Sunday Night Discussion : Soaking Rains Headed Our Way

A Flash Flood Watch is in effect for the entire region, in large part because of what is heading our way at this hour. A large area of showers and embedded thunderstorms. A potent squall line within this area of showers, is weakening as it moves east… no longer severe warned at this hour. But with all the rain that has fallen in the past week, a locally heavy downpour could cause flooding in some areas.
Radar 10:30 to 11:30pm Sunday Night
For the next few hours… expect periods of rain showers to move in, and be moderate to heavy at times. An embedded thunderstorm is possible as well. Temps will hold pretty steady, in the low to mid 60s. Periods of rain should taper off before sunrise, and leave us with a mostly cloudy Monday as well. If you encounter any flooded roadways, be sure to take the safe option, and turn around.
 
Have a safe night everyone!

Elsa Departs, One Day of Rest, Storms Return

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A current look at Elsa shows that it seems to be behaving as expected, heaviest shield of rain is struggling to advance NW but is dropping heavy rain across the SE parts of the region, in addition there is a deformation band of precipitation that has been stretching from Sullivan to Ulster since early this morning, this band has sparked a flood advisory as its been nearly stationary after being nudged slightly north in the pre dawn hours. As of now it appears this line will start to sag back to the south and east as it mirrors is parent Elsa. As Elsa moves NE it will allow this line to move with it as can be seen on the radar as of 730AM. Elsa has good forward speed and we should see rain depart and partial clearing advance in from the west by later today. Wish i could say that the clearing has longevity, but the models have been consistent with showers and storms reigniting this afternoon as a cold front swings in from the west.

With that said… Once we get passed the effects of the cold front we will enter a lull of some much needed drier weather which will hold us over through Saturday, so if your looking to get some vitamin sun, clean up from storm damage, dry your basement, Saturday is the day. Unfortunetly this will be short lived, showers and storms return by Sunday and linger into next week with rebounding warmth and humidity.

Direct Impact or Something Elsa?

It’s been a tumultuous 72 hours across the region as we have navigated through, multiple microburst, straight line wind damage, impressive lightning storms, flash flooding and now we move on to the potential impacts from Elsa as it moves up the coast.

 

Attached is both the latest HRRR and NAM model for the next 18-36 hours, there are some similarities to note, first off is that both models are showing a new batch of heavy rainfall moving back into the region tonight into the early morning hours of Friday, a look at the radar as of 530PM justifies this with downstream observations showing more moisture beginning to reload to our SW. Both model also show a fast moving hit of showers and storms late Friday night as well as Elsa pulls away. Where the models diverge but only slightly is on the NW extent of the impacts of Elsa, the NAM model really suppresses it to the SE with the largest impacts being across only are most SE zones. The HRRR on the other hand is slightly more NW with its impact, the final outcome will be hard to nail down as the models struggle with the slight jogs in it’ track. Also attached is additional rainfall amounts as projected by each model, you can clearly see the impacts the SE track has on the NAM’s rainfall outputs vs the HRRR.

Either way it is important to watch as a track further SE will lessen the flash flooding threat across most of the region, especially across the zones that were already hit today with 3-5″ of rain. Either way, more heavy rain is moving in this evening, winds will also increase, the only detail to be ironed out is will Elsa spare us it’s worst and only graze the region as it passes by. Keep in mind that even tonights rain is technically the result of Elsa as its lift and its approach is solely responsible for the stalling and movements of the troublesome frontal boundaries and the moisture breaking out ahead of it. Nevertheless, avoiding its main shield of precipitation would be beneficial to our already storm worn region..

Wednesday Discussion : Late Day T-Storm Concerns

A stalled frontal boundary will once again trigger the threat of strong to severe storms across the mid and lower Hudson Valley this afternoon and evening. We have increased impacts and outages with lowered confidence… based on yesterday’s observations, and the potential of similar conditions today. Today’s impacts seem to be focused along I-84 and points south, this will all be dependent on frontal location, day time heating, instability.
Where exactly these line segments of storms form and which cells become severe are as much unpredictable as these storms impacting more urban areas vs rural ones. Yesterday’s storm from Hyde Park to Millbrook was single handedly responsible for pushing Central Hudson outages over the isolated predictions amount.
Futurecast Radar: 8pm Wednesday
With that said, remember the ten counties we cover geographically determines the level of scale chosen. Example- a singular cell impacting 3 towns within our forecast area doesn’t result in a forecast for widespread impacts, albeit the impacts in those towns may be widespread. Please use these graphics as a help guide not the rule. We will continue to hone this graphic and its usage, for example today we have increased to moderate impact because the guidance shows the storms potentially forming over heavily populated portions of the region.
 
