Friday Morning Storm Update (6am)

Disclaimer: It is important to read the details, skimming through or skipping to the snow map then shouting the words ‘BUST” from the rooftop’s isn’t good practice…….
 
Synopsis- A powerful Nor Easter will pass east of the region Friday Night into Saturday, it will bring very cold temps, low windchills, blowing and drifting snow, limited visibility, hazardous travel and gusty winds to parts of our region.
 
Details- This evening, a low pressure system will develop off off the Mid Atlantic coast, as it heads NE it will go through Bombogenesis (Deepen more than 24Mb’s in under 24 Hours). It will pass near the Benchmark of 40N 70W or SE of Cape Cod. Its exact position/track will determine the extent of the impacts across our region. Most guidance deepens this storm to around 960mb, so there is little doubt that this will be a high end cyclone that will likely spread sustained blizzard conditions across coastal regions and parts of New England.
Confidence- LOW- If you have been following us over the least several days, or any forecaster in the NE, you would have heard by now that this has been an extremely difficult forecast. This is tied to the evolution of the storm which requires multiple pieces of energy located in multiple areas across North America to come together at the exact time and place to initiate the development of the storm. How each of those pieces come together and interact and where, determines the track, intensity and outcome of the forecast. Even the best of super computers and forecasting skill is no match for the fluidity and complication of natures ultimate agenda. As with any forecaster, we are here to try to wrangle it the best we can to provide information for preparation for timely planning. For that reason, the forecast remains of low confidence and has a high (Boom or Bust) potential.
 
Timing- We have some light snow that will break out this morning and early this afternoon across the region, this is not directly related to the main system but can make for slick travel across the region so please do not lose sight of this appetizer snowfall.. Snowfall associated with the developing storm will push south to north between 10PM and Midnight, it will be battling some dry air and may be delayed in its initiation. Snowfall ends from west to east between 7PM Saturday and 1AM Sunday.
 
Impacts- This will be a very cold storm which is abnormal for our region, temps during the height of the storm will range from 5 to 15 degrees, Wind-Chills will remain below zero.
 
Winds will begin to increase as early as tonight and continue to ramp up to a peak Saturday afternoon. Winds may gust as high as 40-50 MPH across SE parts of the region and 20-40 across NW parts of the region. This raises concerns of power outage potential during the peak of bad weather with extremely cold air temps. Do not get caught on the road or outside at the peak of the storm. Gusty winds and snowfall will lead to poor visibility with near zero visibility possible in areas impacted by the heaviest snow and wind. Snowfall will be heaviest across SE parts of the region, but even lighter amounts will make for slick travel and blowing and drifting snowfall.
Zone Map Explanation- I know there is the perpetual issue of people finding themselves on the map, I’m confident you will all help each other with that as the map has some added noise that is needed to communicate the complexity and uncertainty of this storm. Snowfall amounts are very delicate and subject to change with constant changes to the storm track. The trend over the last 12-18 hours has been westerly, that has AND may continue to increase snowfall amounts. Snowfall amounts are circles in the colors to correspond with the grids in which they cover. The pink line is in place to explain that the snowfall ranges will be impacted by your NW to SE location. Example- the western most parts of a 2-6″ zone are more likely to see 2″-6″. The orange circled area is noted at the top as (boom or bust) this is to explain the area most sensitive to changes in the track. If the storm wobbles east these amounts may not be realized, if the storm continues to trend west that the heavier totals will need to shift with it.
 
Keep in mind that these forecasted amounts are current lower, in some cases substantially lower than some of the current and latest guidance. We are taking a blended approach and trying to factor in all the other potential details.
 
Things to consider-
Track- East= Less Snow/ West= More Snow
Banding- Heavy snow bands and there exact position are impossible to forecast, if a band sets up over parts of the region, higher end amounts that may exceed forecast is likely.
Dry Air- Dry air on the NW flank of this storm will create and extremely tight gradient between flurries and light accumulations and moderate to heavy, this will slice through our forecast region.
Subsidence- Heavy Banding is created by lift in the atmosphere but the atmosphere must remain balanced, where there’s lift there’s also sinking air, therefore an area west of the heaviest bands will see limited precipitation due to sinking air, this may also set up across our region.
 
In closing…. There is a lot that can go wrong with this forecast and likely will, this is the best painstaking, obsessing over the details and striving to be perfect attempt we can make given the current data, but it won’t be right everywhere. We will continue to update on trends and changes throughout the day. We typically strive to release only two maps, our prelim and final, this is our final. We need to plant our forecast flag somewhere but this will be a nowcasting type of event. Do not downplay the potential of this storm, gusty winds, low temps, limited visibility and scattered outages will lead to hazardous conditions and these conditions will vary greatly across our region.
 
