Thursday Discussion : Damp End to the Week

Ever since we turned the calendar to January, things have been rather quiet in the Hudson Valley.

The massive high pressure over Canada has been in place since the start of the new year.  The ridge has resulted in very warm air over the northern half of the US, and especially as you get near the Canadian border.  Temps in Minnesota and North Dakota nearly 15 to 20 degrees above average.  On the flip side, a deep upper level trough led to cold temps in the central US along with snow for much of the northern half of Texas.  But after 12 days… temps for the majority of the country are +/- 3° of average, which is not too terribly extreme.

As we look toward the end of the week, we’ll watch an approaching system to the Great Lakes.  Out ahead of it, it will spread clouds and scattered rain showers into the eastern US.

Futurecast Radar : Friday 1pm – Saturday 7am

Friday will be cloudy, with increasing areas of drizzle through the day, as our flow will be moist off the Atlantic Ocean.  By the evening hours, we should see areas of rain showers break out, and last through much of the night.  Scattered showers and spotty downpours are possible.  It will be breezy, but nothing like what we saw on Christmas Eve.  The strongest gust is likely to be in the mid 20mph range.  So while unsettled Friday night, it’s not looking too terribly stormy.

The rain showers will be with us into the morning on Saturday, before things gradually improve for Saturday afternoon and evening.  A breezy second half of the weekend is likely, but there is no blast of arctic air coming behind this system.  So temperatures will remain near to slightly above average in the region into the beginning of next week.

Looking at the longer range…

At the moment, there is no sign of an imminent winter storm threat.  The overall pattern is beginning to look a bit colder by mid week next week, and that could carry into next weekend.  The storm track looks to become more active, which could result in a storm or two developing.  But computer guidance has not been able to see any serious threat of a storm through the next 7 days.  We may have a storm system to contend with next weekend… which depending on the track could be rain or snow.  But as of now… there is no consistent threat appearing on the models.  We’ll continue to watch closely, and let you know if things begin to look a bit more promising.

Have a great Thursday!

Sunday Discussion : Sunny Chill

We hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend. The weather won’t be much of a factor, other than requiring you to bundle up… but then again, it is winter. High pressure over the eastern US will keep the clouds away, and give us mostly sunny skies for our Sunday. Afternoon highs in the mid to upper 30s across the Hudson Valley. A storm system that will bring snow to Texas, will move eastward into the southeast on Monday, and push east, right out to sea on Tuesday. So the only impact on our weather will be clouds mixing with the sun. From there, things quiet down once more, and the next potential for any precipitation would be on Friday… but that looks to be just in the form of scattered rain and wet snow showers.
 
We’ll have to monitor the pattern to see if things get more active as we get into next weekend. But for now… we hope everyone just enjoys their Sunday!

Friday Discussion : Sunshine and Cold

A tranquil pattern over the northeastern US remains in place as we reach the end of the first full week of January.  While the first few days of the month were a bit active, things have quieted down considerably, as we have our chilly and tranquil pattern.  We have a storm system in the southeast that will pull out to sea Friday afternoon and evening, leaving the northeast quiet for the weekend.  The weekend looks to see lots of sunshine, a few clouds, and afternoon highs in the mid to upper 30s.  Overnight lows should fall into the low 20s, and maybe even some upper teens around the region

This pattern carries us straight into the work week next week, as it’s looking increasingly likely that the storm system next week will stay southeast of our region.  We’ve been tracking a storm system for the Tuesday/Wednesday time period next week, as it has potential for coming up the coast.  For now… it looks like the system stays south of us.  But with the overall pattern in place, we’ll likely have to keep our eyes on this all the way into early next week.  This pattern favors coastal systems, so any small change in the setup, could result in a big change in impact for the Hudson Valley.

We hope everyone is staying safe and healthy through the first week of the year.  We’ll be keeping you up to date with any weather impacts on the Hudson Valley.  Have a great Friday!

Wednesday Discussion : Snow Recap and Tranquil Pattern

January has started out rather wintry around the Hudson Valley.  First, we experienced a wintry mix of sleet and freezing rain on Friday of last week.  That left us with many icy spots around the region Friday night into the wee hours of Saturday morning.  Then we were left with the snow event from Sunday.  The storm was not large or significant by any stretch, but it was certainly a sign of winter being present in the Hudson Valley.  Lets take a look at what happened, and compare to what the HVW forecast was.

You can see that the heaviest snow was certainly in the Catskills, and just to the NW of our region.  A few reports of 6″ or so in northern Sullivan and Delaware counties.  Otherwise, a widespread 2 to 5 inches seems to have fallen across the bulk of the area.  The lowest totals were in the NE Hudson Valley, but even there, a lot of 2 and 3 inch totals fell.  So all in all, a small system, but a decent small system for an area that hasn’t seen a lot of snow in the past 24 months.

