Saturday Afternoon Discussion – Bring on the Rain

With warm SW winds helping temperatures climb into the mid and upper 40s across the Hudson Valley, the raw chill of the past few days has been lifted out of the valley.

However, a rather large batch of rain has formed over Pennsylvania, and it’s now entering the Hudson Valley as of mid day. This batch of rain is rather large, and will bring periods of rain showers to the entire Hudson Valley for much of the afternoon. The heaviest and steadiest showers should be focused from I-84 on north. Unfortunately, anyone with outdoor plans for our Saturday will need to factor this into their plans.

This batch of rains showers will persist through the afternoon hours and likely through sunset. We likely will dry out for a few hours from sunset through midnight… before another larger batch of steady, light to moderate rain, pushes back into the region. So a very soggy start to Sunday appears likely at this time. We’ll try to share radar updates through the afternoon as well.

As we move through a very unsettled pattern across the eastern US over the next 24 to 36 hours… if you’re trying to make plans, it’s safe to expect many periods of on and off rainfall. Stay dry, and have a nice afternoon!

Friday Outlook : Gray with PM Showers

A quick return to winter across the Hudson Valley on Thursday, as we saw temperatures drop about 40° in 24 hours.  We’ll have a recap on the Thursday snow & sleet event tonight.

But today has started off cloudy and gray… with some areas of light drizzle and fog.  As we move into the afternoon, we’ll have some areas of light rain pushing into the Hudson Valley…

 

Temperatures will hold down in the low to mid 30s through much of the morning and early afternoon on Friday.  When the precipitation moves in, we should see it fall as scattered light rain showers.  It’s possible that we see some patchy areas of freezing drizzle in the sheltered valleys of the Catskills… but in general temps will be just above freezing.

The rain showers will continue through sunset… and then taper off after dark… and temperatures will likely climb near 40° overnight.  As we look to the weekend, a very unsettled weekend heading our way.  Clouds will be with us Saturday, and then some showers look to move in late in the day and at night on Saturday.  Then, it looks like we’ll have a period of rain Saturday night, lasting into Sunday morning.

So while the weekend won’t feature a total washout… there will be multiple periods of rain to contend with.  At least we’re not in a drought situation.  For a better timeline on the precipitation, check the Detailed HVW 5 Day Forecast.  We want to emphasize that Saturday during the day looks mainly dry… with scattered showers approaching near or after sunset.

TGIF everyone!

Final Storm Forecast : Thursday Sleet & Snow

Timing:
– 7am to 12pm: Spotty light sleet pellets and scattered light rain showers
– 12pm to 3pm: Steady sleet and wet snow develops from west to east (Lower HV: mixed with rain)
– 5pm to 7pm: Sleet and wet snow taper off from west to east

Snow & Sleet Accumulation:
– Catskills (zone 1 & 2) : 2 to 5 inches of snow
– Southern Catskills, Upper HV (zones 5&6, upper 3&4) : 1 to 3 inches of snow and sleet
– Middle and Lower Hudson Valley (zones 7&8, low 3&4) : Coating to 1 inch of sleet and wet snow
– Extreme Lower HV (zone 9) : some patchy icy spots / coating of sleet due to mix sleet & rain

Discussion

One day after the warmest February day on record… the cold air continues to race southward, sinking into the Hudson Valley.  The moisture is on the doorstep, and is beginning to push into the Hudson Valley in the form of light rain showers, mixed with some sleet pellets.  This simulated radar loop shows what is expected between 10am and 7pm tonight…

SIMULATED RADAR LOOP: 10AM – 7PM

You’ll notice this is a small system, and is only in the Hudson Valley for about 6 to 8 hours.  We’ll take analyze some still frames in a moment, but in the loop, we want you to notice that the precipitation starts as a mix of sleet and light rain during the late morning and early afternoon hours… before the sleet (purple) and snow (blue) begin to sink further to the south.

So the progression of this storm for most of us… is:
– starts as mix of sleet and rain… changes to sleet… then mixes and changes to snow

The big key to the weather you see in your area… is your location.  The further north you are in the Hudson Valley, the earlier the transition to sleet and snow… and then just plain snow.  The further south you are… the longer it will take for the rain to mix with and change to sleet… and possibly ending as a brief period of wet snow.  So lets look at a few snapshots of the simulated radar…

by 2pm, you’ll notice that the HRRR model suggests that the sleet is just north of the I-84 corridor, with Newburgh and Middletown in a plain cold rain.  We would not get too hung up on the exact placement of this sleet/rain line, as this model could struggle a bit with temperatures as they fall this afternoon.  The sleet line could push a little further south by 2pm… we’ll have to wait and see.

