Friday Morning Snow Possible

A weak and quick moving piece of energy may spread a brief period of light snow across our region, short range guidance definitely supports this potential, the NAM model (pictured below) is a bit more aggressive therefore we cannot rule out some light snow spreading a bit further north an impacting more of the region. Given the dry air in place across the region it appears that our southern most zones have the best probability of seeing some flakes, as seen on the HRRR model depictions (below the NAM image).

This system isn’t much to write home about, but its worth writing to all of you cause we have very cold surfaces and model consensus on snow occurring just before and during a portion of the morning commute. This may lead to some areas of slick travel, as we have learned in the past a coating to an inch can be equally as dangerous as a bigger snowfall. As we saw with yesterdays storm the dry air can really erode away the snowfall and is historically missed by modeling, so we would say there is a 70% chance of snow across zones 8-9, (area circled in blue on zone map) and a 50-60% chance of it spreading further north.

Beyond this we are monitoring a snow potential on Saturday and again on Sunday Night into Monday… Stay Tuned

Final Snow Forecast : Wednesday Clipper System

Timing:
– 7am to 3pm : Light snow flurries and snow showers (western HV & Catskills)
– 2pm to 7pm : Steady light snow develops (mainly well north of I-84)
– 6pm to 10pm : Snow spreads from NW to SE
-12am to 4am : Snow tapers from NW to SE

Impacts:
– Cold, with light fluffy powder
– Snow covered and icy roadways likely
– More snow north… Less snow as you go south
– Potentially slick Wed PM commute (north of I-84)
– Potentially slick Thu AM commute

Snow Accumulation:
– Catskills (zone 1,2): 3 to 6 inches
– Northern Half of HV (zone 3,4,5,6,7): 2 to 5 inches (more north, less south)
– Southern Half of HV (zone 8,9): Coating to 2 inches

Discussion:

After considerable discussion about the evening computer guidance, we decided to leave the snowfall forecast alone.  In fact, most of the points raised in the preliminary forecast are still valid, so we’ll repeat them below.  The key point we want to make… is simply that for the northern half of the valley, snow accumulations will be highest as you go north, and lowest the closer you get to I-84.  So areas like Poughkeepsie are more likely to be near 2 or 3 inches… while Kingston is likely to be closer to 4 or 5.

The morning hours are likely to see light snow showers with a dusting to half inch possible… the afternoon becomes rather quiet from the I-84 corridor on south (light snow likely in the northern most areas).  Before the snow shifts SE during the evening hours.  The PM commute looks best as you go further south… and rather slick the further north you go.  We’ll see exactly how the system unfolds on Wednesday.

(from the preliminary discussion)

A weak clipper system will skirt the northern side of the Hudson Valley.  With limited moisture, and plenty of cold air… it looks to make the most of the moisture it does have.  Snow ratios of 15:1 and 20:1 will mean a fluffy powder that stacks up quick where it falls.  So a storm that might normally drop 2? of snow on a location, could drop 4? of snow in this scenario.

The trouble with this system (and there is always a problem with each storm it seems), is that the storm track is critically close to cutting off a portion of the Hudson Valley.  The moisture’s southern edge appears to be right over the Mid Hudson Valley.  Determining exactly where the southern edge of the snow will set up, will mean the difference between a dusting to an inch… and potentially several inches of snow,

With this system, the further north you go, the better the chance of higher snowfall amounts.  The further south you go, the closer to NYC, the less snow you’ll see.

Timing this event is also tricky…

Futurecast Radar: 1am to 10pm Wednesday

You can see on this simulation, that a weak snow band potentially reaches the Hudson Valley as early as mid morning on Wednesday.  But then that band of snow falls apart, and redevelops to our north… leaving much of the region dry and quiet for the afternoon on Wednesday.  The scenario above shows a situation where flakes fall in Poughkeepsie by 10am, but then the snow stops, and no accumulation occurs until after sunset at 6pm.  That’s a pretty wide range for start time… between 10am and 6pm.  So that is why our ‘Timeline’ above appears as it does.  Much of the area could see snow flakes during the morning, but the accumulating snow appears likely to hold off until mid afternoon, and at that point… it’s mostly in areas north of I-84.