Looking Forward

Now we’re going to get a bit of a break from the busy start to January, as our pattern looks dry and tranquil through at least the next 5 days.  Temps will be near average, in the mid to upper 30s each afternoon… while dropping into the low and mid 20s for overnight lows.  Friday into Saturday, a storm system will move through the SE US, and possibly bring snow to parts of Virginia and North Carolina, but that system is all but certain to push eastward… out to sea.  That will mean a tranquil weekend for us in the Hudson Valley.  Our next threat does not likely arrive until the early part of next week… when we will be watching another low pressure system in the Southeast US.  There are signals that the system will pull northeastward, and could possibly be another snow threat for our area by Tuesday or Wednesday of next week… roughly 7 days from now.

So the next week or so looks quiet… but that may be a well deserved break, before the pattern really gets busy for the middle and latter part of January.  A feature known as Sudden Stratospheric Warming is occurring at the top of the atmosphere.  That feature in previous winters… has signaled the beginning of a very cold and active period of weather across the eastern US.  We’ll have to keep our eyes on the pattern as a whole, but the early signs are that the model data is sensing this change in the overall pattern.  So it appears that we could be very busy for the 2nd half of the month… we’ll let you know how it’s looking as we get closer to mid month.

Have a great Wednesday!

Monday Discussion : Snow Start to the Week

Happy Monday everyone! The Hudson Valley is waking up to a general 2 to 4 inches of snow this morning, as our weak and disorganized storm slowly heads out to sea. We’ll have a recap of the small system tonight, but please feel free to post your snow totals in the comments of this post.
 
Things will quiet down for the next few days, as our Sunday storm gets trapped offshore, bottlenecking the pattern. A tremendous ridge of high pressure over Greenland is blocking the storm from moving away, so it will sit and spin offshore for the next 2 days. The impact on us locally will be minimal. We’ll have clouds, mixing with some breaks of sun periodically this afternoon. Temps will remain cold, in the mid and upper 30s for highs… but we should be warm enough to help melt any icy spots off pavement.
 
Looking at the rest of the week, clouds and sunshine will be the common story, with a flurry or two possible as that storm lingers off the New England coast. Afternoon highs each day should rise into the mid and upper 30s, with overnight lows in the low to mid 20s. Pretty typical of what we would expect to see this time of season.
 
We hope everyone gets off to a great start, in this 1st week of 2021. Have a great afternoon!

Sunday Discussion : Final Snowfall Forecast

A weak storm tries to come together over the mid Atlantic on Sunday, and as it looks now, it does not quiet become a significant storm.  Instead, we’re left with a rather minor, disorganized system… that still has the potential to cause some problems for our Sunday and Sunday night.

Timing:
– 11am to 3pm : Snow starts from SW to NE
– 3pm to 8pm : Steadiest snow expected
– 9pm to 1am : Snow ends from west to east

Impact:
– Temperatures 32° to 35° at the onset of snow
– Wet snow accumulation likely… even on paved surfaces, especially after dark
– Hazardous travel Sunday night likely, slick Mon AM commute possible

Snow Accumulation:
– Catskills, Mid & Lower Hudson Valley : 2 to 5 inches
– Upper Hudson Valley (Northern half of Zone 3 & Zone 4) : 1 to 3 inches

— Discussion —

Any time you have a storm trying to get it’s act together right over top of you, there is a high ‘bust’ potential in that storm.  This storm had 2 pieces of energy (an upper level low over the Ohio Valley, and a developing coastal low pressure), that were going to interact just soon enough to have a significant band of snow over the Hudson Valley.  Over the last 24 hours, we’ve seen a trend to keep those two features from interacting with the same intensity… and the result is a storm that looks less organized and less intense.

On the left is the model data from New Year’s Day.  Notice how there was a solid band of snow from Detroit to NYC.  The 1006mb low is tucked in near the tip of Maryland, and the system looks rather formidable.  On the right, is the model data from Saturday.  Just 24 hours later, the model depicts a storm that is weak and disorganized.  The precipitation shield is weak and broken, and the storm is weaker and further off shore.  This kind of development hints at the fact that this system is quite unpredictable.  This leaves a decent chance for error in the forecast.

Our forecast is based on the idea that the system is weak, but still organizes during the day on Sunday.  The snow shield will likely fill in on radar during the mid and late afternoon, and we should see a few hours of steady snow between 3pm and 8pm around the region.

Futurecast Radar for 9am to 11pm on Sunday

Despite being very disorganized early on Sunday… guidance suggests the snow really comes together by mid afternoon, so that a 2 to 4 inch snowfall occurs in the region.

