Weekend Discussion : Eyes on the Next Storm

December has been busy, with the storm track becoming very active.  Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on your perspective… there wasn’t enough cold air this time for a snowstorm in the Hudson Valley.  That has provided us with a mild and damp Saturday around the region.  But the buzz around the Hudson Valley has turned to our next storm potential, which is Monday night and Tuesday.

A storm will develop over the lower plains states, and begin to track east/northeast into the Tennessee Valley.  It will push warmer air northeastward, and with cold air in place over the Hudson Valley, it will spread precipitation into the northeast US.

This simulation from the European model, suggests snow trying to develop just after sunset Monday evening.  The snow likely will push from SW to NE through the region between 6pm and midnight.  The question is just how far NE the low pressure tracks, and in turn, how far north the warm air aloft tracks.  There is no strong High pressure over New England to hold the cold air in aloft… so this storm is likely to see a transition from snow, to sleet and freezing rain across the Hudson Valley.

Futurecast : Monday 1pm – Wednesday 1am (3 hour increments)

Under this scenario, snow breaks out, quickly followed by a changeover to wintry mix for the southern half of the Hudson Valley.  A snowy Monday night, followed by an icy Tuesday morning.  So as you can see, a slight jog north or south in the storm track… could mean a mostly snow storm, or a storm featuring hardly any snow across the region.  So here are our first ideas on this system…

First Look at Monday Night – Tuesday Storm
– Snow develops near sunset Monday evening from south to north
– Snow mixes and changes to sleet & freezing rain overnight (earlier south of I-84, later further north)
– Wintry mix continues through Tuesday morning, treacherous Tue AM commute likely
– I-84 on south: 1 to 3 inches of snow followed by extended period of freezing rain (up to .25″ of ice)
– North of I-84: 2 to 5 inches of snow followed by freezing rain and sleet (up to .25″ of ice)

If this freezing rain becomes a more serious concern, we will let you know.  For now, it does not seem to be a major ice event… but that could change.  Ice accretion can cause power outages due to accumulation on powerlines and tree branches, so it’s something we are watching closely.  At the moment, it appears that while the period of freezing rain could be long in duration, the precipitation amounts do not seem to be extreme during that time.

Clearly, we are hoping for a trend further south.  With this storm almost 3 full days away… we do have time to see a trend a bit further south, which would mean more snow… and less ice.  But these are our “first thoughts” on this storm.  We should have a preliminary storm forecast out late tonight, or early on Sunday.  Thanks for your continued support!

Saturday Discussion: Gray, Mild and Damp

The radar has quieted down, and a mild, damp air mass has settled in over the Hudson Valley.  Low clouds and fog, along with drizzle are the story this morning, and it will be the story for much of the day.  The steady showers are NE of the HV, and the back side of the storm is back in western PA and West Virginia.  It will push NE through the day, but likely will remain NW of our region.  Our best chance of rain showers will be later this afternoon (likely between 2pm and 7pm).  Otherwise a gray, damp and foggy day with temps in the 40s to low 50s.

Temps will cool down tonight, and winds will begin to gust out of the west on into Sunday.  That will bring us a chilly Sunday, and set the stage for our next storm between Monday night into Tuesday morning.  We will have a discussion that focuses on that threat a bit later today.  You can find our preliminary ideas in the 5 day forecast section.

But as it appears right now, our Monday evening commute could be impacted… and our Tuesday AM commute is likely to be impacted.

Have a great Saturday, Hudson Valley!

Friday Discussion : Soggy Start to the Weekend

It may feel like snow outside… but it will be RAIN that will be moving into our region on this Friday the 13th. The futurecast radar loop tells the story…
Futurecast Radar : 1pm Friday – 7am Sunday
A large area of low pressure in the SE will move up the east coast, but track pretty far inland. That storm track, combined with the fact that cold air is escaping to Canada, and the remaining air mass is mild… when the precipitation begins to fall Friday afternoon, it will be as rain.
-12pm – 4pm : showers develop in HV
-4pm – overnight : soaking rain, heavy at times
-Saturday : Periods of rain showers, possible T-Storm late day
-Saturday night : gradual improvements & colder
You can see on the graphic, that the only snow with this system will be in western PA, NY and Canada. While it won’t be warm… it will be warm enough for rain. Temps generally in the high 30s on Friday… will climb into the 40s tonight, and possibly into the 50s on Saturday.  In terms of rainfall totals… it could be well over 1″ in some areas, depending on how the banding of rain sets up…
Total Rainfall through Sunday AM

So make sure you have the rain gear handy for the next 48 hours… as we track another storm, in what has been a rather stormy December so far. TGIF, and hope everyone has a great afternoon!