Stay tuned… and remember to Keep Calm and Weather On.

Preliminary Storm Forecast : Saturday 1/29/22

A strong trough will result in a rapidly intensifying storm along the east coast Friday into Saturday. The Hudson Valley appears poised to be on the outer fringe of this storm, making the forecast that much trickier for our area.
 
Timing:
– 7am to 11pm Fri : Scattered snow showers possible
– 11pm Fri to 3am Sat : Snow possibly develops
– 3am to 3pm Sat : Periods of snow possible
– 3pm to 9pm Sat : Possible snow ends
 
Impact:
– Details remain uncertain due to storm track
– Best chance for snow east of Hudson River
– Cold temps & snow could cause icy roads
– Changes in forecast possible
 
Snowfall (Zone):
– Catskills (1,2,5) : Coating to 1″
– Most of Hudson Valley (3,N4,6,7,W8) : Coating to 3″
– SE HV (S4,E8,9) : 2 to 6 inches
This storm system will develop at the last minute as a deep trough digs into the eastern US Friday into Saturday. For this reason, this forecast presents some extra challenges, and will increase the forecast uncertainty over the next 48 hours.  A storm will move NE over the Atlantic Ocean, and just how close to the coast the storm remains will determine what (if any) impact we feel in the Hudson Valley.
A period of scattered snow showers are likely Friday morning as a bit of energy moves through the region ahead of the developing storm. A dusting can’t be ruled out. But then as the storm intensifies, and moves up the east coast… more and more guidance suggests that the Hudson Valley is on the western edge of the snow… or is missed entirely, as the storm moves to impact New England.  Here are the general possibilities for our area.
NAM Solution (further east = less/no impact on HV)
RGEM (further west = moderate impact on HV)
The biggest questions continue to be the timing and depth of the deepening trough. If the intensification happens just a couple hours faster than expected, it could mean larger impacts on the Hudson Valley.  In the past we have seen where deeper convection in the southeast or Gulf of Mexico, resulted in a deeper trough and a last minute track 50 to 100 miles further west.  This possibility is rare, but its why you cannot let your guard down.  We’ll be tracking this with additional updates and commentary as we feel necessary.  But final storm forecast is likely Friday afternoon.  The chances the final forecast changes, are greater than average due to the atmospheric dynamics at play.  For now, we watch and wait.  Keep calm, and weather on…

Tuesday Discussion : Tracking Potential Saturday Snowstorm

As our subscribers can attest too, we’ve been monitoring a storm signal for about 4 days now, at this range we begin a more public discussion on the potential.

Period of Concern:  Friday PM/Saturday
Below are the ensemble runs of both the European and GFS models, the ensembles are a useful tool for longer range forecasting. Basically the GFS model runs 30 additional modeled scenarios and the Euro runs 50. We can use these additional scenarios to spot trends or subtle differences from each models operational run, which is only once every 6-12 hours.
One of the many great tools is “Low Locations” as this shows where each different ensemble wants to place the low pressure of the storm, which as we all know in the Hudson Valley, the track makes or breaks the forecast. When the lows are are grouped tightly together it’s typically cause we are within a shorter range of 3 days or less, and the models are becoming confident on how all the pieces will come together. When they are wildly spread apart it shows low confidence and inconsistency, largely due to time to event, energy not on shore to be sampled and complexity in the upper atmosphere not yet resolved.
GFS Ensemble : Low Pressure Positions Saturday 1/29/22 
European Ensemble : Low Pressure Positions Saturday 1/29/22
I have taken the liberty to circle the model runs that would produce an impactful storm across our region, in doing so you can see the probabilities in terms of the clustering within the circle verses east of it. Also you can see the differences between the Euro (Further West) and the GFS (Further East). These differences in track and clustering are related to how each forecast model is resolving all of the multiple pieces of energy that will need to phase together to form the storm and the positioning of the jet stream steering it. This is all quite common on forecasting beyond 3 days.
What can we tell from the data we have now?
We know there will be a storm along the east coast, we have fairly high confidence that it may be a rapidly deepening cyclone. We know that a most of the spread of pressures of 970-980 is a strong storm. What we can’t determine is will this be a fish storm? Will this be a eastern New England storm? Will this storm graze eastern NY? Or will it track within the circles and bring a widespread impact to the region.
These are all questions that no one can answer just yet, but at this time frame we are at least confident enough to alert you all to the chance of an impact to your weekend. We believe that as the energy responsible for this storm comes ashore today, and the sampling data of this energy is resolved by the models, we will begin to have a much better idea of what to expect.
Until then, stay tuned and don’t get to caught up in the hype that’s now been building for at least the last 24-48 hours. You know we will keep you all ahead of the weather, whatever it may be. Until then… keep calm and weather on…

Monday Discussion : Another Weak Clipper

Another night, another weak clipper system. Scattered areas of light snow are possible Monday night.
Summary:
– Scattered light snow between 6pm and 6am
– Dusting to 1″ possible (mainly north of I-84)
– Slick Tue AM commute possible
Most of the light snow should be focused in the northern half of the region. A coating to an inch is possible, with some higher amounts (up to 3″) possible in the Catskills above 1500 feet. This is likely a nuisance event, but these type of events can cause some very treacherous road conditions in isolated areas. Just keep this in mind tonight if you’re travelling. Updates as needed later this afternoon/evening.