As always- when storms begin to form, we will keep you all informed and updates on their tracks and localized impacts. Stay cool today, stay weather aware this afternoon, and a shout out to emergency personnel and utility workers and first responders who have weathered our recent severe weather impacts to keep our communities safe.

Sunday Discussion : Happy Independence Day!

Happy July 4th, Hudson Valley! We hope everyone has a wonderful and safe holiday! Weather wise, we do think that the weather will cooperate for the most part.
 
The upper level low pressure will continue to pull away today, and relinquish its grip over our weather. Clouds will mix with more and more breaks of sun as we go through the afternoon. That should also boost our temperatures into the mid 70s this afternoon. But the northerly flow and cool air mass means that those temps are still a good 5 to 10 degrees below average. Definitely not your “traditional” hot and sunny July 4th… but the weather should be nice enough to not put a damper on your holiday plans.
 
Looking forward… on the back side of the departing upper level low, the heat and humidity will quickly try to return back into the region. By Monday we’re near average, and by Tuesday we’re roughly 5 to 10 degrees ABOVE average. The humidity initially looked like it might not be as oppressive as last week… but now the guidance is starting to tell a different tale….
Projected Tuesday Highs & Heat Index for Poughkeepsie:
– GFS : 95°… heat index of 94°
– Euro : 92°… heat index of 97°
– NAM : 91°… heat index of 103°
The GFS has dry air over the Hudson Valley, but we think that’s an issue with the model. Other guidance is locking in on the humidity building, making for a hot and sticky mid week. But then relief arrives for the end of the week… so it’s likely a short burst of heat and humidity.
SEVERE T-STORM RECAP – Southern Orange County
This upper level low pressure has lingered over the Hudson Valley for multiple days, and underneath it there is strong upward motion.  That lift in the atmosphere is what has triggered the afternoon showers everyday the past 3 or 4 days.  On Friday however, we had a couple hours of sunshine add fuel to the equation in the form of heat and humidity.  This allowed a couple of those showers to strengthen into supercell T-Storms.  One of which developed near Warwick, and pushed ENE through Florida, Chester and Monroe, before weakening slightly as it moved across the river.
Radar Recap : Friday 7/2/21 5pm to 7pm.
The lift in the atmosphere resulted in quarter sized hail.  The highest supercell T-storm cloud tops have a hail stone develop, then as it falls toward the earth it gains moisture, but gets caught in an updraft, sending the stone back up, higher into the cloud… where the extra moisture re-freezes.  This process can repeat several times before the stone falls to the ground, and the more times it gets caught in the updraft, the larger the stone becomes.  Hence the more severe the storm, the larger the hail stone.  Unfortunately these can cause considerable damage to trees and property… as well as the potential for flash flooding from the torrential downpours that usually accompany these events.
The images of the damage and torrential rainfall were amazing… you guys always do a wonderful job of providing photo and video documentation of a severe event.  However, if you look at the National Weather Service storm reports… these 2 are the only ones you will find.  So to an outside observer, this event might not even be noticed.  That’s why we’re always encouraging more people to become trained spotters… to make sure the information gets recorded.
 
We’ll continue to watch everything, and you’ll find the latest updates on www.hudsonvalleyweather.com. Have a wonderful afternoon!

Saturday Afternoon Update : A Case of the Upper Level Lows

Cloudy and cool for our Saturday around the region. Temps holding in the mid to upper 60s for most of the valley, that’s roughly 15° below average for today… and nearly 30 degrees cooler than our weather from just 3 days ago.
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For the afternoon… what you see is what you get. Temperatures should hold in the mid to upper 60s for most places. Skies will be mainly cloudy, possibly mixing with a few breaks of sunshine. The chances of a few afternoon and evening shower and thunderstorms developing cannot be ruled out… however they should be fewer in number, and less intense than what we saw Friday afternoon.
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The upper level low pressure over the northeast is keeping us cool and unsettled. The upward motion under the upper level low causes atmospheric instability, and gave us some isolated strong T-Storms yesterday afternoon, that resulted in some large hail and localized power outages. We’ll have a separate post recaping the T-Storm activity from Friday afternoon… hopefully completed tonight.
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Looking to Sunday… Independence Day, things look to remain unsettled, but should be an improvement on Saturday’s weather. Clouds should mix with more sunshine for the 4th of July, as the upper level low pulls away. Our flow will be out of the north/northwest, which will keep humidity levels lower and while warmer than Saturday, temps that are cool for early. Highs on Sunday should be in the mid 70s.
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For now… we hope everyone enjoys the rest of their Saturday!