Projected Snowfall per HRRR model

A widespread 2 to 4 inches would fall under this scenario, with the heaviest snow being west of the Hudson River and in the Catskills.  But this is significantly weaker than what was projected 24 hours earlier… so our concern is, ‘what happens if this trend continues on Sunday morning?’  We have some concern that the storm is even weaker than what is being projected above.  It’s possible the ULL (upper level low) is slower and weaker than projected… which would really limit the amount of available moisture.   If that happens, snow totals closer to 1 or 2 inches could be what we see.  At the same token… if the energy is stronger than currently expected, the snow totals could be on the higher end of the range, with 4 and even some 5 inch amounts being possible.

We’ll just have to monitor how it unfolds on Sunday.  Regardless, travel could be quite slick and hazardous Sunday after dark.  Make sure you factor that in to your plans.  We will try to update as frequently as possible on Sunday, to let you know if we think the data is trending one way or another.

Friday Discussion : Icy First Night of 2021

Happy New Year, Hudson Valley!!  We hope that each of you has a wonderful start to a wonderful year!

Weather wise, things will get busy right away, as we have a storm system over the central US that will be pushing northward on Friday.  It will spread precipitation out ahead of it, along a warm front.  As that overrunning moisture reaches toward the Hudson Valley, we’ll likely have enough cold air at the surface, to give us a period of freezing rain and sleet all across the region.

Futurecast Radar : 5pm Friday – 12am Saturday

This loop runs from 5pm to midnight, and you can see that the freezing rain and sleet arrives right around sunset, in the lower Hudson Valley first.  But by 8pm, most of the region is seeing the frozen precipitation.  As a result, the entire region is under a Winter Weather Advisory.  Icy road conditions are possible all over the region, with the most hazardous travel expected in the Catskills, because that’s where it will be coldest, and the freezing rain should last longest in the higher elevations.  A glaze up to a tenth of an inch of ice is possible on untreated surfaces, so please use extra caution.  But as we reach midnight and beyond, temps should warm above freezing… and the freezing rain should change to a plain cold rain.

Futurecast Radar : 1am to 9am Saturday

Even by 1am, most of the region is already above freezing and a plain rain is falling.  It’s possible the cold air hangs on a bit longer in the traditionally coldest areas of the region.  There its possible the freezing rain lasts as late as 2 or 3 am.  But by sunrise… everyone should be a chilly rain, with temps jumping into the 40s on Saturday morning.  Travel on Saturday morning should be rapidly improving, so while you’ll want to use caution… you also should be OK for your Saturday morning plans, especially in the Hudson Valley.

Sunday Snow Threat

The potential for a snow event across the Hudson Valley on Sunday is looking more and more likely.  Here is the forecast weather map from sunrise on Sunday, through Monday afternoon…

If anything, the models are showing more agreement in the fact that a wet snowfall does occur around the region.  The timing appears to be Sunday afternoon into Sunday night… tapering off before sunrise on Monday.  We’ll focus a lot more on this potential on Friday, to try and give you the best idea possible of what to expect.  A busy weather weekend ahead.  Happy New Year everyone, and stay safe!!

Thursday Discussion : Two Storms to Track

By Thursday morning, the rain and wet snow showers associated with the cold front should be over, and temperatures should be holding in the upper 30s and low 40s around the region.  So that will allow us to divert all of our attention to tracking 2 weather systems.  One has the potential to be an icy headache Friday evening… the other, has the potential to bring a snowy Sunday surprise.

Friday PM Wintry Mix

A storm system near Chicago will have a warm front extending all the way to the east coast on Friday evening.  With that front, will be moisture overrunning cold air at the surface.  That sets the stage for sleet changing to freezing rain, and then to plain rain (especially in the valley).

Futurecast Radar: 7pm Friday to 5am Saturday

It’s looking more likely the moisture holds off until 6pm to 9pm around the region, but it is likely to begin as freezing rain and sleet for everyone north of I-287… with temperatures at the onset expected to be 30° to 32°.  Temps rise a couple degrees 32° to 35° across much of the valley… allowing the precip to fall as mainly rain from I-84 south by midnight… and by 3 or 4am for the rest of the valley.  The Catskills may remain mostly freezing rain, with temperatures pinned in the low 30s.  The moisture exits the region shortly after sunrise on Saturday… and conditions improve.  The worst issue Friday night, is for anyone who must travel after dark… you could run into some icy conditions.  So we will be sharing any updates as we get closer to the event.  The best bet, is to plan to stay off the roads if at all possible Friday night.

Sneaky Sunday Snow

This event is far from certain, but we have been sniffing out the potential for a few days now.  Computer guidance is becoming more and more interested with the potential for this storm system.