Active Pattern Developing

We have an active pattern developing across the region over the next two weeks, starting with another snowpack crushing rain event on Saturday. An area of low pressure will track over the region, a track like this most certainly always means rainfall instead of snow. As the storm pulls north it will deepen into a mature cyclone, this will lead to windy conditions developing in the wake of the storm, this will help to advect colder air into the region with rain possible ending as snow across the Catskills, especialy the western half. Mild air will once again be drive into the region with this inland track, highs in the 40’s and 50’s coupled with a moderate to heavy rainfall will once again cause enhanced snowmelt and increased runoff, only localized areas of flooding are expected with noticeable rises on creeks and streams. Rainfall amounts will be quite impressive given the widespread heavy rainfall we just had a few days ago, below is the Euro model rainfall forecast for this upcoming storm.

The weather drama doesn’t end there, in the wake of this system colder air will filter into the region and set the stage for the next system poised to impact the region Monday Night into Tuesday. This storm will track to our south, that will allow the for a potentially wintry outcome this storm. The exact track of the system will determine how much snow vs ice vs rain will occur. We still have some time to work out the details on this system but keep this wintry potential on your radar for next week, below is a projection of what we may be dealing with on the day Tuesday.

Wish we could say that things calm down beyond this period but we are monitor the potential for a very active pattern that may bring additional winter storms into the region into the Christmas period, we will continue to keep you abreast of any changes to these storms over the next several days.

Tuesday Discussion : Winter Weather Whiplash

It’s not even mid December… and we’ve got our 2nd complex winter weather event to decipher.

– Through 6pm : Periods of rain showers (turning colder in PM)
– 6pm to 12am : Rain changes to wet snow from NW to SE
– 12am to 9am : Bands of wet snow possible (especially South of I-84 & east of the Hudson River)

– Flash freeze possible.  Temps near 50° at 12pm … near 32° at 12am
– Icy roads and untreated surfaces likely, as moisture may freeze before it evaporates
– Wet snow possible, accumulation likely where it occurs.  Snow covered and icy roads possible

Snow Accumulation:
– NW HV (Zone 1, 2, N3, N4, 5 & 6) : Coating to 1 inch
– SE HV (Zone S3, S4, 7, 8) : Coating to 2 inches
– Extreme SE HV (Zone 9) : Coating to 3 inches

So… we’ve got a wild weather ride over the next 24 hours, and even as of this post… it may all come down to a bit of luck, in determining whether we see a slushy coating, or 2 or 3 inches of wet snow tonight.
— The Setup —
An extended frontal boundary runs from Maine into the Gulf of Mexico. This boundary is slowly pushing eastward. At the same time, a digging trough is pushing cold air back toward the Hudson Valley. So these mild morning temps will be tumbling this afternoon.
There is another wave of energy in the Tennessee Valley that will travel NE along the boundary tonight. This energy should generate upward motion, which will cause precipitation to develop and enhance as it moves NE. The precipitation will run into colder air, and transition to wet snow overnight.
— The Question —
The band of snow that develops is likely to be 100 to 200 miles wide, and develop at the same time as rain is changing to wet snow. The position of the boundary at that time will determine if the snow falls in the Hudson Valley, or just to our SE. Instead of this energy digging and intensifying, it’s stretched out, making it harder to determine where the snow band will develop. It’s very likely that this uncertainty will exist until the event begins to unfold.
— The Forecast —
This is why our forecast calls for as little as a coating in all areas. Because we have data that suggests this stays almost entirely southeast of the Hudson Valley. But we also have data that suggests 2 or 3 inches could fall in portions of the area. For that reason, we have staggered the snowfall forecast with the higher potentials being the further south and east you go. However, it’s also a very real possibility, that this band forms when it’s still 34 degrees, and much of it falls as a rain/snow mix… keeping accumulations at a coating or less. So to recap:
– Catskills & Northern HV : coating to 1 inch
– Mid & Lower HV : coating to 2 inches
– Extreme Lower HV (Zone 9) : coating to 3 inches
We’ll monitor this as the afternoon progresses, to see if we need to update this at all. Stay warm… because temps will tumble from near 50° at noon… to the mid and upper 30s by dark… and that NW wind could be rather gusty. Have a nice afternoon Hudson Valley!