Severe Weather Recap – Wednesday June 30, 2021

Just taking a moment to re-share the microburst information from yesterday. We created a map to help visualize the area of damage, and included the damage reports from the National Weather Service.
This map helps to serve as an explainer regarding severe weather outbreaks, and how we forecast them. The Hudson Valley as a whole, had only a couple reports of severe weather on Wednesday. Some down trees in Middletown, some storm damage in NW Sullivan county, and the microburst in Wappingers Falls. While the impact to the region as a whole may have been low… for the areas affected by the microburst, your impacts are anything but “low”. The damage was significant in portions of Wappingers Falls, and many in that area were affected. When we issue a StormPact graphic for low impact… we are looking at the totality of the event for the region. Since a specific storm’s location and intensity are impossible to forecast, we have to generalize based on the expected…
– number of storms expected to develop
– intensity of storms expected to develop
– area and population expected to be impacted
So when we issue the StormPact graphic we did on Wednesday, it does not mean that you won’t be impacted by a severe thunderstorm. It merely means your chances might be statistically low. All it takes is one supercell storm to intensify and travel through a highly populated area to cause significant damage. That’s why we always treat severe weather threats with respect, and advise residents to take the appropriate amounts of caution.
Wednesday, June 30th StormPact Graphic:

So as an example… using our StormPact graphic from Wedensday (Average confidence; Low impact; Isolated Outages), we would suggest residents be aware that the potential for severe weather exists, but that the odds of your specific location seeing severe (damaging wind gusts/ large hail) conditions are rather low… with us expecting only a couple severe reports across the entire HV. Always keeping in mind, what we saw in Wappingers on Wednesday is what can happen, should a severe T-Storm develop and move through your location.
 
One of our goals with the StormPact scale, is to try and help people have a better understanding about…
– how confident we are about our forecast
– how likely a severe weather event is
– how large of an area we expect to see severe weather
Severe weather threats can cause a lot of anxiety and uncertainty for residents, and while we can’t control the weather… and our ability to pinpoint where severe weather will occur is limited… we want to try and minimize your anxiety, and give you helpful information to plan your day.  Thanks for supporting and trusting HVW… we hope you have a safe and happy Independence Day weekend!

Friday Discussion : Cool and Humid

A dramatic change in the weather pattern from earlier in the week, as we have low clouds and humid conditions… with the threat of showers all day.

Low clouds will be with us through the day… although a few peeks of sun can’t be ruled out.  An upper level low pressure over the northeast will keep instability in place not only today, but through most of Saturday and possibly even Sunday.  The air mass remains very humid, but temperatures are much lower than the intense heat from earlier in the week.  Temps today will hold in the low to mid 70s through the day.  The upper level low pressure will generate enough lift in the atmosphere to trigger scattered rain showers to develop over the northeast and Hudson Valley.  In addition, the frontal boundary from Wednesday remains close enough to our south to interact with the upper level energy.  The end result should be an enhancemet in the rain shower development, and keep periods of on and off rain showers likely through tonight.

Futurecast Radar : 10am Friday to Midnight

You can see on this futurecast the low clouds and rain showers continue to develop over top of the region.  While we don’t see any well organized areas of rain… the threat of a batch of rain showers developing over top of us, will be present into tonight.  Any of those rain showers could contain localized downpours, and possibly even a rumble or two of thunder.

Looking toward Saturday, we don’t see tremendous improvement in the conditions…

Futurecast Radar : Saturday 6am – 8pm

Latest guidance suggests that the low clouds will linger through the day on Saturday… and as the upper level energy pulls away… more scattered light rain showers could rotate through.  As the upper level low moves east… our winds will shift out of the northeast on Saturday.  This will pull down cool… almost chilly… air for early July.  Temps on Saturday are likely not to get out of the 60s, with a persistent NE breeze.  That’s 15° to 20° below average for this time of year.

When you realize that on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday… the highs in the valley were 90° to 95°, with heat index values between 98° and 105°… to look at the forecast for the next 2 days, feels almost like we all got on a plane and flew 1000 miles north.  A cool and unsettled 4th of July weekend on tap.  Have a great Friday!

Wednesday Discussion : Heatwave Day 4… the Final Day

In what has become routine for the Hudson Valley, we’ve got a Heat Advisory in effect once again today.  Another scorcher already underway as we approach mid day.  Temperatures around 90° and heat index values near 100° are already being felt in the valley before lunch time.  Things only get more intense as we move through the afternoon.