Regardless of the exact placement and timing of the rain/sleet/snow line… what we do know, is that it will be pushing south through the afternoon.  And by 5pm… much of the Hudson Valley is likely to be seeing moderately falling sleet and/or snow…

 

Temperatures at the evening commute are likely to range between 30° and 34°.  So just how much sleet and snow accumulates on the roads remains a bit uncertain… but we would err on the side of caution.  The sleet and snow are likely to be falling moderately, which will cause reduced visibilities… and as you go further north in the valley… the worse the travel conditions are likely to be.

Plan on leaving yourself a little extra time for the evening commute.  As your hitting the roads this evening, this is what the projected snowfall map is looking like…

You can see that the valley areas are mainly under 1 inch of snow… with some sleet likely mixing in.  You have to go into the Catskills and northern HV before you get the 1 to 3 inch amounts (represented by the blue colors) on this map.

This IS NOT a major winter storm… but the fact that it is on the heels of the warmest February day on record, makes it a significant event, because the conditions will be a dramatic shock to the system… and many people may not be prepared for winter weather conditions, after sunshine and 75 degrees just 24 hours ago.

We’ll have additional updates on Facebook as the situation unfolds… thank you for all your support!!

Preliminary Storm Forecast : Thursday Sleet & Snow

This winter has been a wild one, in terms of ups and downs… and unexpected weather events.  So it makes perfect sense, that one day after the warmest February day on record… it’s going to sleet or snow.

Timing:
– 7am to 12pm: Spotty light sleet pellets and light drizzle falls in some areas
– 12pm to 3pm: Steady Sleet and wet snow develops from west to east
– 4pm to 7pm: Sleet and wet snow taper off from west to east

Snow & Sleet Accumulation:
– Catskills (zone 1 & 2) : 2 to 5 inches of snow
– Southern Catskills, Upper HV (zones 5&6, upper 3&4) : 1 to 3 inches of snow and sleet
– Middle and Lower Hudson Valley (zones 7&8, low 3&4) : Coating to 1 inch of sleet and wet snow
– Extreme Lower HV (zone 9) : some patchy icy spots due to sleet & rain

Discussion:

After the warmest February day in recorded history for the Hudson Valley, we’ll have a cold front slide through the region Wednesday night.  It will shift our winds around out of the north, and gradually lead to falling temperatures overnight.  Temperatures will stay above freezing all night, and when we wake up… temps will likely be in the mid to upper 30s…

It’s likely going to be dry at sunrise, but it won’t be too long before some of the moisture begins to reach the Hudson Valley…

You can see on the simulation, that the bulk of the moisture will be off to our west, in western PA.  But some patchy areas of moisture could race out ahead of the main area of precipitation.  That could spell patchy areas of light rain showers, mixing with light sleet showers… across the Hudson Valley during the morning on Thursday.

But as we just showed you, temperatures will be above freezing at this point.  In addition, coming off a record warm day, the ground is going to be very warm, unable to support snow or ice accumulating to either grass or roadways. So anything that falls during the morning… whether it’s liquid rain or sleet pellets… will melt on contact with the ground.  Still, plan for areas of wet roads for the end of the AM commute, and the later half of the morning.

As the morning continues, and the afternoon approaches… we’ll see the temperatures fall near freezing.  Check out the projected temperatures as of 1pm…

So now, once we move into the afternoon… temperatures are now cold enough to support wintry precipitation falling to the ground.  And as a result, it’s the afternoon where problems could arise across the Hudson Valley.

This simulation for 4pm Thursday afternoon is still fairly accurate.  We expect a widespread area of steady sleet to fall across the majority of the Hudson Valley.  As you move into the Catskills and the northern Hudson Valley, the sleet could transition over to snow.  With the colder temperatures at the surface… it’s likely that we’ll begin to see the sleet and snow accumulate to the ground… both the paved and unpaved surfaces.  So with a prolonged period of steady sleet possible for the afternoon… an icy PM commute is possible anywhere north of I-287.

The precipitation area is small, and rather fast moving.  So just as quickly as it begins, it will taper off.  The sleet and snow will exit from west to east, between 4pm and 7pm across the region.

