Monday Outlook : Drying Out and Gradually Turning Cooler

After a very soggy Sunday Across the Hudson Valley. The region saw between a half inch and 1 inch of rainfall on average. But as our storm system exits into eastern Canada, the rain has come to an end.
MONDAY : We’ll see mainly cloudy skies, a few sprinkles possible here and there. A few peeks of sun can’t be ruled out, but a mainly cloudy day is expected. Afternoon highs are expected to be in the upper 40s, to near 50°. That’s about 5 degrees above average for this time of year. So our Monday looks a bit unsettled, with a bit of a western breeze. Monday night looks mostly cloudy with a bit of a breeze… lows in the low 30s are expected, right around the freezing mark.
TUESDAY : Another mostly cloudy day with some colder air swinging across the Great Lakes and into the Northeast. Some lake effect snow showers are expected in the usual areas, while here in the Hudson Valley, a stray snow shower or flurry are possible. Highs on Tuesday should be around 40°, maybe some low 40s.
The rest of the week looks chilly as well. Highs on Wednesday & Thursday are expected to be in the mid to upper 30s, with a mix of clouds and sunshine. A few flurries, even a snow shower… can’t be ruled out as we go through the week, but nothing that should impact our day to day activities. Looking to next weekend, we expect another warmup, as a storm system should develop in the midwest, and move into the Great Lakes. That should keep us on the mild side of the storm, and as a result… we should expect all rain in the Hudson Valley and even the Catskills.
Of course, we’ll monitor the weather as we move through the week, and should something change, we’ll be sure to pass the information along. Otherwise, we hope everyone has a great start to the week!

Monday Discussion : Blast of Winter on the Way

Rain will exit the Hudson Valley before sunrise on Monday, and by the time the sun comes up… skies will be partly to mostly clear. Winds will shift around to the west/northwest and gusting upward of 20mph in the afternoon, ushering in cooler air late in the day. Monday will still get to the mid and upper 40s for highs, before colder air rushes in late in the day.
Monday night will turn sharply colder with temps tumbling into the 20s, but NW winds will create wind chills in the low to mid 20s by Tuesday morning. The core of the cold settles in on Tuesday.
Afternoon highs in the low to mid 30s are expected on Tuesday… more typical of an afternoon in mid January. But those gusty NW winds on Tuesday will give us afternoon wind chills in the low to mid 20s. A frigid day for late November… and along with the blustery cold will be Lake effect snow flurries and snow showers, Monday night into Tuesday.  The bulk of the Lake effect snows are off to our NW… but the winds may be strong enough to carry some of the snow showers to parts of the Hudson Valley.
Something we’ll have to monitor on Tuesday as well. This bitter air mass will linger through Tuesday and Wednesday, before moderating back near normal to end the work week.
Some big changes coming to end the month of November. Be sure to bundle up late on Monday, and especially Tuesday morning and on into Wednesday. Have a great start to your week!

2023-2024 HVW Winter Outlook

Every year as we approach the winter season, naturally our thoughts shift to, “What will this winter be like?”  It’s only natural to ask this question, because our winter season can either bring mild weather that has very little impact on our daily lives… or it can bring harsh winter storms that bring our lives to a standstill at times.  Since the weather can have significant impacts on our daily lives, we try to compile a Winter Outlook each year to project how the Hudson Valley will fare in the coming winter.  So while this year’s outlook may be a little late… the saying “Better late than never” certainly applies here.  So let’s take a look at the details…

Winter Temperatures : Near Average (-1.5° to +1.5° compared to average)


The strong El Nino in the Pacific Ocean is likely nearing it’s peak.  The effects of a strong el nino typically bring well above average temperatures to the northern and western part of the United States.  That’s the result of a persistent ridge in western Canada.  The strong El Nino also typically favors cooler and stormier than average conditions in the southeast US.  So our winter outlook takes those typical El Nino conditions into consideration.  However, there are several things about this winter’s setup that are not your typical El Nino setup.  That will bring a considerable amount of uncertainty to this winter’s weather.  This winter could experience a lot of extremes.  So while temperatures may be “near average”, some periods of extreme warmth and extreme cold are likely.

Winter Snowfall : Near to Above average (100% to 130% of avg) 42″ to 54″


El Nino winters are typically active and stormy along the eastern seaboard.  The typical storm track is further southeast due to the persistently active sub-tropical jet stream.  We expect this winter to be similar to other El Nino’s with an active sub-tropical jet.  But the other variables will add uncertainty to the winter, that could have big implications on our seasonal snowfall totals.  Snow requires 2 ingredients: Precipitation & cold air.  This winter should have plenty of access to precipitation, but the amount of cold air available is a wildcard.  Typical El Nino winters usually feature minimal cold air, but other factors this winter, like an Easterly QBO as well as the SST gradient in the Pacific Ocean, could make this winter look much different than traditional El Nino winters, and could give us above average snowfall this winter.  But the uncertainty here is quite high, because this winter’s setup is unlike any other in the past 30 years.



