Friday Discussion : What Winter?

The heavy snow is on our doorstep, Hudson Valley…
Oh wait….
No… no it’s not.
The winter that wasn’t continues on this Friday, as cloudy skies have overspread the region. Temps are generally in the mid 30s, but despite the clouds, there is no moisture in the region to speak of. We will track a low pressure system as it develops in the southeast today, and tracks northeastward toward the North Carolina coast. From there, it will continue pushing NE as it heads out to sea, missing the Hudson Valley… again.
 
There could be enough atmospheric energy over the northeastern US, to kick off a band of light snow showers in central PA and Southern NY. That could translate into a few snow showers overnight and into Saturday morning. A dusting here or there can’t be ruled out… but nothing that should impact your plans.
 
Otherwise, skies should be cloudy on Saturday with highs in the upper 30s to near 40°. Another area of scattered light snow showers are possible Saturday night, with a dusting expected at most… but most will see nothing. Then on Super Bowl Sunday, we look to see a mix of clouds and sun, with highs near 40° once again. Scattered snow showers are possible once again Sunday evening, with the passage of a warm front. A dusting could fall in some areas with that warm front as well, Sunday night.
 
But that warm front will mark the start of a noticeable change to start the work week. Winds wil shift out of the SW, and we should see highs jump into the mid 50s around the region… under a mix of sun and clouds. Monday could be quite a fantastic weather day, by early February standards. We’ll have discussions through the weekend, but hopefully your weekend gets off to a great start!

Thursday Discussion : Stormless Weekend

Sunshine and blue skies for our Thursday, but a noticeable chill in the air. Highs this afternoon will only rise into the mid 30s, right about where we should be for late January.
 
But things will begin to warm again on Friday. Winds will shift out of the south, and we’ll see highs on Friday climb back into the low 40s… a few degrees above average. The month of January has been between 5 and 10 degrees above average over the northeastern US.
 
Looking to the weekend… any serious chance we had at a winter storm has evaporated once again. The separate pieces of energy in the atmosphere will not come together in time… which should come as no surprise to many of us. Significant coastal storms often require precise timing of different features to come together… more often than not, they don’t make the connection. But when they do, it’s memorable.
 
So barring any major change in the timing and positioning of atmospheric energy… the weekend looks quiet, and rather mild… with temps in the low to mid 40s expected. Our mild winter continues… with no major changes in sight. Have a great Thursday afternoon!

Tuesday Discussion : Tranquil Week, Stormy Weekend?

A mostly cloudy, mild late January day around the Hudson Valley… as our quiet weather pattern will carry us through to the end of the first month of 2020. Temps will get chillier by Thursday and into Friday… but for sure, everyone’s attention remains focused on the weekend storm threat.
 
We’d love to have a definitive answer for you at this point, but we bet you know what we’re going to say next… “it’s too early”. As frustrating as it is to hear in 2020… we don’t have enough information to make a definitive call on Saturday’s storm risk. Here’s the best we can do for mid day on Tuesday…
 
Saturday Winter Storm Potential:
– 70% chance storm stays out to sea
– 30% chance of impact in Hudson Valley
– 20% chance of significant impact (6″+)
– Confidence level : Very Low
– Timing (likely Saturday, possibly Sunday)
 
In short, we have multiple waves of energy that need to interact with each other at just the right time, to generate a nor’easter. Any time you require multiple features to come together, the forecast is going to involve a high degree of difficulty. Each day we get closer to the event, our confidence level will rise. But at this point, the energy hasn’t even reached the west coast of the US yet… however, the NWS is concerned enough about this potential, that they sent a reconnaissance plane in this morning to try and increase the accuracy of the data we’ve got at our disposal. Hopefully tonight’s data will begin to see the benefits of the NWS recon plane.
 
So we will continue to monitor this situation, and share any potential developments with you. Thank you for your continued support!!

Saturday Discussion : Soggy January Afternoon

Clouds will increase early in the morning on Saturday, and temps will slowly climb into the mid and upper 30s by mid and late morning on Saturday.  Scattered light rain showers will develop by late morning out ahead of the main area of rainfall.  It’s possible that some freezing drizzle and light freezing rain fall in the colder sheltered areas of the Catskills, but most areas will be all rain from this event.  The area of steady moderate to heavy rainfall looks to arrive around mid day, or early afternoon.
Futurecast Radar : Saturday 8am – 8pm
A soaking rainfall is expected during the afternoon hours on Saturday, as an intensifying upper level low pressure passes by well to our north.  A southerly fetch from the Atlantic Ocean will send a firehose of moisture up the Hudson River valley between 12pm and 8pm… before tapering off as the band of rain pushes northeast of the region.  Rainfall amounts of 0.50″ to 1.50″ are possible.  So be sure to have the umbrella handy for Saturday Afternoon
 
Saturday evening things will quiet down, and Sunday looks a bit more blustery, but temperatures won’t tumble behind the system.  Highs on Sunday are expected in the upper 30s to low 40s, with a persistent westerly wind.  It wouldn’t surprise us to see a snow shower or a few flurries Sunday morning as the upper level low pulls some energy through the region.
 