We’re still working on the exact details… and will be busy through the night.  We’ll likely have a live stream on Facebook, and numerous updates as we gather more information.  A Final Storm Forecast is possible late tonight, after midnight… or by sunrise on Thursday.

Wednesday Outlook : May for a Day

Poughkeepsie smashed a record on Tuesday, setting a new record high of 66°.  That broke a record from only 2 years ago… 63° set in 2016.  It was a truly beautiful day across the Hudson Valley, that felt more like mid to late April.  That’s pretty hard to beat for a February 20th.  But if you enjoyed Tuesday… Wednesday might leave you speechless…

We’ll give you a few seconds to pick your jaw up off the floor….
Better?… Ok, we’ll continue….

Wednesday’s high temperature map looks like a nice day for the middle of May.  Wednesday is February 21st… so for us to have weather like what is coming our way today… (which will also include a mix of clouds and sunshine), is rather hard to fathom.  The average high in Poughkeepsie for Wednesday is 41°… meaning the highs on Wednesday are likely to be more than 30 degrees above average!!

I don’t know what more we can say about Wednesday, that will truly drive home just how unusual the weather is.  When you look at the Jet Stream, you begin to get the picture just a bit better…

You don’t have to be an expert in meteorology to look at this map, and realize that this pattern is pretty intense.  The height anomalies over the northeast are practically off the scale.  So when you see the jet stream map is off the scale… you might not be shocked to see that records are being broken in the same areas.

So yes… Wednesday will be record breaking and beautiful… get out and enjoy it!

But some MAJOR changes coming our way for Thursday… but we’ll have another post on that during the day on Wednesday.  But spoiler alert… sleet and snow will return to the Hudson Valley.

Talk about a shock to the system!!  We could go from record heat in the low 70s… to sleet and snow in the Hudson Valley.  We’re on the ultimate weather roller coaster… what can we say?  We’ll have more discussion about Thursday’s sleet and snow potential… later on Wednesday.

For today… enjoy some record beautiful weather!

Tuesday Outlook : Record Breaking Heat

Here comes the heat!  Well… by February standards it’s heat, but it’s probably just better described as ‘warmth’.

The day will start out gray and foggy, with some patchy drizzle.  But a warm SW wind will cause the temperatures to surge into the 60s today, with a decent amount of afternoon sunshine.   The record high in Poughkeepsie is 63°, and we should crack that number today… but we’ll have to wait and see.  The weather this afternoon is more typical of what we’d expect to see in mid to late April… so it’s truly a spring preview!

After a very warm night tonight, we’ll be back at trying to break records on Wednesday.  Temps should approach 70° on Wednesday afternoon, which should break the record of 67°, set in 1953.  This weather is about 20° to 30° above average!  Just some incredible, incredible weather.

Get out the spring coats… the warmth arrives today!  Have a great day!

Saturday Night Snow Recap – 2/17/18

As we kick off a work week that will feature some record high temperatures by mid week… let’s take a look back at our sneaky snow storm from Saturday night…

After a lot of computer guidance chaos, that caused us some pretty big headaches early on Friday… things settled back to what we originally expected, and our finalized forecast from Saturday morning captured the storm’s potential properly.

The northern Hudson Valley got the short end of the snow stick… only seeing 1 to 2… maybe 3 inches of snow.  Areas north of Kingston, and NW Ulster county… on up into Columbia and Greene counties.  Moving south, we saw a widespread 3 to 6 inch snowfall across the bulk of the Hudson Valley… with a lot of 3 and 4 inch totals north of I-84.  As you moved further south… the biggest winners were Rockland, Westchester and Putnam counties… where a lot of 6 and 7 inch totals were reported.

The radar images from the storm painted the picture pretty well, as we saw the heaviest snow bands consistently in the lower Hudson Valley… (zones 8 and 9).  There was a secondary snow band that hit the NW portions of the Hudson Valley, and that was responsible for causing the 3 to 5 inch totals across Sullivan and Delaware counties.

