Monday Discussion : Frosty Air is Back

A frosty start to the week, with temperatures in the teens to low 20s as of mid morning.  Even with a ton of sunshine and blue skies, the temps won’t rise much today.  That’s in part due to a NW flow that will continue to funnel reinforcing cold air into the Hudson Valley.  Afternoon highs will climb into the mid 20s… but it will never feel that warm… as wind chills will be pinned in the teens, and even single digits in the Catskills.
As we move through the week, temps will gradually rise each day… near 30° on Tuesday, mid 30s on Wednesday, 40s on Thursday and Friday most likely.  Then we have our eye on the setup for the coming weekend (Saturday/Sunday).  Not nearly as favorable a setup as we had this past weekend, but the pattern may allow for a storm to redevelop off the east coast over the coming weekend.  Because the air temperatures will warm through the week, there is considerable uncertainty about the storm track, and whether it would be rain or snow if it happens.  So clearly there is very high uncertainty at the moment… but we’ll keep you posted on the developments.

Sunday Discussion : Turning Blustery Once Again

After an absolutely bitter cold Saturday… the winds have shifted overnight, and temps have risen above freezing! Temps are generally in the mid to upper 30s as of late morning, which will help in the clearing of snow.

For the afternoon, expect a mix of clouds and sun, with temps pretty much holding steady or dropping a degree or two. That will be thanks to an increasing NW wind that will usher in a reinforcing shot of colder air. So expect blustery and cold conditions returning later today and lasting thru Monday.

In terms of snow from Saturday, it appears that we saw a lot of 3 to 5 inch amounts around the region. The storm was not nearly as bad as it was projected to be on computer guidance earlier in the week. But a light to moderate winter storm is a good reminder that it is in fact January, and statistically the coldest time of the year.

Let us know how much snow you got in the comments below… and we hope everyone has a safe and happy Sunday!!

Saturday Snowstorm Update : 3:30pm

The snow has overspread the region, and falling light to moderate around the Hudson Valley. 
This radar does not differentiate between rain and snow… but it’s so cold, trust that everything you see here is falling in the form of snow.  You can see on the 1 hour loop, that the precipitation is in bands, so there will be lulls followed by steadier/heavier periods of snow.  The Hudson Valley is on the lower right quadrant of this radar loop (POU = Poughkeepsie). 
There is an area of steady snow over most of the Hudson Valley right now, but you can see the dry slot in NE Pennsylvania that is moving this way.  At the same time, some of the dry areas are filling in as the more convective areas of precipitation from the Ohio Valley move into Pennsylvania. 
As the afternoon progresses, expect periods of light to moderate snow to continue.  Temps are COLD as well… in the teens to near 20° for most locations.  So it’s a light, fluffy snow that is accumulating.  We should begin to see heavier bands of snow mix in over the next hour or two.  Roads are slick, so if you have to travel this afternoon, make sure you take it extra slow.  More updates to come…

Final Storm Forecast : Saturday 1/18/20

Winter is returning to the Hudson Valley… and the storm is on its way…

– 11am to 2pm : Snow begins from west to east
– 3pm to 8pm : Snow falls steadily… possibly heavy at times
– 7pm to 11pm : Snow tapers off from west to east

– Temps in 20s at start of event, snow sticks to all surfaces
– Snow covered and icy roads, hazardous travel
– Reduced visibility, snowfall rates up to 1″ per hour

Snow Accumulation:
– Catskills [Zone 1 & 2] : 4 to 8 inches
– Hudson Valley [all other zones] : 3 to 6 inches (localized 7″ possible)

Additional discussion posted here soon…

Preliminary Storm Forecast : Saturday 1/18/20

It’s been over a month since we’ve had a widespread snow event in the Hudson Valley.  Saturday, that all comes to an end…

– 11am to 2pm : Snow begins from west to east
– 2pm to 7pm : Snow falls steadily… possibly heavy at times
– 7pm to 10pm : Snow tapers off from west to east

– Temps in 20s at start of event, snow sticks to all surfaces
– Snow covered and icy roads, hazardous travel
– Reduced visibility, snowfall rates up to 1″ per hour

Snow Accumulation:
– Catskills [Zone 1 & 2] : 4 to 8 inches
– Hudson Valley [all other zones] : 2 to 6 inches

Detailed Discussion

If you’ve been following along through the week, then you know what we’re going to say next.  That’s because this storm setup is one of the easier to forecast, at least in terms of the general expectations.  The details are the only things left to hammer out, and we’re feeling rather confident on those as well.  The biggest uncertainty with the forecast at this point is the exact amount of moisture we’ll have to work with.  We’ll get to that in a minute… first, lets walk through this storm…