Preliminary Snow Forecast : Wednesday Night Clipper

A weak Alberta Clipper system will approach on Wednesday afternoon and evening, and is likely to spread light snow across portions of the Hudson Valley.

Timing:
– 7am to 3pm : Light snow flurries and snow showers (western HV & Catskills)
– 2pm to 7pm : Steady light snow develops (mainly north of I-84)
– 6pm to 10pm : Snow spreads from NW to SE
-12am to 4am : Snow tapers from NW to SE

Impacts:
– Cold, with light fluffy powder
– Snow sticks to all surfaces
– Snow covered and icy roadways likely
– Potentially slick Wed PM commute (north of I-84)
– Potentially slick Thu AM commute

Snow Accumulation:
– Catskills (zone 1,2): 3 to 6 inches
– Northern Half of HV (zone 3,4,5,6,7): 2 to 5 inches
– Southern Half of HV (zone 8,9): Coating to 2 inches

Discussion:

In a season full of annoying little storm systems, this system fits in perfectly.  A weak clipper system will skirt the northern side of the Hudson Valley.  With limited moisture, and plenty of cold air… it looks to make the most of the moisture it does have.  Snow ratios of 15:1 and 20:1 will mean a fluffy powder that stacks up quick where it falls.  So a storm that might normally drop 2″ of snow on a location, could drop 4″ of snow in this scenario.

The trouble with this system (and there is always a problem with each storm it seems), is that the storm track is critically close to cutting off a portion of the Hudson Valley.  The moisture’s southern edge appears to be right over the Mid Hudson Valley.  Determining exactly where the southern edge of the snow will set up, will mean the difference between a dusting to an inch… and potentially several inches of snow.

With this system, the further north you go, the better the chance of higher snowfall amounts.  The further south you go, the closer to NYC, the less snow you’ll see.

Our preliminary snowfall forecast of a general 2 to 5 inches, assumes the snow tracks a bit further south than what you see in the image above.  Guidance on Tuesday has suggested this storm is a bit further north… which would mean lower snowfall amounts locally in the Hudson Valley.   Rather than drop the snow totals for the preliminary forecast… we’re going to wait for some more data before making any adjustment to the 2 to 5 inches.  But it’s safe to say, that based on our current thoughts… most of the Hudson Valley would be on the lower end of the forecast range.  Snowfall totals of 1, 2 or 3 inches… current seem more likely than snowfall totals of 4 or 5 inches.

Timing this event is also tricky…

Futurecast Radar: 1am to 10pm Wednesday

You can see on this simulation, that a weak snow band potentially reaches the Hudson Valley as early as mid morning on Wednesday.  But then that band of snow falls apart, and redevelops to our north… leaving much of the region dry and quiet for the afternoon on Wednesday.  The scenario above shows a situation where flakes fall in Poughkeepsie by 10am, but then the snow stops, and no accumulation occurs until after sunset at 6pm.  That’s a pretty wide range for start time… between 10am and 6pm.  So that is why our ‘Timeline’ above appears as it does.  Much of the area could see snow flakes during the morning, but the accumulating snow appears likely to hold off until mid afternoon, and at that point… it’s mostly in areas north of I-84.

A small storm, but still providing BIG forecast headaches.  We’ll keep working on the details and we’ll provide a final forecast first thing Wednesday morning.  Thanks for your continued support!

Tuesday Discussion: Cold Wind Continues

Now that the wind event is behind us, and we thank everyone for the kind messages and reviews, please know that we live for keeping everyone as prepared for the weather as possible. We received messages from folks telling us that we were the only reason they got home safe yesterday. Messages like that are what drives us to do what we do each day, so thank you! 