Northeast US Futurecast Weather : 7am Sunday through 1pm Monday
This view of New England shows a intensifying coastal low pressure moving northeastward on Sunday.  Snow overspreads the Hudson Valley and falls moderately to heavily for several hours, before tapering off by sunrise on Monday.  The timing is a bit different depending on the data you look at.  But if the scenario above were to play out, it would be a widespread 3 to 6 inch snowfall for the Hudson Valley.  The guidance shifts around the start time and the accumulation, as well as the temperature.  So we’ll need to monitor this closely.

Once again, when we look at the temperatures across the northeast compared to average… it’s very mild.

Projected Temperatures in the Northeast, Compared to Average:

These are quite warm temperatures around the entire northeast.  When you think of snow, you think of cold air, or at least air temperatures near average.  The relative weather pattern is quite mild, and yet here we are, considering the potential for snow on Sunday / Sunday night.  We will be monitoring the potential very closely over the next 24 to 36 hours.  We’ll keep you updated.

Have a great final day of 2020!  Happy New Year!!

Wednesday Discussion : Icy End to the Week

After some scattered snow flurries and snow showers on Tuesday, the Hudson Valley is back in the grasp of wintry air.  Wednesday will continue the seasonal cold air, with highs in the mid 30s, before temperatures begin to rise after dark, out ahead of our next weak cold front.  Scattered rain showers will develop (and mix with sleet and freezing rain in the Catskills) by midnight… and be with us through sunrise on Thursday.

Futurecast Radar (Eastern US) : Wednesday PM – Early AM Saturday

The concern then arises as the low pressure system pushes northward in the midwest.  It will spread moisture north all the way to the east coast as shown in the futurecast above.  As the moisture runs into the cold air at the surface, a period of freezing rain and sleet appears likely.

Futurecast Radar : Friday Evening                                                                      

The moisture likely moves into the Hudson Valley between 4pm and 8pm on Friday.  When it does, temps are likely to be 30° to 32° around the region (with some upper 20s in the Catskills).  This will allow the rain to freeze on contact to many surfaces.  So freezing rain and sleet are likely to fall at the onset Friday evening.  Southerly winds should continue through the evening, slowly warming temps into the mid 30s, and above freezing.  So much of the valley is expected to change over to a cold rain before midnight.  The Catskills could be a degree or two warmer, and thus remain as freezing rain and sleet for a bit longer.  We will have to keep a close eye on how this event unfolds.  For now, it appears that Friday evenings will see the potential of some icing and hazardous travel conditions.  We will keep you posted on this potential over the next day or so.

Tuesday Discussion : Tricky Weather Pattern Ahead

As we close out 2020, the weather pattern is not looking particularly wintry.  Since having a significant snow event nearly 2 weeks ago, the pattern has shifted into a rather mild pattern once again.  Looking quickly at the long range, it’s rather difficult to find any clear signals for snow.

But the computer models are having considerable trouble with the pattern.  we can tell that because we’re seeing a lot of variability in the models.  Look at the 500mb (Jet Stream) trend over the last 3 days.  The model is forecasting for sunrise on New Year’s Day

Last 3 days of 500mb Pattern projection for 7am January 1, 2021

Remembering that this is supposed to be the same moment in time… if the model had a good handle on the pattern, all of these images would look the same.  You can see the dramatic shift in the upper level low pressure’s position.  Three days ago, we were thinking that New Year’s Eve would look a lot like Christmas Eve.  Luckily, the pattern projection had shifted considerably, so that a flooding rain and damaging wind gust event is no longer expected.  However, we now have to worry about the potential for a wintry mix on Friday.

Futurecast Radar : 1pm Friday

You can see, that instead of temps again near 60° (like the models were showing 3 days ago)… temps are not looking to be in the upper 20s and low 30s, with snow changing to sleet and freezing rain… before eventually a cold rain settles in late on Friday.

Now, things have changed considerably in the last 48 to 72 hours, so we could still see some additional changes in the forecast.  The key is that with models adjusting so dramatically, its safe to expect notable changes to the tail end of the 5 day forecast (day 4 and 5).  There are not significant global indicators with MJO in the null phase (some day we’ll do a detailed explainer on the MJO).  Sparing you the details on what the MJO is… the result of the current MJO pattern, is that the models will likely struggle with the conditions further down stream.  So we’ll likely be seeing a lot of changes to the mid range pattern in the coming days.  When we first looked at Friday before it appeared on the 5 day forecast, it was near 60°… and now we’re talking about a wintry mix possibility just 3 days later.

We’ll likely have more information on Tuesday, regarding timing… and how much ice could fall across parts of the region.  But you can get our latest ideas on the 5 Day Forecast.

Have a great Tuesday!