As we begin our Sunday, we’re going to try and wrap up what’s been a very unsettled 4 day period. No sooner did we have arguably the nicest February day on record (it surely was the warmest on record)… we ran into sleet and snow on Thursday, and haven’t been able to shake the unsettled weather since.
But looking at the radar loop as of 8am… you can immediately see, that we still have got a LOT of rain to get through today. This is a radar loop from roughly 6:30am to 8am of Pennsylvania and much of southern NY state (The Hudson Valley is in the top right of the graphic). There is a good batch of light to moderate rain over the Hudson Valley, and extending all the way up to Albany… there have even been some reports of sleet mixing in with the rain over the northern Hudson Valley.
But notice how much rain remains off to our west, and it’s pushing in our direction. So it looks like we’ll be saddled with the rain straight through lunch… before the rain tapers to scattered showers this afternoon. Temps aren’t looking too good either… as it seems we’ll be stuck in the mid 30s to low 40s for much of the day. So it will be a chilly, wet and raw morning across the region… with rain tapering off around mid day, and leaving us with some scattered afternoon showers, under mostly cloudy skies.
It’s been a pretty wild week of weather. We started with a snowstorm last Saturday in the midst of a mild pattern… and then ran back to back days of record breaking warmth on Tuesday and Wednesday… with Wednesday being the warmest February day on record. Then Thursday rolled around… and much of the Hudson Valley went from mid 70s and sun… to mid 30s and snow, in 24 hours.
Lets take a look at our storm forecast, the storm history map, and the NWS reports…
Thursday’s event was expected to be focused on the northern half of the Hudson Valley, and that turned out to be the case. In fact, when we looked for snow/sleet data for the southern half of the Hudson Valley, there were no reports at all for areas near/south of I-84.
The storm behaved well, at least in terms of what the forecast had outlined. The system started off as widespread showers on Thursday morning, as the cold front began to filter the cold air into the region. Rain mixed with sleet and quickly turned to snow in the northern Hudson Valley… but the abnormally warm air mass that was being pushed out of the area was so mild, that despite the rapid change to snow… the snow did not immediately accumulate in northern HV and Catskills. Before too long, the surfaces cooled enough, and the snow began to accumulate.
For the Mid Hudson Valley, the rain showers held on a bit longer. The forecast reflected a widespread slushy coating to an inch of accumulation, largely because the cold air would take a bit longer to push into the lower portions of the region… and it was a bit uncertain how long it would take for a transition to sleet in that area. Eventually there was a transition to sleet and wet snow, and slushy coatings to half inch / inch amounts did occur.
The timing of the event for the evening commute was a big factor to the ‘storm’. This was more of an area of precipitation that pushed overtop of some fresh cold air… than an actual storm system, but that’s focusing on the meteorology of the storm. Impact wise, we were concerned that the expected burst of snow and sleet could cause some travel problems for the evening commute, and it seems like there were a few in the northern HV… while the southern HV remained just wet, with everything melting on contact.
Anytime you drop 40 degrees in 24 hours, and then have it snow or sleet in the process… it’s a pretty wild situation. And despite the marginally low totals on Thursday… the event was a pretty wild one. Thanks for all your support!
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!
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.
– 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
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…
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!!
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.
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!
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…
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…
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!
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!
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.