Overnight, we saw a small batch of light snow, sleet and freezing drizzle move right over the Hudson Valley. This radar image shows what is left at this hour, but the wintry mix moved through between 3am and 6am for the most part, and impacted the southern 1/2 of the Hudson Valley (from roughly Monticello and Poughkeepsie on south… or near I-84 and points south). Sullivan, Orange, Putnam counties even are under a winter weather advisory. This precipitation did not show up on any computer model guidance, and so this unexpected icy glaze will catch people off guard, and will leave road crews scrambling to play catch-up.
The wintry mix has put down a coating of snow in some spots, an icy glaze in others, and a combination of the two for many of us. We’re seeing school delays as a result as well, so please take this into consideration as you begin your morning commute. Icy conditions are surely possible, due to this unexpected icy precipitation moving through.
As we move through the morning… we should see breaks of sunshine by mid morning, and a SW wind today will pull temps up above freezing by mid morning as well. A milder day on tap today, with afternoon highs in the upper 40s to near 50. So once we deal with this icy start in spots, things should improve nicely.
So be sure to take stock of the conditions in your area this morning, be safe, and have a nice start to your day.
After a cold, soaking rain over the weekend. Things will quiet down over the next few days. Our flow for Monday and Tuesday will be out of the northwest. The NW flow will bring seasonably cold temperatures to the Hudson Valley. Expect a good deal of sunshine both Monday and Tuesday… but temperatures largely in the 30s.
Wednesday we’ll begin to see the SW wind take effect. That will pull temperatures up into the mid and upper 40s. Which sets the stage for our next chance of rain showers Wednesday night and Thursday morning…
A warm front will pull even milder air into the Hudson Valley, as winter begins to fade into the rear view mirror (at least temporarily). After scattered showers start the day on Thursday, we’ll continue to see a SW flow behind the warm front. The showers should taper off… possibly giving way to some breaks of sun later in the day on Thursday. But check out the potential highs on Thursday afternoon…
You’re reading that right… possibly near 60 degrees! We’ll have to watch and see if that holds true… but signs of spring are on the horizon.
Is Winter Washed Up?
We’ve had a lot of questions… have we seen the last of winter? The short answer, is no… we haven’t. The fact is, that it’s only Feb 12th, and we have roughly 45 more days where winter weather is reasonably possible. That’s a lot of time for this pattern to change. But for the next 10 days… through roughly the 25th… the pattern won’t favor winter weather.
We’ll be looking to do a more detailed discussion of the upcoming pattern, in the next day or two.
A raw… cold Sunday afternoon continues across the Hudson Valley. Most of the area has seen a persistent light rain, with temperatures holding in the mid 30s. The combination of rain and cold making for a rather raw feel to the air.
* The Radar + Tonight’s Forecast *
The latest radar shows the back edge of the light rain beginning to move through the region. This should allow us to see the steady rain showers come to an end between 4pm and 6pm. The winds should then increase a bit out of the SW… and that should cause temperatures to begin climbing into the 40s tonight. After seeing temps pinned in the mid 30s all day… we’ll actually warm up after dark tonight, likely into the mid and upper 40s.
Scattered showers will be possible through midnight, when we’ll see the cold front approach the region. The passage of the cold front after midnight will shift our winds around to the NW, and temps will then begin to fall back into the low to mid 30s by sunrise on Monday.
** Black Ice Issues? **
We don’t anticipate a substantial ice issue overnight, due to the combination of temps remaining largely above freezing until dawn.. and that we should see several hours of dry conditions… allowing for most surfaces to dry before temps fall below freezing. That said, we’ll continue to watch the situation tonight.
Please feel free to post any questions in the comments below, we’ll try to address any thoughts and concerns. Stay dry, and have a nice evening!
It took us a couple days to compile the data… but we finally have the recap from our Wednesday Snow to sleet & freezing rain event. We were hoping to get some more reports out of the southern Hudson Valley (we only have 3 reports from Orange County, and none from Putnam, Rockland or Westchester). But that’s an indication of just how little snow fell in those areas, that most of the spotters didn’t even report to the NWS. Either way… let’s take a look:
As we like to do with our recaps… we post our final snowfall forecast map; followed by the National Weather Service’s Snow History map, and snow totals. This way we can analyze our forecast against what happened, and discuss the results.