The primary way we work through a winter outlook, is by reviewing the global SST (Sea Surface Temperatures).


The weather and climate cycle are driven by the transfer of heat energy.  The biggest stored source of heat on the planet is the tropical Pacific Ocean.  The heat transfer that occurs between the tropical Pacific and the atmosphere above it is the primary driver of global weather patterns.


Warmer waters will transfer some of their heat to the air above it.  Where the ocean temperatures are warmer than surrounding areas… the air above that warm water is likely to be warmer than air around it.  Warmer air rises, and rising air produces areas of low pressure.  And vice, versa… areas of cooler water are likely to have cooler air above it.  That cooler air falls or sinks, and sinking air produces high pressure.  So the areas of warmer and cooler ocean water, will favor areas of warmer or cooler air, which will produce areas of high or low pressure… that will determine our weather patterns.  This is the basic concept that drives our very complex weather patterns.

So having looked at our current SSTs… lets look at our forecasted SSTs for this coming winter.


So the very warm tropical Pacific … ‘A’… also known as an El Nino, favor a stormy and cooler subtropical region and southeastern US.  The warm water in the northeastern Pacific, ‘B’… with the cooler water just to the south, favor an area of low pressure over the Pacific, with a ridge of High pressure along the west coast of North America.

Lets look through history to find winters where similar conditions were in place (analog winters).  And based on those winters combined, lets’ see what the analog SST pattern would be for this winter…


Now this image is basically the top right quadrant of the ‘Sea Surface Temperature Forecast’ map above.  Notice ‘A’ is quite similar, but area ‘B’ has similarities… but also differences from what is forecast.  The reason for this, is because in the last 30 years, we have not had a SST profile quite like what we expect this year.  Even beyond the last 30 years, we have not seen an El Nino this strong, with a very warm Northeast Pacific, over top of cooler temperatures to the south.  The winters we collected were the closest to the forecast scenario.  The big factor (in our eyes) for this winter will be the warm ‘B’ area… very warm ‘A’ area… and the cooler waters in between.  This temperature gradient profile… could give us the active subtropical jet stream, as well as some periodic access to arctic air.


Another major factor to the winter forecast is a phenomenon known as the QBO or Quasi Biennial Oscillation.  The QBO measures the winds in the tropical stratosphere.  These winds switch direction from west to east every couple years (Quasi Biennial).  The full science for the QBO is a larger conversation… but what is important to know, is that easterly phases of the QBO often coincide with more Sudden Stratospheric warmings, weaker jet streams, and colder winters in the eastern US.  Here is the QBO over the past 30 years….


At the bottom right (circled in black) is the QBO currently in November 2023.   The other black circles represent all other winters that have a similar QBO, as well as an El Nino.  So this map shows all winters that have both an El Nino, as well as an easterly QBO.  Not every winter is a good match (analog) because the SST profile in other areas was different.  The 91-92, 93-94 and 06-07 winters were excluded from the analog because they were not as good of a match.  But that leaves us with our Analog winters of :
97-98 ; 02-03 ; 09-10 ; 14-15 ; and 19-20.  The blend of those winters gives us the Winter Outlook we came up with.

You can look back at the seasonal snow map to see that some really big winters…
02-03 = 81.1″ of snow ;  14-15 = 59.6″ ; 09-10 = 50.4″ ; 97-98 = 40.3″…. and a slow winter of 16″ in 19-20.
But the average snowfall of our analog years is 49.5″ and that includes the 19-20 winter… which had a more neutral QBO and weaker el nino than what we are expecting this winter.

However… you can see the wide range of results that the general setup for this winter has produced in the past.  However, none of the 5 analog years have quite the same setup.  Each was a bit different in some way.  So while we feel fairly confident with the Winter Outlook we have come up with, the potential exists for some wild swings this winter.  To help visualize the potential uncertainty… look at the month by month that our analog package comes up with.





The past similar winters featured some WILD swings from warm and wet, to frigid and snowy… and a couple of those winters, like 19-20… really tilted the scales on the warmer side.  If we removed 19-20… January looks much cooler (and March is cooler as well)


So there is a good deal of uncertainty and variability… but it’s also a somewhat unique setup, with certain conditions and patterns that we have seen before… but not seen them together in the same winter.  The potential surely exists for a wild winter.  It’s all going to come down to how much cold air we get access to because of the -QBO and Northern Pacific SST profile.  I guess we’ll wait and see.