Storm History : Sunday 1/16/22 to Monday 1/17/22

Better late than never… but here is the recap of our Winter Storm from Sun 1/16 to Mon 1/17.  A wide range of conditions around the region, with large variations in snowfall over small distances.  When stacked up against our forecast, the result was quite in line with expectations.

When you realize that most of the HV saw about 50% of the storm fall in the form of rain… one can only imagine what would have been, if this storm took a more easterly track.  Another close call, but a missed opportunity.  Thanks for all your continued support!

Sunday Discussion : Scattered Snow Showers Tonight

Cold air remains locked into the Hudson Valley on this Sunday. Temps this morning in the teens are rising into the 20s as of late morning. We’ll have a mix of clouds and sun for the afternoon on Sunday, with afternoon highs generally between 28° and 32° around the region… and if you cross your fingers and your toes, a few places might actually rise above the freezing mark.
But a reinforcing shot of cold air is coming in the form of a cold front tonight. A weakening clipper system will push into NY and spread scattered snow showers and flurries into the region. The first flakes should reach the western HV by sunset, and then scattered areas of light snow are possible until after midnight. Accumulations of a dusting to an inch are possible… with most places seeing a dusting to a 1/4″. Best chance of seeing up to 1″ are near and south of I-84.
 
Roads could become slick and icy with temps falling into the 20s tonight, and roads being coated in snow. Keep this in mind if you’re travelling late today and tonight. We’ll share updates as the snow showers begin to arrive. Stay warm, and have a great Sunday!

Friday Discussion : Frigid Road Ahead

If you take a peek at the 5 day forecast, you’ll notice that it’s about as cold as you’ll see for this part of the world over a 5 day period.

In the northeast, it’s a solid 10 degrees below average when you combine the entire period between Friday and this coming Tuesday.  Daytime highs in the teens and 20s… with night time lows in the single digits above and below zero.  Friday afternoon highs are no picnic, with temps in the upper teens to near 20°.

Temps will moderate a bit on Sunday into the upper 20s, and then a reinforcing cold shot will invade the area for Monday into Tuesday.  So long as we have the persistent ridge of high pressure out west, and this deep trough over the eastern US, the cold will hold strong over the Hudson Valley and northeast.

Bundle up Hudson Valley!

Final Storm Forecast : Sunday 1/16 to Monday 1/17

We still have some uncertainty with regard to the details, but there is high confidence of the basic evolution of the event.

Timing:
– 7pm to 11pm – Snow develops from south to north
– 11pm to 3am – Snow mixes with sleet & freezing rain
– 3am to 7am – Wintry mix and rain
– 7am to 12am – Mix/Rain tapers off from south to north

Impacts:
– Period of heavy snow likely w/ temps in 20s
– Extended snow & mix will make travel hazardous
– Strong gusts possible near sunrise could be a concern
– Cold air returns Monday afternoon refreeze possible

Snow Accumulation:
– Western Catskills (Zone 1) : 2 to 5 inches
– Eastern & Southern Catskills (Zone 2,5,6) : 5 to 10 inches
– Taconics : 3 to 8 inches
– Mid & Upper Hudson Valley (Zone 3,7,8) : 2 to 5 inches
– Lower Hudson Valley (Zone 9) : Coating to 3 inches

Futurecast Radar : 1pm Sunday through 11am Monday

You can see that the snow moves in during the evening, and then mixes with sleet and freezing rain after midnight, and probably changes to rain before sunrise on Monday.  The exact timing of the changeovers will be dependent on the speed with which the mild air pushes into the Hudson Valley.  We’ll hopefully get some better data on Sunday, but in short… if the cold air holds on a bit longer than anticipated, snow totals will be on the higher end of the snowfall forecast.  But if the mild air is stronger and faster than expected… snow totals will be on the low end of our snowfall forecast.  And if the mild air reaches our area much faster than anticipated, snow totals could even fall below the forecast range.  Only time will tell as the situation unfolds.