The 1st thing that jumps out at us, is that we got the snowfall setup correct. 6 to 12 inches in the Catskills, followed by 3 to 6 inches in the valley, and steadily decreasing amounts as you pushed south and east. Where our snowfall forecast struggled… was that each range was probably a bit too aggressive in each range. The 1 to 3 inch area probably should have been a coating to 2 inches; the 2 to 4 inch range could have been 1 to 3; and southern part of the 3 to 6 inch range could have been 2 to 4 inches.
But we’re nitpicking perfectionists… and the end results were right around the low end of each range from about Poughkeepsie on south. That’s largely due to the fact that there was a dry slot of moisture that moved right through the Mid Hudson Valley, check this out…
If we melted all the snow down from Wednesday, and added it with the rain & freezing rain that fell, here’s a map of what the result would be. This map shows the liquid precipitation from Wednesday. If you look at the Hudson Valley, you’ll quickly notice the gap in the precipitation. The Catskills saw upwards of 1 inch of liquid moisture… and if you move into the lower Hudson Valley, you see that Westchester County saw over 1 inch of precipitation as well. Much of the I-84 corridor, saw less than a half inch of precipitation.
This is a big deal when analyzing our snowfall forecast, because none of the data suggested that we would be in a dry slot with this storm. We expected to see the same amount of precipitation as areas to our north and to our south. And while we were now-casting this storm… we saw areas of heavy snow off to our north, in the Catskills, but barely anything falling across the central Hudson Valley. To make matters worse, the dry slot of precipitation moved through right during the time we were expecting our heaviest snow to fall.
Here’s the radar image from 12:30pm… during the height of the storm. You’ll see that instead of snowfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour like we were expecting... we had light snow and sleet falling across the mid Hudson Valley. You’ll see the dark blues (heavy snow) are in the Catskills, while light snow (light blue) fell across the Mid Hudson Valley. In fact, there are even holes in the snow shield… where northing was falling at all.
When you get an unexpected dry slot in the middle of a storm… especially right at the time you’re expecting your heaviest snow… it’s going to cause your snow totals to be a little lower than expected. And we noticed that across the region, with many locations struggling to get to the low end of the forecast range.
But even with this giant monkey wrench thrown into the mix, we still were satisfied with the forecast overall. The start time, change to mix time frame, and end time… were all right where we thought they would be. And while snow amounts may have been 1 to 2 inches lighter than expected thanks to the dry slot in the storm… we still were close enough to the range. Snow lovers may have been disappointed (we know we were )… but at the end of the day, if you trusted our forecast… this storm didn’t surprise you or catch you off guard.
Now if we could just get Mother Nature to follow our instructions, and not give us dry air during the height of the storm… we’ll be all set. Thank you for all of your support! You guys are tremendous! The real time reporting that was provided by you… helped us analyze the storm all the way through. Your information is also very valuable to your Hudson Valley neighbors, as road conditions and travel updates help people make more informed decisions. It’s awesome to be a part of such a community. We can’t thank you enough!
A bitter cold start across the region this morning, with temperatures starting out in the single digits and low teens for most of us. Make sure to bundle up before you head out the door this morning.
Clouds will be on the increase today. As a warm front approaches later this morning, we will see some snow showers develop across the Hudson Valley. The snow showers will be rather light for the southern Hudson Valley, but the northern half of the valley could see a period of steady light snow, that could result in a dusting to an inch of snow… especially as you head into the Catskills, where 1 to 3 inches are possible.
We’ll have to watch how things develop this afternoon, as depending on the timing, these snow showers could lead to a few slick spots for the evening commute. Right now… start time looks to be 12pm to 2pm… and tapers off between 5pm and 7pm.
We’ll try to have additional discussion on this later today, but be sure to follow along on the Facebook page for updates once the snow showers begin.
With the newly designed HVW website, we have some newly found flexibility. The weather on Thursday looks rather tranquil, cold and uneventful. Temperatures will struggle into the upper 20s and near 30° for a high, which is certainly about 10 degrees below average. But with mostly sunny skies, the weather looks like a calm winter day. Well, since we have all of the forecast information presented in a crisp, ‘handsome’ if you will, format… rather than focus on Thursday’s weather in the daily discussion… we can look right ahead to Friday, and you still have everything you need to know for your Thursday.