More weather! Now our eyes turn to Wed Afternoon into Thur AM a system will move across the region during this time, while the storm isn’t very moisture rich, the air mass is place is very cold. This will mean a high ratio snowfall across the region, with snow ratio’s between 15/20-1 we will be able to squeeze out a decent snowfall despite the lack of available moisture. At this point a general 2-5” snowfall across the majority of the region looks likely.  This will impact tomorrow’s evening commute and Thursdays AM commute as well. 

Beyond that, March looks to arrive in its Lion form, colder than average temps are expected over the next 10-15 days and with that the threat for additional winter storms is possible.

Monday Discussion : High Wind Warning

The winds are howling out of the west, and that will only intensify once the sun rises on Monday.

Futurecast Wind Gusts : 1pm Sunday – 6am Tuesday

You can see these gusts will be with us straight through the day on Monday, and we could see power outages around the region.  With gusts between 40mph and 60mph, tree branches could come down on power lines and cause outages in some areas.  In addition, gusts this intense could push vehicles around on the road, so make sure to have a firm grip on the wheel.

In addition to powerful gusts, the wind chills generated will make it feel like the mid teens around the region.  So powerful winds and biting cold.  With a little luck, the number of power outages will be minimal, but these kind of wind gusts over such an extended period of time… in this case 24 hours… it is rather likely that several outages are likely.  Tens of thousands of people were without power in the Great Lakes states as a response to these winds.

We’ll monitor the situation, but all the preparation for this event has been made.  Now we just have to hope for some good fortune, and for damage to be at a minimum.

 

Sunday Discussion : High Wind Warnings

On the heels of periods of rain Sunday morning, we’ll begin to see major changes during the afternoon hours.  However, instead of the other storms this winter, where the arctic air rushing in was the story… this time, the story is the increasing, powerful and potentially damaging wind gusts.  These high winds will be long in duration as well… beginning Sunday afternoon, and not subsiding until sunset on Monday.

Possibly one of the best ways to envision this event, is to look at the futurecast hourly wind gust map from 12pm Sunday through 12am Tuesday… a 36 hour period.

This is a pretty powerful image.  Poughkeepsie is projected to see 40mph gusts for roughly 24 straight hours.  Parts of the Catskills are projected to see 65mph wind gusts Monday Afternoon.  This is shaping up to be a fairly intense wind event for the Hudson Valley.  As of this post, the entire Hudson Valley is under either a High Wind Warning, or a High Wind Watch.
**UPDATE 2pm 2/24** – Now the ENTIRE Hudson Valley is under a High Wind Warning, for sustained winds at 20mph to 40mph with gusts up to 60mph!

This is a screenshot of one of the peak hours of wind gusts.  It projects gusts in the mid 50s across Sullivan County, with gusts in the mid 40s across the entire Hudson Valley.  But we can expect multiple hours of these type of conditions, and so the following are possible:

  • – Strong to damaging wind gusts that could bring down large tree branches, trees and power lines
  • – Numerous to widespread power outages possible
  • – Potentially difficult travel, especially for high profile vehicles

Now, because of the unique topography of the Hudson Valley, not everyone will experience the same conditions on Sunday evening and Monday.  Areas most exposed to west northwest winds will be most significantly impacted.  Those areas will be the ones to see peak wind gusts over 45 and 50mph.  Areas that are more sheltered from westerly winds, will be spared the worst conditions.  This may work as a benefit to your house and property… but likely won’t be of any help in terms of preserving electricity.  We want to be optimistic that we won’t see too many power outages, but this kind of wind event is not too common for the Hudson Valley.  We can see wind gusts in this range from time to time, but not usually for such an extended period of time.  So the chances are, that parts of the valley take quite a battering from the winds.

We’ll track this with you, straight through the storm.  We’ll have our phones charged up, so that if we lose power, we can still reach you with information.  Make sure you have the necessary power outage gear ready to go, just in case you should be without power for an extended period.  Likely the most important item is warm clothing and a way to keep warm, considering the time of year, and the temperatures in the 30s on Monday.

