Valley for Tuesday, followed by the coldest air of the season so far.

Timing on Tuesday:
– 8am to 12pm: Light snow develops from west to east
– 1pm to 8pm: Snow falls moderate to heavy at times
– 3pm to 7pm: Snow could mix with rain south of I-84
– 7pm to 11pm: Snow tapers from west to east

Impacts:
– Temps below freezing at start… snow sticks to all surfaces
– Temps rising near freezing as snow intensifies, heavy wet snow possible
– Similar to early season snowstorm, low snow ratios & more at higher elevations
– Snow covered and icy roads likely, especially north of I-84
– Warm air at surface may mix/change to rain the further south you go

Snow Accumulations:
– Catskills (Zone 1,2,5,6): 4 to 8 inches (locally 10″ in highest elevations)
– Mid & Upper Hudson Valley (Zone 3,4,7): 2 to 6 inches (locally 8″ in highest elevations)
– Lower Hudson Valley (Zone 8,9): Coating to 3 inches (highest level of uncertainty)

Discussion:

This storm has a lot of unusual characteristics, which should be expected considering this type of arctic front… and the air mass behind it… is not one you see all that often.  The air mass in the Hudson Valley on Monday will be arctic in nature, with below average temperatures in the region.  This sets the stage for a snow event, almost every time.  However, as the arctic front digs into the eastern US, it will generate a SE flow out ahead of it.  That will cause a low pressure system to try and develop along the boundary, and a band of moderate precipitation should develop out ahead of it… primarily in the form of snow.

The snow should start out light and scattered during the morning hours, and become steadier and heavier during the early afternoon.  Then the question becomes, just how much low level warm air invades the region?  The low pressure that will try to develop along the front will pull warm air up ahead of it.  So it’s track and position will be critical to who… if anyone… in the Hudson Valley changes over to rain.

Latest guidance suggests that anyone from roughly I-84 on south has the best chance of mixing with and changing to rain.  The warm air is all at the surface with this system… meaning freezing rain and sleet should not be an issue.  The question is either snow… or rain.  We’ll have to watch the exact position of this system in the next 24 to 36 hours.  Our snowfall forecast is based off the data you see above.  So if this system trends further SE, then we will see the snow totals rise a bit across the region.  However, if this system trends further NW… meaning more warm air in the Hudson Valley… then we may have to lower the snow totals Monday Night.

Stick with us through the next 24 hours, and we’ll share any changes to the info we’ve got with you.  Thanks for the tremendous support!  You guys are awesome!

Sunday Snapshot : Scattered Snow Showers

An area of light to moderate snow impacting parts of the region at this hour, off to our west a squall line associated with our incoming arctic front can be seen. Roads may quickly cover over with snow as the surfaces are very cold, use caution traveling.

Friday Night Rundown : Rainfall Recap & Upcoming Chill

In the wake of the soaking rain from Thursday, things finally dried out on Friday.  But not before parts of the area saw flooding as a result of heavy rains combined with snow melt.

Widespread rainfall totals between 1 and 2 inches were common all the way from NYC to Albany.  Considering the majority of the Hudson Valley had somewhere between an inch of snow, sleet and ice… and a foot of snow crusted to the ground like a glacier… it’s surprising we didn’t see widespread flood concerns.  But our traditionally flood prone areas saw issues on Thursday into Friday.  The wetlands just west of New Paltz saw the banks of the Wallkill river flood Rt 299, closing the road.

Something not all that uncommon for the area, but still an inconvenience when the roads close to local residents.

Things should begin to dry out as we head into the weekend.  NW winds will bring a seasonal winter chill to the Hudson Valley, with highs in the low 30s on Saturday, and upper 30s on Sunday.

Looking Ahead:

Our next shot at snow comes on Tuesday into Wednesday.  We’ve got a VERY complex setup, with a monster dip in the jet stream, that will try to dig in, causing a coastal storm to develop.  The position, timing and strength are quite uncertain, and very key to our forecast.  In short… snow could cause headaches Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday morning.

Behind this system… the coldest air of the season, as a lobe of the Polar Vortex breaks free and heads into North America.  Some of the coldest air in several years will impact the middle of the country.  Just how intense the cold is over the eastern US, remains to be seen.  But one thing is for certain, a much colder pattern is heading our way for next week.

Thursday Rain and Warmth

Be Alert:

Areas of dense advection fog that may cover over ponding on flooded roadways, remaining isolated pockets of ice and limited visibilities.

30° and Icy roads to 55° and still icy roads due to cold road surface temps, localized flooding, dense fog, heavy rain with an early afternoon squall line that may have damaging wind and embedded thunderstorms. All of this followed by a flash freeze and possibly ending as snow with more gusty winds.