We hope everyone has a great start to their weekend!

Thursday Discussion : Another One Bites The Dust

In a winter that is quickly losing its shine… we are tracking another storm system for the coming weekend.  If you’re a snow lover… you’re watching as the snow potential for Saturday has gone up in smoke… quite literally vaporizing into thin air over the course of 24 hours.

If you’ve been following HVW the past 3 days, you’ve likely become aware of a potential storm threat for Saturday into Sunday.  We highlighted the concern, because of it’s potential (if occurring), to drop a significant snowfall on the Hudson Valley.  The GFS model had a 6 to 12 inch snowstorm over the region, beginning Sunday and continuing through Tuesday.  The European model caught onto the idea by Monday night…

European Model Simulation from Monday Night

An upper level low pressure is expected to develop and push east across the Ohio Valley on Friday and reach our region by Saturday morning.  Temperatures on Friday are expected to be in the low to mid 40s… so for snow to fall, we needed a little magic to happen.  That’s where the upper level low or ULL comes in.  It can be seen by looking at the blue height lines in the map above… starting in Kentucky and bowling balling its way over Long Island by the last image.  The ULL would create its own cold air, pulling cold air down from the upper atmosphere.  Anyone north of that ULL would see snow fall, heavily at times.  In this simulation, that included anyone north and west of NYC.  The end result would have been a foot of snow in some parts of the region.

But if you’ve gathered by now… that’s not going to happen.

Instead, what has happened, is that over the course of Wednesday… computer guidance began to lock in on the idea that this ULL will not push east… but rather northeast.  This changes everything.

European Model Simulation from Wednesday Afternoon

If you follow the same blue height lines on this simulation, you’ll notice the blue circle… the ULL or upper level low… is hundreds of miles further north.  This will allow mild air up the Hudson River valley, and basically eliminate all chances of snow for the region.  This simulation depicts rain… not snow… falling across the Hudson Valley on Saturday.

Depending on the exact track of the surface low that will develop… it may even be mostly rain in the Catskills.  The timeline would be rain for Saturday morning into afternoon… tapering off before sunset then drying out.  Great news for anyone with plans this weekend for sure!

This is a dramatic change of events on the computer guidance in a short period of time.  It’s also a perfect example of why, if given the choice, we wouldn’t talk about these type of storms in a forecast context… until inside of 4 days before the event.  Because in this case, that’s about when the models locked in on the idea that this upper level feature would be about 200 miles further north… changing the potential from 12″ of snow… to 1 inch of rain.

Snow Lover’s Disappointment Grows

As mentioned… this is excellent news for the dozens of people who have voiced concerns about the coming storm for this weekend.  So many people have parties, travel plans, family coming to visit, etc… so for all of those individuals, this is an excellent turn of events.  But for the snow lovers… the ‘winter weather warriors’… this feels like a punch in the gut.  Days of computer model snowfall maps that suggested over 12″ of snow for the Hudson Valley… vaporized in 24 hours.  If this was the first time this winter… it would be a shrug of the shoulders, and move on to the next one.  But this has been a recurring theme, that reared its head just last weekend.  A widespread 3 to 5 inch snow event around the region, the first in 45 days… was a FAR cry from the 12″ of snow that models were projecting 7 days in advance.  If you’re noticing a trend, you’re not wrong.  At least a half dozen times this winter, guidance has teased a major snow event, only to wipe it from existance in the days leading up to the potential.

Then there’s the mirage of a pattern change, that most of you don’t even know about.  About 10 days ago, guidance suggested a major change in the overall pattern.  Sustained cold air was expected in the eastern US to close out the month of January, with several chances at snow being possible.  But in the course of 3 or 4 days… while we were forecasting the snow event from last weekend… guidance shifted dramatically and pushed that cold out into the Atlantic Ocean, and gave us the pattern we’re seeing this week.  A cold start (but not bitter)… followed by moderating temps and above average temps expected by the end of this week.

Combine all of that, with the overall pattern projected for the next 7 to 10 days, and the prospect of not seeing another accumulating snow until we flip the calendar to February, is a very real possibility.  As a forecaster… it feels like you’re a boxer who just got hit with a combination, and we’re stumbling around the ring seeing stars.  January has not been the month we anticipated, not by a long shot… and that leaves us wondering what February may hold.

As of today… February looks promising for snow lovers… but how can you trust it?  Not after what we’ve been through the last 2 months.  We would be nuts to ask you to bank on a major pattern change, that featured a lot of snow and repeated shots of cold air.  Could it happen? … absolutely!  In fact, as of this post, we expect February to be at least near normal cold and snowfall, with a moderate chance to be colder and snowier than average.  But if you wanted to bet on it… we kindly ask you to re-read the last 3 paragraphs and reconsider.