Computer Model Chaos

All in all, the storm behaved in line with the forecast.  But that doesn’t tell the whole story.  When we first began to zero in on this storm Wednesday and Thursday, we had it pegged as a widespread 3 to 6 inch event.  We were so confident in fact, that we began discussing it Wednesday, before anyone else.  This caused some feedback on social media, asking why we were calling this a likely event, when nobody else was talking about it.  The storm had the look of a fairly stable forecast, where we didn’t see a lot of margin for error, and felt comfortable discussing it early as a 3 to 6 inch event.  The 1st bouts of data supported that idea rather well…

EARLY Snowfall Computer Guidance

This was what the Thursday night computer models were suggesting.  The models tend to be a big aggressive with snowfall projections, but seeing this really helped us reinforce our 3 to 6 inch snowfall ideas.  Then Friday morning, everything changed…

Friday Morning Snowfall Projection

As we were getting ready to put out our “Preliminary Snowfall Forecast”, almost all of the computer guidance turned on us.  There was a dramatic shift to push this storm further to our south, keeping the real accumulating snowfall to our south.  The amount of time between the first snowfall map (showing widespread 6 inch snow) and the 2nd map (showing 1 to 2 inches tops)… was 12 hours, or two cycles of the computer model.

This left us with a big predicament… did we completely alter our ideas, or hold fast in the face of changing data.  We settled on a compromise, of widespread 2 to 4 inch totals… which was actually an aggressive forecast in the face of data that was suddenly saying we would see an inch or two across the southern half of the valley, and maybe a dusting further north.

As Friday continued, and we moved into early Saturday… just as quickly as the guidance had shifted from 6 inches to 2 inches… the computer guidance went right back to the original idea.  The storm began to look like it would be further north, and that the Hudson Valley would see a decent snow of 3 to 6 inches in general… with the ‘jackpot zone’ setting up in the lower Hudson Valley.  So we were able to get the “final snowfall forecast” to reflect the proper data, and have everyone ready for a light to moderate snow event across the HV.

We just wanted to show you a little bit behind the curtain… of what goes into forecasting snowfall amounts during a snow storm forecast.  You can’t react to every piece of data, you need to be measured and plant your flag in the ground somewhere.  Otherwise you run the risk of just rapidly altering your forecast up, then down, then back up… and everyone is bouncing around like ping pong balls.

Thanks for all your support… and thanks for reading our recap!  Have a great day!

Sunday Outlook : Winter Wonderland for a Day

In the wake of a sneaky little Saturday night snowstorm, we’ve already got partly cloudy skies and blue skies to start our Sunday.  A blustery NW wind has kicked up in the wake of the storm, and that’s adding a little extra chill… as well as blowing the snow around.

Reports across the region of widespread 1 to 3 inches across our northern areas, with 3 to 6 inches being fairly common across the central Hudson Valley.  Our big winners, as anticipated… were in Rockland, Westchester and Putnam counties.  There, we had numerous reports of 6 to 8 inches of snow.  We’ll have a detailed look at the snowstorm once the complete data comes in later on Sunday.

So now, we will gradually begin our warmup to what should be record warmth by Tuesday and Wednesday.  Sunshine and blue skies will increase for our Sunday, and we’ll have temps warming to near or just above 40°.  Have a great Sunday!

WINTER STORM UPDATE : Latest as of 7pm

Poughkeepsie’s high yesterday was 53°… but now, just over 24 hours later, a steady snow has overtaken the Hudson Valley. The snow shield continues to progress into the region at this hour, with most of us seeing a steady light to moderate snow.

This NEXRAD radar does not differentiate rain from snow, but everything you see is falling in the form of snow. The scale works like this…
– Light blue / Teal = Light snow
– Dark blue / light green = moderate snow
– dark green / yellow = heavy snow

So you can see that most of the area is a steady light snow, but there have been a few pockets of moderate to heavy snow popping up. But it’s off to our south and west, where the snow REALLY intensifies:
– There’s a strong band of moderate to heavy snow in eastern PA, that will push into the Hudson Valley between 7pm and 9pm. If that holds together, we could see snowfall rates approach an inch per hour for a time.
– The large area of green to our south, indicating moderate to heavy snow… is likely to stay south of our area for the most part. Rockland and Westchester county (zone 8 & 9) could see some of that heavier snow… which is why we expected the highest totals in those areas.

For most of us… expect periods of light to moderate snow to continue for the next several hours… through 9 or 10pm. We’ll have to see if the band of heavier snow in eastern PA and NW NJ can creep into the HV… and if so, what kind of snowfall rates can we see? No changes to the forecast… 3 to 6 inches in general. The further north you go, the lower the totals are likely to be, with the higher snowfall amounts likely south of I-84.