That is 12 hours of forecasting for our region!

#BuckleUp

Wednesday Outlook : Warming with Rain on the Way

A chilly start in the teens to low 20s… will moderate rapidly this morning, thanks to a SW wind.  Temps should climb into the mid 30s by early afternoon… with scattered rain showers developing later in the day and this evening.
 
However, some guidance suggests that some spotty light precipitation will move into the region around mid day, spreading some spotty areas of freezing drizzle into the traditionally colder spots in the northern half of the Hudson Valley.  As a result, a Winter Weather Advisory (full details at bottom of post) is in effect for:
Columbia, Greene, Western Ulster, Delaware, Sullivan counties (if your county is not listed, then freezing precip is not expected in your area)
 
The ice looks very spotty in nature, and most roads have tons of salt on them, so while dangerous travel is possible… treated roads should be OK… before temps rise well above freezing in all areas by sunset.
 
Rain will be with us through the night time hours, and become steady to heavy at times by Thursday morning… as temperatures surge into the low 50s for much of the Hudson Valley.  A flood watch is in effect for the counties not under the winter weather advisory (details at bottom of post).  The rain will push through during the middle of the day, and then things dry out and turn sharply colder once again by sunset.
 
Have a great Wednesday!
…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 7 AM THIS MORNING TO 6 PM EST THIS EVENING…
* WHAT…Mixed precipitation expected. Total snow and sleet accumulations of up to one inch and ice accumulations of around two tenths of an inch expected.
* WHERE…Columbia, Greene, Western Ulster, Delaware, Sullivan counties
* WHEN…From 7 AM this morning to 6 PM EST this evening.
* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Plan on slippery road conditions.
—————————————————–
 
…HEAVY RAIN WITH FLASH FLOODING POSSIBLE ON THURSDAY…
…FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT FROM THURSDAY MORNING THROUGH
THURSDAY AFTERNOON…
The National Weather Service in Upton has issued a
* Flash Flood Watch for portions of southern Connecticut,
northeast New Jersey, and southeast New York, including : Westchester, Orange, Putnam, Rockland,
* From Thursday morning through Thursday afternoon
* Low pressure approaches the Tri-State Area today and passes through on Thursday. Rain tonight becomes potentially heavy at times Thursday morning with the potential of heavy downpours into early afternoon. A total of 1.25 to 2.50 inches of rainfall with locally higher amounts could occur with this event, however most of it falls during Thursday. Flash flooding of urban and poor drainage areas, as well as small streams will therefore be possible Thursday.
 
Instructions:
A Flash Flood Watch means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding. Flash flooding is a very dangerous situation. You should monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action should flash flood warnings be issued.

Tuesday Discussion : Bitter Cold and Snow Recap

The bitter cold has set in over the last 2 days, and since Sunday afternoon, it’s felt more like Alaska than the Hudson Valley.  Lows Monday morning ranged between -5° to +5° across the region, and similar temperatures are likely as we wake up on Tuesday… maybe a few degrees warmer.  But after our bitter 36 hour blast of artic air, things will begin to slowly improve on Tuesday.  Highs will climb about 10 degrees warmer, which sounds pretty good… until you realize the high on Tuesday in Poughkeepsie was about 10°.  So highs in the low 20s are likely.

Things get even warmer on Wednesday, as another storm system approaches.  A frontal system will spread rain showers into the region… yes RAIN.  Temps will top out around 40° on Wednesday, so anything that falls, will do so in the form of rain.  The showers are likely light by late afternoon, but the rain becomes steadier and heavier overnight into Thursday morning.

A pretty difficult pill to swallow for winter weather lovers, as we were robbed of snow by sleet and freezing rain in our last storm on Sunday.  Then hit with a bitter arctic blast for Monday… only to rain again on Wednesday.  But the long range pattern is changing.  What we’re seeing right now, is the weather pattern and jet stream trying to settle into a colder pattern.  These are warm waves of resistance, that are the result of waves in the jet stream.  Persistent cold temps are on the way… and with them, will come chances for snow.  Being patient is difficult for snow lovers… trust us, we feel you.

Storm Recap – Saturday/Sunday Winter Storm

Finally, here are the recap stats from the last winter storm.  We’ll share 4 images with you.  We’ll share the Snow History Map, the reported totals, our Final Adjusted forecast (issued 9 hours before storm), and our Final Forecast (issued 18 hours before storm).  Our Adjusted Final Forecast turned out decent… once we finally realized that the storm would track considerably further north than the mid-range data suggested.  Our persistent conversation about how difficult the transition line was to forecast, and significant impact on snow totals, hopefully had everyone properly prepared… even if you were depressed about ice instead of snow.