So… looking to Friday, we’ll have a warm front approaching from the southwest. It doesn’t have a lot of moisture to work with as it pushes into the Northeast, but it could still touch off some snow showers in our area…
You can see on the radar simulation, that the front tries to push some light snow showers into our area. Nothing overly heavy, but we could see some areas get a dusting to an inch in spots. The best chance for accumulating snow, will be the Catskills… where a couple of inches could accumulate.
Timing : Light snow showers could develop near or shortly after Friday AM commute
Temps in the upper 20s
Light dusting of snow possible, could be some slick spots for PM commute
We’ll have to monitor the progress of the front, because there is some guidance that suggests the bulk of the snow shower activity is just off to our north. So the best chance for light snow showers is in the northern Hudson Valley… but it does look like most of the area could see some light snow shower activity.
Looking ahead to the weekend… expect a noticeable warmup. We’ll have a SW flow, and a weak system will push into the area between Saturday afternoon and Sunday. That will bring us scattered rain showers and temps in the 40s. So expect a bit of a moderation and temporary break from the winter weather this weekend.
Have a great Thursday… and thank you for all the support you continue to give HVW!
If it’s raining at your location, and the temperature is below 32°… it’s freezing rain (ice). That means the liquid rain that is falling, will freeze on contact, creating the most dangerous of wintry conditions… turning paved surfaces into a sheet of ice. So lets look at 4pm Temperatures:
So you can see that the majority of the area is near or below freezing, so that rain that is falling… is likely freezing on most surfaces. Make sure you take it extra slow if you’re travelling, as icy surfaces are likely… especially on untreated surfaces.
Moving forward through sunset… temperatures should continue to creep northward a few more degrees. Likely getting close to freezing north of I-84… and possibly breaking the 32° mark south of I-84. This should help road crews get on top of the situation.
The good news, is that the back edge of the rain and freezing rain (mixing with sleet and snow), should push into the Hudson Valley between 5pm and 7pm in most places. So the precipitation should come to an end shortly after dark… but the temperatures will quickly tumble into the mid and upper 20s by mid evening. So anything that melts, will quickly refreeze after dark. It is important to keep that in mind if you’re traveling this evening! More updates to come in the next hour or two…
A storm system will approach from the southern Ohio Valley on Wednesday. With plenty of cold air in place, we’ll see a widespread snow event break out across the Hudson Valley during the morning. However, instead of seeing the low pressure jump to the coast and redevelop… the low pressure will hug the coast, and actually track just inland. This will allow a surge of warm air… both at the mid levels of the atmosphere, and at the surface… to push into the Hudson Valley. As a result, as we move through the afternoon on Wednesday, most of us will watch the snow transition to a mix of sleet and freezing rain… before some of us see it turn to a plain cold rain before ending. Let’s take a look:
7am to 10am: Snow begins from west to east across the Hudson Valley
10am to 1pm: Snow falls heaviest across most of the region
12pm to 2pm: Snow mixes with/changes to sleet & freezing rain south of I-84
2pm to 5pm: Snow mixes with/changes to sleet & freezing rain north of I-84 (mix turns to rain south of I-84)
6pm to 9pm: Rain & Mix tapers of from west to east
Catskills (Zone 1 & 2) : 6 to 10 inches
Majority of the Hudson Valley (Zone 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7): 3 to 6 inches + tenth of an inch of ice
Lower Hudson Valley (Zone 8): 2 to 4 inches + tenth of an inch of ice
Extreme Lower HV (Zone 9): 1 to 3 inches + some ice
The major change from our preliminary forecast is that the center of low pressure is going to track inland, instead of off the coast. Without a deepening trough and an upper level low pressure to push the storm off the coast… this system wants to track just inland.
At first your eyes will be drawn to the snow and wintry mix on this radar… but if you can, try to spot the red “L” indicating the low pressure that starts out over Kentucky and West Virginia (bottom left of the graphic). Notice how it pushes up through Pennsylvania, and right over the Hudson Valley, before pushing into Massachusetts. This tremendously western track, allows copious amounts of warm air to surge right up the coast, and into the Hudson Valley. So despite tons of cold air in place, and lots of moderate to heavy snow on the map initially… most of us will change over to a wintry mix… and possibly even rain in parts of the area.