(Bill’s Gut feeling)
I won’t put words in Alex’s mouth… but based on the current radar, and other data… a lot of 3 & 4 inch amounts seem likely north of I-84 (maybe some 5 inch amounts as well). I’m starting to think you might have to go down into zone 8 and 9 to see 5 and 6 inch amounts. But we’ll see how it shakes out. We don’t want to overanalyze the radar… because snow bands can develop and shift around unexpectedly. Be safe… keep those reports coming. Another update in a few hours.

Final Storm Forecast : Saturday Night

Here we go again, Hudson Valley.  In the midst of an extremely mild pattern… we’re going to squeeze out a small snowstorm tonight.  An arctic cold front swept through the valley Friday, and temps are near or just below freezing for Saturday morning.  Providing just enough cold air, so that when a wave of low pressure rides along that arctic front tonight, it will be snow that falls across the region.

Timing
– 5pm to 8pm : Snow develops from SW to NE
– 9pm to 2am : Steadiest snow
– 3am to 6am : Snow tapers from west to east

Snowfall
– Northern Catskills & Northern HV (northern parts of zone 1, 2 & 3): 1 to 3 inches
– Vast Majority of Hudson Valley (zone 4, 5, 6, 7 and southern 1, 2, & 3): 3 to 6 inches
– Lower Hudson Valley (zone 8 & 9): 4 to 8 inches

Discussion:

This storm will bring a sneaky snow event in the midst of a mild pattern.  Just how much snow we see, depends on a combination of factors.  Most important is the position of the storm system, and the track it will subsequently take.  But also a factor are how strong the system can get… and how much moisture we can squeeze out of it.

So let’s walk through the expected progression of this storm…

It appears that the storm will begin to enter the lower Hudson Valley between 5pm and 8pm from SW to NE.  Temperatures at the onset should be 30° to 33°, and after a day of sunshine and above freezing temperatures… the snow may struggle to accumulate on roads initially.  But the fact that the sun will be down, and that temps should be at or below freezing… should allow snow to begin accumulating on roads after not too long.  So as the evening progresses, and the snow continues to fall, snow and ice covered roadways are likely.

As the evening progresses, the snow should continue to build over the region…

Looking at this futurecast… this looks like a good ol’ fashioned snow storm for the Hudson Valley.  The low pressure should exit east of Maryland and Delaware, and continue to move northeast.  The snow is likely to be falling at a fairly good clip at this point, with the steadiest and heaviest snow expected between 9pm and 2am.  Travel at this time will become increasingly difficult… due to snow covered roads and reduced visibility from steadily falling snow.  If you have plans after dark tonight, you really want to factor this in.

By around 3am… we’ll be seeing the snow begin to exit the region from west to east…

As the storm moves very close to the benchmark (40°N, 70°W)… it should begin to pull the snow shield east of the Hudson Valley.  Bringing an end to the snow across the region, and by the time the sun rises on Sunday… we’ll likely have a mix of clouds and sunshine, with temps in the mid to upper 20s.

This storm will be close to the benchmark… which traditionally means the heaviest snows will be in the lower Hudson Valley and closer to NYC.  Usually the ‘best’ snowstorms for the Hudson Valley track just inside of the benchmark, a bit closer to the coast.  As a result… here are some bullet points:

– In general, 3 to 6 inches of snow is likely for our region.

– As you go further NW, snow amounts are likely to be slightly lower, so those in the northern HV and Catskills may see slightly lower amounts of 1 to 3 inches.

– However… higher elevations will amplify the snowfall amounts, do to the added lift and colder temps that the mountains provide.  So the lower half of the Catskills could still see the 3 to 6 amounts, due to the benefit of elevation.

– As you go SE, south of I-84, and into zones 8 & 9… a lot more 4, 5, 6 and 7 inch amounts are possible, hence the slightly higher snowfall forecast there.

– There are always heavier snow bands that set up within these systems… if one sets up over the Hudson Valley, it could mean slightly higher totals.  The data is conflicted on this, so we’re siding with the consensus… which is 3 to 6 inches.

As always, this will turn into a now-casting event.  Meaning as the storm develops, and begins to unfold… we’ll have updated analysis and discussion.  We’ll look to all of our viewers on Facebook to provide observations and condition updates.  If we’re seeing signs that this storm could overachieve a bit… we will let you know.  In addition, if we see signs that the snow shield doesn’t quite come together as we expect… we’ll discuss that as well.

But as of now… the data is looking good… we’re not seeing any “scary” signals that could wreck the forecast.  Check with us on Facebook for updates, and if anything changes… we’ll let you know.

Thanks for your reading… and all your continued support!