Monday Afternoon Discussion : Tue Night Snow Potential

Good afternoon, Hudson Valley. The rain continues to fall around the region, as SW winds have pulled temperatures above freezing, and into the low and mid 40s for most of us… with some sheltered areas having temps pinned in the mid 30s. Our periods of rain will be with us through the evening, before tapering to scattered showers overnight.
Tuesday looks cloudy and mild with temps climbing into the low 50s by noon… with spotty rain showers and patchy drizzle… before the cold air begins to surge back into the Hudson Valley. Temps will tumble though the 40s and into the 30s by Tuesday night. At the same time, we’ll see another wave of precipitation building to our south, heading toward the Hudson Valley Tuesday night. …. (we think you might see where this is going)….
There is the potential for rain to change over to wet snow between 6pm and midnight Tuesday night. Depending on the details, this banding of precipitation could generate moderate to heavy snow for a period of time in the Hudson Valley Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. However, there are some uncertainties about the position of the frontal boundary, and the timing of the 2nd piece of energy.
If the 2nd piece of atmospheric energy is slower, and the front pushes a bit further east… Tuesday night is cloudy with snow showers, and steady snow possible in the SE corner of the Hudson Valley.
NAM Model Scenario- Radar & Snow
However, if the atmospheric energy is quicker, and the frontal boundary a bit slower… a period of steady, moderate snow is possible across the Hudson Valley. With snow accumulation over 3″ possible in some areas, impacting the Wednesday AM commute.
Canadian Model Scenario – Radar & Snow
No matter how this plays out, we’ll need to be concerned about the potential for a flash freeze, with black ice due to the rapidly falling temperatures. But we will be closely watching the data over the next 24 hours, to see if this boundary will linger over the Hudson Valley, and give us problems Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. We will have additional discussion on this tonight.

Winter Storm Recap – 12/1/2019 – 12/3/2019

We definitely kicked off the 19/20 winter season with a bang.  An extremely complex winter storm impacted the Hudson Valley over nearly a 36 hour period in many places, and when all the snow flakes settled, we saw anywhere from 2 or 3 inches in parts of the lower HV… to over 2 feet of snow in the Catskills.  Here are a series of maps we shared on Facebook earlier, followed by a short discussion.  We’ll start with our forecast and compare it to what actually occurred, and snow totals from the NWS.

A fascinating range of snowfall amounts were observed around the region.  From 2 inches in Nyack… to 25 inches in East Jewett.  When dealing with a long duration event, especially one where at least 50% of the snow in most areas came in hours 30 to 36 of the event… a lot of people gave up on this storm, calling it a bust.  We tried to highlight throughout the forecasting of this event, that much of it would be on the back end of the system… and that surprises would be common.

When all was said and done, we were pretty close with our forecast.  The areas we did worst (and we’re nit picking), were really in the northern and eastern HV.  In parts of SE Dutchess county… we were on the low end of our range, with a lot of 7″ amounts in the 6 to 12 range.  And then in Putnam county, our 4 to 9 inch range saw a lot of 4 and 5 inch amounts.  The reason being sleet was the dominant precipitation type on Sunday, and the snow was late to fill in over these areas Monday night.  But we got where we need to be.  Then the upper HV… we just didn’t go high enough in some areas.  Upper zone 3 and 4, were in the 6 to 12… but we saw a lot of 12 t0 18 inch totals in the northern most areas.  We had tried to indicate that some 12+ were possible in those regions… but they overachieved, due to the first wave being mainly snow for many… and piling up 5 to 10 inches on Sunday alone, then the snow just never stopped in some areas, as the storm pivoted on Monday.  Albany saw this storm become a top 10 event!

But for most areas… this complex system was forecasted very well.  A nice way to kick off the winter season.  Here are some final maps from the different departments of the NWS.  Thank you for all your support of HVW.  It means the world to us!  Have a great weekend!!



Thursday Discussion : Winter Transition

In what feels like no time… we went from fall, to winter. Now three days removed from our first winter storm of the season, and we have yet to get out of the 30s, and not much of the snow has melted. It looks and feels like the middle of winter… how quickly things change in the Hudson Valley.
For our Thursday afternoon, we’ll see a blustery NW wind usher in some reinforcing cold air. Highs will rise into the upper 30s in most locations (low 30s in the Catskills). A cold night lies ahead, with overnight lows dipping into the upper teens and low 20s.
Then on Friday, we’ll watch as a weak Alberta Clipper system approaches from the NW. Most guidance keeps it focused just to the north of the Hudson Valley, but a slight shift in the track could have bigger impacts for our area. For now, scattered snow showers are possible from I-84 on north… mainly in the Catskills and upper HV. A dusting to a half inch is possible in a few spots of the upper HV… but most locations won’t see anything in the way of accumulation.
We’ll take a closer look at this tonight… but Friday is shaping up to be mostly cloudy and cold, with a few flurries or a snow shower… but no accumulation.
Have a great Thursday afternoon!