Batten down the hatches, a blustery 2 days ahead.  Thanks for your continued support!

Saturday Evening Update : Light Wintry Mix Possible Tonight

Most of the Hudson Valley is under a “Winter Weather Advisory” tonight.  The approaching storm system will spread rain into the region overnight, but before the milder air can work into the region… the front edge of the precipitation may fall in the form of light sleet and light freezing rain… maybe even some wet snow flakes. 
– Timing: 7pm to 5am
– Impact: patchy icy spots on untreated surfaces…
– Location: Entire HV (especially Ulster, Sullivan, Greene)
– Amount: up to 0.10″ of sleet & freezing rain
– Temps steadily rise above freezing before dawn
 
This map shows the potential for freezing precipitation as some spotty light precipitation moves into the region tonight.  It looks very disorganized and spotty, as well as very light in intensity.  However, with temperatures projected to be 32° to 36°, to be on the safe side, the advisories have been issued.  Parts of the region still have snow cover, and that snowpack may be radiating cold air.  So even though air temperatures may be slightly above freezing, the paved surfaces could be just below freezing, creating some black ice. 
 
By the time the steady precipitation arrives (likely after 4am)… temperatures will slowly rise into the mid and upper 30s, safely above freezing for the vast majority of the valley.  So with the exception of perhaps the traditionally colder valleys of Ulster, Sullivan and Greene counties, the steady precipitation in the predawn hours will fall in the form of plain rain.  Even so, it’s best to err on the side of caution tonight.  Temperatures as of this post range between 32° (Monticello) and 37° (Poughkeepsie & several other locations).  We’ll continue to track the temperatures through the night, to confirm that temps are rising as expected.

Saturday Discussion: Spotty Ice, then Rain, then Wind

No shortage of interesting weather over the next 48 hours.  As we watch yet another storm blow through with the same pattern of recent events.  Moderately cold air will be in place when the storm arrives, and that could touch off some spotty areas of ice Saturday night.

Winter weather advisories are up for parts of the region, due to the chance of light freezing rain at the onset of the rain overnight.  While likely confined to the traditionally colder parts of the Hudson valley, we can’t rule out a few icy spots overnight.  Once again… this does not look like a major issue, but events like this can be the worst kind… where conditions are fine, and you’re doing 50mph, then you drive 1 mile down the road, and suddenly there is black ice.    The combined advisory is below:

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Greene, Delaware, Ulster, Orange, Sullivan, Columbia Counties all have a WWA in effect. 

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 9 PM THIS EVENING TO

7 AM EST SUNDAY…

* WHAT…Mixed precipitation expected. Total snow accumulations of up to one inch and ice accumulations from a glaze up to one tenth of an inch expected.

* WHERE…Portions of southern Vermont, northwestern hills of Connecticut, western Massachusetts, and most of east central New York.

* WHEN…From 9 PM this evening to 7 AM EST Sunday.

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After midnight, temps should gradually rise safely above freezing, and a steady rain is likely by morning on Sunday.  The rain will be with us through the morning hours, tapering off around mid day.  From there our focus turns to the howling winds we expect.  Winds that could cause sporadic power outages around the Hudson Valley, below is the wind watch in place for parts of our region…

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High Wind watch in effect for higher terrain, Western Greene,Western Ulster, Sullivan and Delaware Counties. 

Upgrades to high wind warnings and additional coverage of wind advisories likely for remainder of the region.  

HIGH WIND WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM SUNDAY EVENING THROUGH

MONDAY EVENING…

* Locations…The western Adirondacks, western and central Mohawk Valley, Schoharie Valley, Helderbergs, and the eastern Catskills.

* Winds…West 20 to 35 mph with gusts up to 60 mph.

* Timing…Sunday night into early Monday evening.

* Impacts…The potential for strong to damaging winds, which may blow down large tree limbs, trees and power lines. Widespread power outages are possible. Travel could be difficult, especially for high profile vehicles.