Gusty winds are also possible as the morning dawns on Monday, with the low level jet really pumping mild ocean air into the Hudson Valley.  The map below highlights the intense winds that could move into the region Monday morning

Due to the low ceiling on Monday morning, there is good reason to believe that these winds won’t all make it to the surface, and so the wind gusts we experience in the Hudson Valley may only be 20 to 40mph instead of 40 to 60mph.  These maps can be somewhat misleading with intensity… but the important key to note, is that for higher elevations in Dutchess & Columbia counties… as well as Sullivan, Western Ulster and Delaware counties… some strong and potentially damaging wind gusts are possible.  We’ll share any wind advisories that may come through Sunday night into Monday.

We’ll be busy on Sunday tracking this system, so be sure to check back for more updates.

Preliminary Forecast : Sunday 1/16 – Monday 1/17

This weekend’s storm is going to be pretty wild if nothing else.  It’s likely to have a little bit of everything, as it barrels up the east coast Sunday night.  And if the current projections pan out, will probably leave just about nobody happy with the end result.

Timing:
– 7pm to 11pm – Snow develops from south to north
– 11pm to 3am – Snow mixes with sleet & freezing rain
– 3am to 7am – Wintry mix and rain
– 7am to 10am – Mix/Rain tapers off from south to north

Impacts:
– Period of heavy snow likely w/ temps in 20s
– Extended wintry mix possible, very difficult travel
– Very strong easterly winds possible after midnight
– Power outages are a concern depending on track

Snow Accumulation:
– Western Catskills (Zone 1) : 3 to 5 inches
– Eastern & Southern Catskills, Taconics (Zone 2,4,5,6) : 5 to 10 inches
– Mid & Upper Hudson Valley (Zone 3,7,8) : 2 to 5 inches
– Lower Hudson Valley (Zone 9) : 1 to 3 inches

We’re going to have multiple shorter posts that go into more detail on this system, but needless to say, this is one of the more complex storm tracks that we’ve seen in recent memory.  The storm will dive into the deep south, and turn sharply up the coast.  As it tracks northward, the upper level low pressure will be well inland, and quite strong compared to your standard nor’easter.  This will pull the surface low pressure inland… and along with it, will come strong easterly winds.  This strong low level jet will pull a ton of warm air into the mid levels, and that warm air will flood northward Sunday night.

Futurecast Radar: 5pm Sunday to 7am Monday

The likely result is a period of heavy snow, followed by sleet mixing in, as well as freezing rain.  Temperatures even at the surface should climb near freezing rather quickly late Sunday night, and a period of rain is likely from I-84 on south.  All of these conditions will hold snow accumulations down, and based on some of the latest guidance, even our forecast may be too high.

Winds will also be a big concern… depending on how far west this storm tracks.  The further west, the further inland the strong wind gusts will travel.  Wind gusts 30 to 50mph can’t be ruled out across the Hudson Valley, with even stronger gusts possible in the higher elevations.

This is a very complex and potentially damaging storm system, that we will monitor closely.  It would stand to reason, that our Final Forecast (Saturday Night) could feature several changes.  Check back for updates through the next 24 hours.

Thursday Discussion : The Coming Bitter Cold & Watching Sunday

Thursday will be one of the mildest days we’ve seen in quite some time, with winds out of the SW in the Hudson Valley.   Morning temps in the 20s will climb into the mid 40s by afternoon, thawing out the region for at least one day.  But a deepening coastal storm offshore will exit and pull down a reinforcing shot of arctic air on Friday.  Temps will tumble Friday afternoon, and plummet Friday night.  So that by Saturday morning in the Hudson Valley… this is what we can expect.

The morning will be quite harsh, with wind chills between 10 and 20 degrees below zero expected.  Be sure to dress accordingly this weekend, as these conditions can quickly become dangerous if you’re not prepared.  Highs on Saturday won’t reach 20°… which sets the stage for Sunday.

Watching Sunday

We continue to watch the setup for Sunday night into Monday.  It’s a complicated setup, but a storm will drop out of the midwest on Sunday, and then swing up the coast Sunday night into Monday.  With plenty of arctic air out ahead of the system, the stage is set for a potential significant winter storm.  The keys are in the details.

Futurecast Map : Sunday PM through Monday AM

Just a quick look at the map shows a wide variety of wintry weather over the northeast.  Current guidance suggests a storm that tracks well inland.  So despite the frigid air mass out ahead of it, the storm pushes into central PA and NY, which floods warm air into the Hudson Valley late Sunday night, so that we would experience a wide spectrum of precipitation.

The details are very much in doubt at this point.  The possible scenarios range from a couple inches of snow… changing to sleet and rain, to a scenario that is mostly snow which could drop up to a foot of snow.  The signal for a significant east coast winter storm is there… the question is, what will this storm look like for us?  Have a great Thursday!