So with that all out of our system… we’ll continue to monitor the progression of this storm.  We continue to thank everyone for their tremendous support, and we hope you have a terrific Thursday!

Wednesday Discussion : Chilly Eyes on Weekend

Another cold start to the day around the region, with morning lows in the single digits and low teens… but we’ll climb into the mid and upper 30s around the HV today, under mostly sunny skies. Temps will trend milder each day, rising into the upper 30s for Thursday and low 40s for Friday.
 
We continue to watch the storm threat for Saturday into Sunday. A complicated storm system within a mild weather pattern, will give very little margin for error for snow lovers. The guidance over the last 24 hours has trended more and more toward a brief period of wet snow quickly changing to rain. We’re still 3+ days out from the event, and a setup this delicate will have a high level of uncertainty right up to the day before the event. So it’s too early to let your guard down. If the models shift the upper level low pressure a bit further south… by 100 or 200 miles… it could be a significant snow event for the region. So it needs to be monitored.
 
We’ll let you know how things are trending, so until then… hope everyone has a wonderful Wednesday!

Monday Discussion : Frosty Air is Back

A frosty start to the week, with temperatures in the teens to low 20s as of mid morning.  Even with a ton of sunshine and blue skies, the temps won’t rise much today.  That’s in part due to a NW flow that will continue to funnel reinforcing cold air into the Hudson Valley.  Afternoon highs will climb into the mid 20s… but it will never feel that warm… as wind chills will be pinned in the teens, and even single digits in the Catskills.
As we move through the week, temps will gradually rise each day… near 30° on Tuesday, mid 30s on Wednesday, 40s on Thursday and Friday most likely.  Then we have our eye on the setup for the coming weekend (Saturday/Sunday).  Not nearly as favorable a setup as we had this past weekend, but the pattern may allow for a storm to redevelop off the east coast over the coming weekend.  Because the air temperatures will warm through the week, there is considerable uncertainty about the storm track, and whether it would be rain or snow if it happens.  So clearly there is very high uncertainty at the moment… but we’ll keep you posted on the developments.

Sunday Discussion : Turning Blustery Once Again

After an absolutely bitter cold Saturday… the winds have shifted overnight, and temps have risen above freezing! Temps are generally in the mid to upper 30s as of late morning, which will help in the clearing of snow.

For the afternoon, expect a mix of clouds and sun, with temps pretty much holding steady or dropping a degree or two. That will be thanks to an increasing NW wind that will usher in a reinforcing shot of colder air. So expect blustery and cold conditions returning later today and lasting thru Monday.

In terms of snow from Saturday, it appears that we saw a lot of 3 to 5 inch amounts around the region. The storm was not nearly as bad as it was projected to be on computer guidance earlier in the week. But a light to moderate winter storm is a good reminder that it is in fact January, and statistically the coldest time of the year.

Let us know how much snow you got in the comments below… and we hope everyone has a safe and happy Sunday!!

Saturday Snowstorm Update : 3:30pm

 
The snow has overspread the region, and falling light to moderate around the Hudson Valley. 
This radar does not differentiate between rain and snow… but it’s so cold, trust that everything you see here is falling in the form of snow.  You can see on the 1 hour loop, that the precipitation is in bands, so there will be lulls followed by steadier/heavier periods of snow.  The Hudson Valley is on the lower right quadrant of this radar loop (POU = Poughkeepsie). 
 
There is an area of steady snow over most of the Hudson Valley right now, but you can see the dry slot in NE Pennsylvania that is moving this way.  At the same time, some of the dry areas are filling in as the more convective areas of precipitation from the Ohio Valley move into Pennsylvania. 
 
As the afternoon progresses, expect periods of light to moderate snow to continue.  Temps are COLD as well… in the teens to near 20° for most locations.  So it’s a light, fluffy snow that is accumulating.  We should begin to see heavier bands of snow mix in over the next hour or two.  Roads are slick, so if you have to travel this afternoon, make sure you take it extra slow.  More updates to come…

Final Storm Forecast : Saturday 1/18/20

Winter is returning to the Hudson Valley… and the storm is on its way…

Timeline:
– 11am to 2pm : Snow begins from west to east
– 3pm to 8pm : Snow falls steadily… possibly heavy at times
– 7pm to 11pm : Snow tapers off from west to east

Impact/Travel:
– Temps in 20s at start of event, snow sticks to all surfaces
– Snow covered and icy roads, hazardous travel
– Reduced visibility, snowfall rates up to 1″ per hour

Snow Accumulation:
– Catskills [Zone 1 & 2] : 4 to 8 inches
– Hudson Valley [all other zones] : 3 to 6 inches (localized 7″ possible)

Additional discussion posted here soon…