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We’ll have additional thoughts and commentary later today and tonight, likely with some graphics for the timing of the high winds.  Until then, we hope you have a great day!

Friday Discussion : Just a Normal Day in the Valley

After a week or two of ups and downs, with ice and snow and even some rain… maybe you can take some solace to know that for at least Friday, things will be ‘normal’ for a day.  Ok, we’re being a little dramatic… but the truth is that Friday will look very much like what a day this time of year would be expected to look like.  The average high for the day in Poughkeepsie is 41°, and we’ll be near that Friday afternoon.  The skies should be partly to mostly sunny, giving us a nice finish to the work week.

Then on Saturday, we’ll track a storm system approaching for Saturday night into Sunday.  Unlike the past few storms that saw a snow to ice transition… this one will be almost entirely rain.  It could briefly start out as freezing rain in the colder valleys.  However, the warmer air will win the battle quickly, and the entire Hudson Valley will turn to rain by late Saturday night.  The rain will last with us until Sunday, and when the rain exits Sunday afternoon… strong winds will howl, and usher in a return to the cold air to start the work week.

So the 1st half of the weekend looks decent, the 2nd half of the weekend looks stormy.  So we’ll be busy through the weekend timing the arrival of the rain.  For now, we hope you have a great Friday!  TGIF!!

Winter Storm Forecast : Wednesday 2/20

The pattern this winter has not budged, and this storm will be no different.  We’ll go through the details, but by now… you probably have a good idea of how this storm will play out.

Timing:
– 12pm to 3pm – Snow starts from SW to NE
– 5pm to 8pm – Snow changes to sleet from SW to NE
– 6pm to 10pm – Sleet mixes with / changes to freezing rain
– 11pm to 3am – Wintry mix tapers off

Impacts:
– Snow covered & icy roads likely for the evening commute
– Multiple hour wintry mix period likely
– Icy conditions on roads through Wednesday night
– Icy travel possible into Thursday AM commute

Snow Accumulation:
– Catskills & Upper Hudson Valley (Zone 1,2,N3,N4): Coating to 2 inches
– Mid & Lower Hudson Valley (Zone S3,S4,5,6,7,8,9):  1 to 3 inches
– Ice Accumulation : Entire HV could see one to two tenths of an inch of ice on top

Discussion:

No real changes from our Monday night discussion.  Plenty of strong cold air in place across the Hudson Valley, as we see a storm system primed to attack the cold air.  As the storm pushes northeast, the warm air will overrun the cold air and provide us an overrunning snow event.  The start timing on this could be as early as 11:30 pm in places like Port Jervis, but in general, the flakes begin to fly between 12pm to 3pm from SW to NE.

The snow doesn’t appear likely to fall heavily in the early afternoon.  In some storms, it goes from cloudy to heavy snow in a short amount of time.  This storm seems likely to start as light snow for several hours, in part because of the weakening of this system as it arrives.  So by the time the PM commute arrives… a general 1 to 3 inches of snow are expected…

The highest snow amounts (amounts closest to 3″) will be the closer you get to the NY/NJ border.  That’s where the snow rates will be highest, and where the snow will fall for the greatest period of time.  The lower snowfall amounts (Coating to an inch or so) will be further north, in Columbia and Greene counties.  There, the snow looks quite light, and starts later.  But as you can see on this simulation… once the sleet (purple) moves in… we are expecting an extended period of sleet and freezing rain (pink)…

Temperatures Wednesday night are expected to stay at or just below freezing, meaning icy conditions are possible as the sun rises on Thursday.  Indications are that ice amounts will be under 0.25″, so power outages and down tree branches are not a widespread concern.  However, these icy conditions could linger to start our Thursday AM commute, something we’ll have to monitor as we go through the event.

This is by no means a significant winter storm.  But it’s enough that we have to deal with it, because the 6 to 8 hours of sleet and light freezing rain that are expected could cause travel troubles Wednesday night… and we want everyone to be properly prepared.  Just be prepared to allow for extra time, due to the likelihood of icy travel conditions