Sunshine and blue skies with a SW flow will one more time, allow temperatures to skyrocket into the 90s.  The humid atmosphere resulting from dew point temperatures in the 70s, will drive real feel heat index values over 100° Wednesday afternoon.  As the Heat Advisory urges… be sure to take frequent breaks from direct sunlight, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, and check on elderly and at risk populations.  Just be sure to be aware of those around you, and lets look out for each other.  Thursday will see lots of clouds, and temperatures in the upper 70s to mid 80s, with widespread rain showers and thunderstorms.  So Wednesday is the final day of this heatwave… just hang in there folks.

Late Day T-Storm Concern

The National Weather Service SPC office has issued the following severe potential for today…

This guidance from the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) is rather ominous for later today and tonight.  It suggests a rather significant outbreak of strong to severe weather, especially for our viewers in NE Ulster, N Dutchess, Columbia and Greene counties.  We’ve reviewed the data as well, and we respect the SPC’s guidance, and suggest we all prepare for the potential of severe thunderstorms later today and tonight.  However, based on what we see, we don’t have quite the same level of concern.  Here is our StormPact image for today:

CONFIDENCE : AVERAGE … based on the consistency of the data at hand, with the timing of the T-storm threat being late in the day and this evening, as well as the volume of super cell T-Storm cells expected, our confidence is average

IMPACTS : LOW … the atmospheric conditions are favorable for the development of supercell T-Storms in the Hudson Valley, primarily after 4pm.  Multiple guidances show broken and disorganized lines of T-Storm activity, as opposed to a well organized squall line.  Because of the projected disorganized nature of the potential severe event, we don’t expect a large number of severe T-Storms.  **If Storms develop at a higher rate than projected in guidance, it would mean severe T-Storms over a larger area, and more of a ‘moderate impact’ for the HV.

OUTAGES : LOW … the latest guidance does not result in a large number of severe T-Storms in the region.  There will likely be a few, but based on the disorganized nature of the event, widespread outages are not likely.

TIMING : 4pm to midnight… with peak activity between 6pm and 10pm.

The most active futurecast radar definitely indicates a couple severe thunderstorms expected around the region, but it does not look nearly as impressive as some previous thunderstorm outbreaks from this spring.

Futurecast Radar : 2pm Wednesday – 12am Thursday

You can see a few pop up super cell T-Storms show up over the Hudson Valley around 4pm… but they do not appear particularly widespread or intense.  Those push out near dusk… as another broken line of showers and thunderstorms move in between 6pm and 10pm… possibly lingering through midnight.  After sunset around 8pm, when we lose the heating of the day… the storms will lose some of their energy, and should begin to gradually weaken.  With that said, there is definitely a likelihood of some strong to severe thunderstorms in a few locations late today and this evening.

Primary Threats:
– frequent lightning
– damaging wind gusts over 55mph
– Small hail

We’ll monitor this through the afternoon.  We’re seeing some indication that perhaps the guidance does not have a great handle on the situation… and could be underestimating the event.  That is why we always want to err on the side of caution, and move with the SPC.  Maybe we get lucky, and our assessment is correct.  But with severe weather, it’s best to be cautious.

Tuesday Discussion : Heat Advisory Day 3

Summer in full swing around the Hudson Valley as we enter day 3 of the heatwave.

Morning lows in the low to mid 70s will quickly translated into temperatures in the upper 80s to low 90s by noon.  But as we’ve come to learn by now, the real story remains the humidity that has locked into the eastern US.  Dew points in the 70s will combine with the highs in the low to mid 90s… to produce real feel temps like you see in the image above.  Heat index values as high as 104° are possible… and for that reason, the Heat Advisory remains in effect.  The chances of an isolated late day T-Storm are very low… less than 20%, so no relief in sight.  And if you don’t think these ‘real feel’ temperatures are likely… here’s a quick look at the heat index values from Monday afternoon…

This is what it actually felt like Monday afternoon, with real feel temps in the 100° to 104° range… which is largely the product of the dew points in the mid to upper 70s, combining with temps between 90° and 95°.  So make sure you take frequent breaks and drink plenty of water.

Looking to Wednesday, the heat and humidity hold in place, and we are likely to see a 4th straight day of temps in the 90s, and heat index values between 95° and 105°.  Some relief looks likely for Thursday, in the form of scattered showers and thunderstorms… but we’ll have to wait until Wednesday night for better ideas on the details.

For now… make sure to take it easy… and have a great Tuesday!