As we reach mid day, the front edge of the snow should be arriving in the Hudson Valley.  The primary storm is located over Lake Michigan, well to our NW.  The cold air at the surface is locked into the Hudson Valley.  Temps at the onset of the snow will likely range between 22° and 26°.  So the ground will be completely frozen, and the snow will stick right away.  For those who want to nitpick at this storm… one of the mini wildcards is the thin band of snow that may develop out ahead of the main band of snow.  You can see it over Kingston on this simulation, while the main band of snow is still west of the region.  If this develops as imaged… snow could start an hour or two earlier than projected in some areas.  Something for us to watch.  But by 1 or 2pm the snow has reached the entire HV… and by mid afternoon… it should be thumping away outside…

If you’re a snow lover, this map looks like a sight for sore eyes.  After 45 days of non-winter… this steady snow with rates of around 1 inch per hour looks really good.  The entire Hudson Valley should be seeing a steady accumulating snow between 2pm and 6pm.  Travel during this time will become increasingly hazardous, and is not recommended if you can avoid it.  Easier said than done for many of our residents… as a lot of you have plans in place for Saturday (at least based on what you’ve told us), and stand to be affected.  As the afternoon turns to evening, the snow should continue… but the back edge will race toward the Hudson Valley between 6pm and 10pm it seems…

You can see on this map as of 7pm, the snow is still flying… but that back edge is right on the doorstep of the Hudson Valley.  The low pressure over the Great Lakes stalls a bit, which seems to cut off the precipitation over central NY and PA… but also causes the warm air to stop pushing north.  Notice, that even as the back edge of the moisture is arriving… it’s still all snow in the Hudson Valley.  For that reason, our concerns about a transition to sleet or rain has diminished greatly.  We had the question just the other day “why don’t we get any ‘all snow’ events anymore?”  Well, this isn’t a major winter storm… but here you go.

Temps will rise Saturday night, possibly above freezing, helping clear some of that freshly fallen snow by sunrise on Sunday.  When all is said and done, a widespread 2 to 6 inches seem possible at this point.  The reason for the broad 2 to 6 inch range… is we want to leave open the possibility for further weakening of this system… but all signs point to a 3 to 6 inch event across most of the region.  Going up into the Catskills… the elevation should help enhance the snow just a bit, so slightly higher totals are possible.  We’ll hone in on the accumulations on Friday… but it’s all a question of the amount of moisture we have to work with.

So here you go… our first winter weather event in what feels like forever.  Hopefully everyone will be prepared to stay safe through the storm, and only travel if necessary.  The Final Forecast should be up by Friday evening… but don’t expect major changes at this point.

Thursday Discussion : Winter Storm Update for Saturday

– Snow likely Starting between 11am to 2pm
– Trend is for a shorter duration, weaker storm
– Faster moving storm = Less snow
– Storm likely has less moisture = Less snow
– Snowfall amounts of 2 to 5 inches likely at this time
There’s a good reason why we urge patience and caution when looking at potential winter storms more than 5 days away. A lot can change… and often it does. That appears to be the case once again this time.
Now… this storm is still going to happen, but it’s looking more an more like a far cry from the storm that people were chattering about 4 days ago. This storm looks faster, further north and weaker than originally projected, with less moisture. Factor all those things together… and this looks likely to be a light to moderate storm.
The timing still appears good, with a burst of snow likely with the onset of the warm advection precipitation. Snow should fall for several hours, before possibly tapering off to snow showers after dark. Because the primary storm is further north, but weaker… it does not pull the warm air north as fast or as far. So the snow likely tapers off before temperatures can rise above freezing. While that sounds good for snow lovers, we cannot ignore the dramatic reduction in the amount of moisture that our guidance is suggesting. Most of the moisture with this system appears likely to fall while the storm is near the Great Lakes… leaving roughly half the amount of moisture we were expecting 2 or 3 days ago.
We will continue to consume and process the data that comes in over the next 24 hours. We will issue a preliminary forecast this evening, and any updates and new information will be shared at that time. But the trend has definitely been for a weaker, less intense storm for Saturday afternoon and evening.

Saturday Winter Storm Update : Wed Evening Edition

Lost in all the buzz about the potential for a winter storm on Saturday, is the beautiful mid January weather around the region this Wednesday afternoon. Temps around the region range from 48° in Poughkeepsie, to 50° in Middletown, and 50° in Kingston. It’s certainly not the record breaking weather from the weekend… but it’s still 15° above average. Make sure you enjoy it while you can… because big changes begin tomorrow.
The cold air will rush in Thursday afternoon behind a cold front that moves through with scattered showers tonight. Expect windy and blustery conditions Thursday afternoon, with temps falling into the 30s. Thursday night temps will tumble into the teens, with wind chills in the single digits… and then Friday we’ll see sunshine, but continued blustery conditions. Highs Friday, will hold in the 20s… and gusty winds will make it feel like the teens all day. So BIG changes to the way it feels around the region.
Then as far as Saturday is concerned… no changes to our thinking from the past 2 days. The storm continues to be targeted for Saturday afternoon, starting as snow… possibly ending as a rain/snow mix in southern areas. Accumulation potential is on the moderate end at this point. It’s still too early to commit to an accumulation forecast… but a range of 2 to 8 inches appears reasonable at this point, depending on the details.
We’ll likely issue a preliminary forecast on Thursday, with a Final Forecast slated for Friday afternoon. Stick with us for more updates and information as we get closer. Thanks for all the continued support, and have a great evening!