Take a look at the 850mb temperatures with this storm. It shows that there is PLENTY of cold air in place when the snow arrives on Wednesday morning…
This is the temperature profile at cloud level, where the precipitation forms, and falls to the surface. Where you see white… temperatures are below 0°C, cold enough for that moisture to fall from the cloud in the form of snow. At 7am… temperatures at the ground will be in the 20s… plenty cold enough for that snow to fall all the way to the surface. So we expect several hours of steady, moderate snowfall across the region.
But watch what happens as the day progresses, you may notice that red and white box at the bottom left of the image, indicating the strong SW flow that is setting up. As the low pressure tracks NE, into the Hudson Valley… it’s going to pull all that mild (above freezing) air… right up into the Hudson Valley. By 4pm… here are the 850mb cloud level temperatures…
Notice that all the cold (below 0°C) air has eroded out of the Hudson Valley. This means that whatever falls from the cloud at this point, will fall as liquid rain. Now… if the air is cold enough near the ground, that liquid rain may refreeze into sleet or freezing rain. Much of the Hudson Valley will see that be the case, as temperatures are expected to hold in the upper 20s to low 30s at the surface.
So we anticipate a several hour period of sleet and freezing rain across the Hudson Valley, once the snow changes over. So that means on top of the snow… a layer of sleet and freezing rain will accumulate.
So in terms of the forecast… we have lowered the snowfall totals in accordance with the development of this inland storm track. If the storm were to track just off shore, we’d be talking about widespread 4 to 8, or even 6 to 12 inch snowfall totals. But you can see on the model simulation, the heaviest snows are pushed out of the Hudson Valley… with the exception of the Catskills…
So as always, we’ll track the storm through the event. There can… and will be… surprises. There always are. So we’ll need to keep an eye out as the storm unfolds, to see if the heavier snow bands can really do their work before the milder air pushes into the Hudson Valley. Remember… despite the slightly lower snowfall totals… conditions will still be treacherous on Wednesday. 3 to 6 inches of snow, followed by sleet and freezing rain will still make for extremely icy travel. So use extra caution.
No major changes to the Preliminary Storm Forecast at this time. We’ll have the ‘Finalized Storm Forecast’ later this evening, likely before 11pm… hopefully sooner if we can. So let’s take a quick look at how things should unfold Wednesday morning…
Snow likely breaks out from west to east between 7:30 am and 9:30am from west to east across the Hudson Valley. Once it begins to fall, it will quickly intensify and fall moderately. A steady snow will fall straight through the noon hour, possibly heavy at times. Expect reduced visibility, and rapidly deteriorating travel conditions. Temps will be in the mid 20s… so the snow will accumulate on all surfaces. If you’re going to try and get things done early on Wednesday… please be aware that once it begins, conditions will get treacherous quickly.
As we approach mid day, we’ll begin to see the milder air creep north through the Hudson Valley. That means a transition from snow… to sleet and freezing rain, from south to north during the afternoon. Here’s a snapshot of what things may look like by 1pm.
You’ll notice that the milder air at 850mb (cloud level), is quick to press northward. By 1pm… anyone near or south of I-84 will begin to mix with sleet and freezing rain. The further south you go… that earlier the transition to ice. As you go north of I-84… the odds are good that it’s all snow into the early/mid afternoon.
Between 2pm and 5pm, we will continue to track that snow/ice line… as it moves further and further north. The latest data, suggests that the snow mixes with or changes to sleet and freezing rain, all the way up to Kingston and even a bit north of there. So we’re going to continue to monitor the situation, and have to make some minor adjustments to the final snowfall forecast this evening.
We’ll have another update in a few hours… as well as the final snowfall forecast later tonight. Have a nice evening!
A storm system will develop in the southern Ohio Valley on Tuesday, and push into the Hudson Valley early on Wednesday. The result will be a combination of snow, sleet and freezing rain… across the Hudson Valley, that will last through the day. By the time the storm exits Wednesday evening, we could see a wide range of snowfall amounts across the region.
7am to 10am… Snow develops from west to east
12pm to 2pm… Snow changes to sleet & freezing rain south of I-84
2pm to 5pm… Snow mixes/changes to sleet & freezing rain I-84 to Kingston