8:30pm Winter Storm Update : The Saga Continues

We emphasized that this storm would have some surprises with it…. well, SURPRISE!! ?
As the upper level low pressure exits SLOWLY to our southeast, the snow bands around it are now rotating into the Hudson Valley from the northeast. 
Albany (ALB) Area Radar Loop:
6:30pm – 8:30pm
Hudson Valley is at the bottom of the image (POU – Poughkeepsie, MGJ – Montgomery, SWF – Newburgh)
The darker greens and yellows are indicative of snowfall rates at 1 to 3 inches per hour.  Guidance has struggled greatly with this banding event, failing to pick up the intensity of the snow that is falling.  Alex has reported 3.5″ of snow since 6:30pm at the HVW station in Hurley.  The National Weather Service in NYC just issued a snowfall map from 7pm through Tuesday that has 4 to 8 inches of ADDITIONAL snow for the I-84 corridor on south.  That may be a bit ambitious, but we’re basically riding this out and we’ll see how it plays out.
Expect rapidly deteriorating conditions over the next 6 hours.  Guidance currently suggests this tapers off completely after 3am, but guidance has increase snowfall projections each hour for the last 3 hours… now settling on roughly an additional 2 to 5 inches of snow for most of the HV. 
The storm that never ends, is hitting us with what feels like Round 37.  Stay warm, stay safe… more updates as needed.
6pm Update below….
We’re in the home stretch now, Hudson Valley.  The radar shows that the snow is now rotating in from the northeast, which is a sign that the upper level low is beginning to move away. 
On this radar loop, you can see that much of the Hudson Valley has seen the snow taper off to snow showers, with just a few pockets of heavier snow.  But off to our north, you can see another moderate to heavy band of snow beginning to push southward, into the Hudson Valley.
Over the next few hours 6pm to 12am… we should see this band of snow rotate southward, as the deformation band of snow sets up over the Hudson Valley.  This band, is projected to be over the central and eastern Hudson Valley… meaning that for our friends in the Catskills… this storm is just about finished.
For the majority of us in the Hudson Valley, another coating to 3 inches is possible, depending upon location.  The heaviest snows are projected to the SE of a line from Port Jervis, up toward Ellenville, up toward Kingston and then to Hudson.  Basically Dutchess, Orange, Eastern Ulster, Putnam and Columbia counties stand to see the best of what’s left.
As our neighbors in the Capital District can tell you, this band of snow means business… reports of 12 to 20 inches of snow in parts of Greene and Albany county.  In part, because of this band of heavy snow that has been rotating SW.  Guidance suggests this band of snow will move south through the valley over the next several hours… but if we’ve learned anything from the last 36 hours, its that guidance is struggling to handle the snow bands we’ve seen around the region today.
We’ll have more over the next few hours… take it slow on the roads this evening.

11am Winter Storm Update

So we continue to go through the latest data, and we’re seeing a few things worth discussing.
1.  The guidance continues to focus in on the Hudson Valley for frontogenesis snows created by the lift generating from the upper level low passing to our south.  The amounts shown on the map below, are in ADDITION to what is on the ground.  Another 3 to 6… locally as much as 10 inches of snow appears likely.
2.  The DDT (dreaded dry tongue) or “dry slot” of air in the eastern HV is beginning to disappear from the guidance.  The models are beginning to detect the enhanced snowfall that is rotating in from SE to NW.  The radar over the HV right now looks rather unimpressive, but it is expected to fill in and intensify over the next 2 to 3 hours.  Based on the precip building to our SE in Connecticut… the snowfall in the eastern HV may redevelop earlier than earlier anticipated by some data
3.  The heaviest snow is expected over the afternoon hours.  The radar is only beginning to enhance over the HV now… due to the increasing lift in the atmosphere.  The heaviest snowfall rates are likely between 12pm and 9pm this afternoon.
We’ll see how things continue to unfold.  An unpredictable day full of some surprises and some disappointments is expected.  Stay warm, stay safe!