Tuesday Discussion : Weekend Buzz

With all the buzz surrounding this weekend’s potential winter storm, we want to provide an update on the potential. Most importantly… this storm is still 4+ days away… and so the details surrounding this storm WILL change.
– Start time trending later… Mid to late PM Saturday
– Storm begins as snow, could end as wintry mix
– Significant (but not major) winter storm possible
– Sunday looks blustery and cold, but dry
The basic structure of this system remains the same. Storm develops over midwest on Friday, and advances eastward on Saturday. COLD high pressure over New England funnels cold air into the Hudson Valley ahead of the storm. As the moisture presses east, snow should develop. Start time has been trending later and later… now possibly not until mid or late afternoon. Snow could fall for several hours, before milder air tries to push up the Hudson Valley.
The details will need to be worked through… but a changeover to sleet or rain is possible from I-84 on south Saturday night, before ending before sunrise on Sunday. Little details will make a big difference in the details, and we won’t have those answers until Thursday or Friday most likely. That said, confidence on the base setup of this storm is rather high at this point.
In terms of accumulations… it’s WAY too early to get caught up in that level of detail. It’s hard enough forecasting snow accumulations 24 to 36 hours in advance… let alone 4+ days. The one point we want to stress for now, is that this is NOT a major winter storm. When we use the term “major” we are talking about a storm with the potential of 12+ inches of snow. This is NOT that type of storm. It will have a fair amount of moisture, but it will be a fairly fast mover, and not particularly strong. This storm looks to have 0.50″ to 0.75″ of liquid moisture. If that is all snow, it would 8 inches at most… and we don’t know if it will be all snow. But for perspective, that’s what this storm looks like at the moment.
Hope everyone has a great Tuesday.

Record Breaking Weekend Recap & Week Ahead

A cloudy and chilly start to our work week around the Hudson Valley, as the winds have finally subsided. It feels chilly… but then again after our record breaking weekend of Saturday’s 68° and Sunday’s 67°… of course temps in the mid 30s will feel cold. The truth is, statistically, this is the coldest time of the year. Average afternoon highs for mid January are in the mid 30s. That means this past weekend was more than 30 degrees above average, breaking Saturday’s old record of 63° (set in 1975) and Sunday’s old record of 62° (set in 2018). Some incredible stuff, in a January that has been utterly devoid of cold.
But hopefully you winter weather haters enjoyed the past 30 days… because things are about to change….
The next 4 days will continue to be mild…. colder than this weekend, but still mild. Highs each of the next 4 days will be 20 degrees colder than this weekend… but that still puts us 10 degrees above average… with highs in the mid 40s expected.
Thursday, a weak system moves through, and the cold invades behind it on Friday. That sets the stage for Saturday, which could be a rude awakening back to the reality of January.
A storm system will develop in the plains states late week. Unlike recent storms, this storm may be blocked from moving into Canada. With cold air in place… and moisture arriving from the west… snow will likely break out on Saturday. Now, whether we stay all snow, or whether we see a period of mixing or rain… that is what we’ll work on fine tuning over the next few days. Because of the setup, the odds of a complete miss are extremely low… rather, it’s more of a question of the details (timing, accumulation, possible changeover).
So even at 5+ days away, we have moderate confidence that a winter storm is likely for Saturday. We will be tracking it through the week, and will try to share updates as we go. The timing, snow amounts, and chances of a changeover will be things we focus on as we get closer. Have a great start to your work week!

Strong Winds and Early AM Storms

Along with all the warmth of our Saturday, comes a strong southerly wind. Winds tonight will be 10 to 20mph with gusts over 30mph ahead of a cold front that will gradually bring an end to our spring tease.

A squall line will push eastward overnight, and should arrive in the Hudson Valley around sunrise. This line of showers and embedded thunderstorms will be rather broken, but could still contain some strong wind gusts over 50mph, possibly causing some scattered power outages around the region. The timing on this broken line of showers and downpours looks to be between 5am and 7am.
Behind the squall line, the clouds should exit rather quickly, and be replaced by partly to mostly sunny skies. The winds shift out of the west and continue to howl at 10 to 20mph, with gusts over 35mph. The wind direction will shift, but the temps should hold in the mid to upper 50s for most of the daylight hours, it’s not until late afternoon when the temps begin to tumble. So a rather nice Sunday does seem possible, in the wake of all the wind and showers… but lets see how it unfolds.