Thanks so much for all your continued support!  We greatly appreciate the trust and confidence you have in what HVW does.  It is a pleasure and an honor to be such a trusted source for so many.  We look forward to keeping you a step ahead of whatever wild ride that this winter gives us.

-Alex, Bill & Todd –

Tuesday Storm Discussion : Rainy Tuesday PM Commute

– 3pm to 7pm : rain develops from SW to NE
– could begin as a brief period of snow/sleet mix, quickly changing to rain.
– Catskills : slushy coating to 3 inches of snow possible before changeover.
Our weather has become much colder, and air temperatures are in the 20s Monday night. We have a storm system taking aim on the Hudson Valley, but unfortunately for snow lovers… the airmass is not quite cold enough to see snow across the majority Hudson Valley. That means primarily rain for the valley areas, with a period of wet snow possible for parts of the Catskills.
The radar may look active early in the afternoon (12pm to 3pm), but the airmass is dry, so the radar may be deceptive Tuesday afternoon as the precipitation evaporates before reaching the ground. But between 3pm and 7pm the atmosphere should saturate and precipitation should begin reaching the ground. Temps are likely to be in the mid to upper 30s in the valley… so there is a slight chance (25%) of a very brief period of wet snow & sleet could fall at the onset of the precipitation (north of I-84)… but temps will begin to climb and a quick change to a cold rain is expected. Periods of rain will fall into the overnight across the region… tapering off near sunrise on Wednesday.
The Catskills will likely see some wet snow flakes however… as air temperatures will be cold enough to support wet snow at the onset of the storm. A few hours of wet snow are possible in parts of the Catskills, before they also change over to a cold rain. A slushy inch or two of snow is possible in the traditionally colder parts of the region.
But for most of the region, this is a close call for the first winter storm of the season. A cold rain, and a reminder that the seasons are quickly changing. More updates as we go through the day on Wednesday.

Saturday Evening Update : Watching Tue/Wed Storm

– Wet snow & rain mix likely near sunset Tuesday
– Mix quickly changes to rain in the valley
– Several inches of wet snow possible in Catskills
Our NW winds are beginning to wind down on the back side of a frontal system that brought rain showers to the Hudson Valley Friday night & Saturday morning. While the weather will be chilly and blustery over the next day or two… the big question on many people’s minds is what is happening with our Tuesday/Wednesday storm threat.
A low pressure over the midwest is likely to push into the Great Lakes on Monday. At the same time, the cold high pressure moving into the Northeast tonight and Sunday will be sliding east. As the storm approaches on Tuesday, there will still be some cold air holding on across the Hudson Valley. The result may be a period of wet snow, changing over to rain before midnight Tuesday night.
There are multiple forecast challenges at this time…
1. How cold will the temperatures be at the surface?
2. How cold will the air be at 5000 feet (cloud level)?
3. How long does the cold air hold on, before giving way to milder air?
HUDSON VALLEY: Temperatures are likely to be 35° to 40° at the onset of the precipitation. The further north you go, the better odds of seeing a brief period of wet snow prior to changing over to a cold rain. Accumulations may be a slushy coating to an inch (mainly on grass)… before changing over to rain. Areas north of I-84 have the better odds of seeing a period of wet snow… but we will continue to fine tune the forecast as we get closer.
CATSKILLS: The best chance for accumulating snow is going to be in the Catskills and upper Hudson Valley. The Catskills could see several inches of snow before the temperatures climb above freezing.
We will be closely watching this system, and have updates regularly as we get closer.

Sunday Discussion : Early taste of Winter’s Chill to Start the Week

As we move into mid November, a crisp Canadian air mass has slid into the Northeast. It’s brought our first real taste of early winter temperatures. Highs on Sunday struggled into the low and mid 40s, a good 10° below average for this time of year. The sun will set Sunday evening, and temperatures will quickly tumble near the freezing mark shortly after dark. Temperatures will fall into the 20s before midnight and hold there until after sunrise on Monday. Overnight lows in the mid 20s are expected across the valley… with some colder spots possible, especially in the Catskills.
Then we will start the work week off quiet and cold, with highs in the upper 40s to low 50s under a mix of clouds and sunshine. A passing system in southern Canada could spread a few spotty rain or wet snow showers in the Catskills. Otherwise, the weather this week will remain quiet and chilly until Friday, when an approaching trough will bring the chance for showers Friday night into Saturday morning. Something we’ll track as we go through the work week.
Be sure to bundle up heading out to work and school Monday morning. We hope everyone has a great start to the week!

Touch of Winter across higher Terrain

Cold air advection continues to make its self known with gusty NW winds over the last several hours and into this morning. Yesterday’s mild temps have been replaced with much more season temps across the region for those waking up this morning. The winds will begin to die down by mid day, but the arrival of colder air will help set the stage for parts of the region to see some wintry weather overnight tonight and into Thursday AM.

The next system will spread precipitation across our region late tonight and into tomorrow AM, it will also bring the return of gusty winds, especially across the higher terrain. While precipitation may start as a burst of snow and sleet across northern parts of the region and some of the hillier terrain it will quickly turn to over to rain, the exception will be across the higher terrain of the Catskills.

Above 2000’ snow and sleet will persist a bit longer with up to an inch of snow and sleet possible. Surfaces are still quite warm, so any frozen precip that falls across the lower elevations is not likely to impact paved surfaces during its brief tenure. Across the highest terrain some slick spots are possible as both air temps and longer duration of potential winter weather may overcome warm surfaces, especially less traveled and elevated roadways. Warm air will eventually raid all parts of the region and turn precipitation over to rain in the higher elevations by mid morning.

Precipitation mostly in the form of rain will end from west to east around mid day Thursday. Colder air will begin to filter back into the region but temps will likely remain above freezing overnight Thursday except in the highest elevations. The colder air mass will take hold for the weekend and linger into the middle of next week with some slight below normal temps across the region, a bounce back seems likely by the close of next week.

Have a great day and stay tuned for more.


Sunday’s Weather Discussion 11/5/23

Our first Sunday of November looks pretty nice with a mix of clouds and sunshine. Afternoon highs in the upper 50s to near 60°. A chilly Sunday night with mostly clear skies, temps should fall back into the mid 30s. Monday looks quiet as well, with a mix of clouds and sun… and highs in the 50s.
A storm in southern Canada will slide east Monday night into Tuesday. The bulk of the storm should remain to our north, but a few scattered showers are possible in the Catskills and upper Hudson Valley Monday night into Tuesday morning. The SW flow will briefly warm things up into the low & mid 60s on Tuesday, before the chilly air slides back into the region for Wednesday.
A rather calm start to the month of November. We’ll keep our eye out for any signs of that changing. Have a great Sunday!

Wednesday Discussion : ** Hard Freeze Expected Tonight **

There are no watches or warnings currently in place for the Hudson Valley, but that does not change the fact that we are expecting the coldest night of the season so far. Winds will die down, and mostly clear skies will allow for maximum radiational cooling tonight. Temperatures in the low to mid 40s this afternoon will quickly fall into the mid 30s after sunset. By midnight, most of the region will be at or below 32° (except possibly parts of Rockland & Westchester counties). Overnight lows region wide should be between 25° and 30°… with the Catskills and coldest spots dipping into the low to mid 20s!
With calm winds, the entire region is likely to experience a hard freeze, bringing a formal end to the growing season. The National Weather Service may not issue watches or warnings, because many areas may have already had a frost. That said, we wanted to emphasize the cold air, and make sure everyone is aware of the likelihood of a hard frost/freeze. For those who may be curious about the difference between a frost & freeze:
FROST : A frost occurs when temperatures drop between 32 to 37 degrees for an extended period. Usually, this will cause damage to more sensitive plants. However, if proper precautions are taken such as covering up plants, prospects of survival are good.
FREEZE : A freeze happens when temperatures fall below 32 degrees for more than four hours. This event usually marks the end of the growing season, but some hardy plants can still survive.
The first hard freeze of the season is usually a clear sign that the seasons are changing. For tonight and the next couple days… winter will certainly be in the air.

Monday Discussion : 11am Radar Update

A soggy start to the work week, as the radar shows a large area of rain streaming from SW to NE. The majority of the rain is north of the Hudson Valley. The northern half of our viewing area is seeing the areas of steady rain push through, while the SE corner of the valley is mainly dry at this hour. The frontal boundary will continue to push SE today, and that will cause the rain showers to push further south as well. However the back edge of the steady showers may push through the region by mid afternoon (between 1pm and 4pm). So we should begin to dry out as we head into the evening commute.

NW winds will become quite gusty this afternoon… 20 to 30mph at times. That will be a brisk reminder of the colder air infiltrating the Hudson Valley. Rain showers will taper off this evening, and temps will drop into the mid 30s before sunrise on Tuesday. A chilly Halloween shaping up, with highs in the mid to upper 40s, but with relatively light winds. Trick-or-treat weather looks dry and chilly, with temps in the low to mid 40s between 5pm and 8pm.

Stay dry Hudson Valley!