Wednesday Discussion : Squalls and Blustery

As we approach mid day, clouds are mixing with sunshine, and our wind has become more gusty out of the west/northwest. Temperatures are in the mid 30s, but the strong wind gusts are making for wind chills in the 20s.
We’ve had many questions about the timing of snow squalls this afternoon. Squalls by their nature are notoriously tough to predict in advance… the morning burst of snow was evidence of that. In addition, the Binghamton radar is down, limiting our ability to track snow showers approaching from our west.
For the early afternoon… clouds will mix with sunshine, and winds will be gusty. Snow squalls will be possible, but most likely not until mid and late afternoon… but even those will be few and far between. It’s just something to keep on guard for.
Cold sets in for the next day or two… and then we’ll see temps rise for the weekend out ahead of our next storm. Highs on Saturday could approach 60°. Have a great afternoon!

Tuesday Discussion : Close Call Likely a Near Miss

In terms of winter weather… 2020 is getting off to a slow start. This slow start will be highlighted nicely by what happens tonight… where the Hudson Valley snow shield will be fully operational.
A weak low pressure will develop off the coast tonight, and it’s going to spread an area of snow ahead of it on the northern side of the storm. However, as you can clearly see in this futurecast radar loop… the snow shield will be deployed, and completely obliterate the area of snow heading in our direction. In reality… dry air, will combine with the storm redeveloping off shore, to cause the area of snow to dissipate just as it reaches our area… and then redevelop off to our east.
The end result will be a few snow showers that amount to a dusting in some places tonight, before the storm exits early on Wednesday. School delays are NOT likely, as the odds for accumulating snow are low.
In fact, our best chance for accumulating snow will come Wednesday late morning and afternoon… as strong NW winds create lake effect snows behind this system. A few snow showers or snow squalls could survive into the Hudson Valley. Those squalls could cause a burst of snow in scattered locations, leading to rapidly changing conditions. We’ll monitor that potential as we get into Wednesday.
We will continue to track this weak system, and if anything changes we’ll let you know. Have a nice afternoon!

Sunday Night Discussion : Light Snow Overnight

A very blustery Sunday is coming to a close, that featured strong NW wind gusts, bringing a chill back to the Hudson Valley after a mild start to the year.  And along with the colder air, will be some light snow showers overnight.
A weak warm front will touch off some warm advection snow across the region.  You can see by the 1st image, that a band of light snow should develop out ahead of the approaching warm front.  There isn’t a lot of cold air in place… nor is there a lot of warm air behind the frontal boundary… so we don’t expect the snow band to be very heavy in nature.  Instead, a period of steady light snow showers are likely.
– 11pm to 2am : Light snow develops
– 2am to 7am : Periods of light snow showers possible
– 6am to 9am : Light snow tapers off
– Hudson Valley: Dusting to an inch (up to 1.5″ in spots)
– Catskills: 1 to 3 inches possible
The timing of this nuisance event will potentially cause issues for the Monday AM commute.  Snow covered roads are possible, creating slick spots and areas of icy travel.  Temps will be below freezing, so the snow should stick, even though it’s likely an inch or less in most places.  You’ll have to go into the Catskills to find elevation enhanced snows above an inch or two.
The snow should taper off around sunrise on Monday… but we anticipate mostly cloudy skies with scattered snow showers and flurries to continue through the day Monday.  That said, we expect little if any additional accumulation after sunrise on Monday.  We’ll try to have additional commentary once the light snow begins to develop around the region tonight.

Saturday Discussion : Weekend Weather Outlook

A frontal boundary over the eastern US has allowed a disturbance to move through the region on Friday, spreading rainfall through the Hudson Valley.  As of Friday night, we’re in a bit of a lull between the first area of precipitation… and the 2nd batch of rain that will move into the region before dawn on Saturday.
Saturday will start off with showers, that will likely become spotty in nature near mid day.  Clouds will be with us through the afternoon, possibly a peek or two of sun by late in the day.  A very mild day by early January standards, as temps in the afternoon surge into the upper 40s, and possibly low 50s in some areas.
Saturday night we’ll see clouds, with a few spotty rain showers changing to wet snow showers overnight, as colder air rushes in.  But most of the moisture will have exited to our east by the time the cold air comes in.  So there will be no period of snow with the system Saturday night.  Instead… we’ll see a few flakes, partial clearing, and temps just below freezing by dawn on Sunday.
Sunday will be blustery and much colder, with a stiff north wind.  Clouds mix with sunshine, along with a few flurries early.  Highs only in the mid 30s… but wind chills will be mid 20s.  Now that feels much more like early January.
Finally, Sunday night, we’ll track a weak frontal system… almost clipper type system move into the Hudson Valley.  This will likely spread light snow into the region Sunday night into Monday morning.  We’ll have to monitor how this little system develops in the next day or so.  If it plays out as currently projected… it might be a dusting to an inch.
Ultimately, the potential for snow Saturday night was just asking for too many things to come together too quickly.  So it’s a close call… but the pattern is just too mild right now.  We hope everyone gets their weekend off to a great start!

Thursday Discussion : Showers Arrive Tonight

Our mild winter pattern is sending another storm system our way for the end of the work week.  Clouds will gradually increase late on Thursday and into Thursday night.  Highs on Thursday will rise into the mid 40s ahead of the storm.  Then another wave of low pressure rides up along the SE ridge, and spreads rain showers into the Hudson Valley before sunrise, giving us an unsettled Friday around the region.  The good news, is that frozen precipitation will not be an issue for this event.

How this storm moves as it exits the east coast, will determine if moisture will move slowly, allow precipitation to linger into the overnight hours Saturday night.  If that happens, and its appearing like it may… the rain could end as a period of wet snow.  Right now (approximately 72 hours away), computer guidance has no clue on the details of this setup.  Options are all over the map… meaning that the storm could track north and give us all rain; or it could track further south and give us an extended period of wet snow.

We will continue to monitor the development over the next day or two, and let you know if this is a legitimate threat, and something we need to watch.

Wednesday Discussion : Happy New Year #2020

Happy New Year, Hudson Valley!  A rather cold and blustery start to ring in 2020, as the cold front pushed through last night… accompanied by only a few wind gusts and flurries for most of the region.  The squall line died in the Catskills, as it is often found to do.
Clouds will mix with increasing amounts of sunshine as the day progresses… along with a few flurries and mountain snow showers possible.  The big story will be the wind, as we will have winds out of the west/northwest at 10 to 15mph to day, gusting over 20mph.  That will mean afternoon highs in the upper 30s… will feel more like the 20s around the region.  So a true winter time feel around the Hudson Valley… if only for a day or two.
We’ll try to have a discussion soon, looking at the mid to long range outlook… if time permits.  Have a great start to your 2020!

Tuesday Afternoon/Evening Snow Squall Concerns

The final day of 2019 looks relatively uneventful in terms of the weather.  Our rain system exited the region overnight, and the large upper level low pressure is lingering over the Great Lakes, pushing eastward.  That has left us with mainly cloudy skies, and temperatures in the upper 30s to near 40°.
As we move through the afternoon hours… we’ll have temps holding in the upper 30s to low 40s around the region.  Clouds will mix with some breaks of sun, out ahead of a frontal boundary that will swing through later this afternoon and evening.  As it moves through, wind gusts will increase out of the west… and a few snow showers or snow squalls are possible.
Timing: 4pm to 9pm
Concern: localized bursts of snow
Hazard: Rapidly changing conditions possible
– Visibility near zero for a short time
– quick dusting to half inch in some spots
– icy / snow covered roads possible
The futurecast radar from 2pm to 11pm shows the squall line moving from west to east… but the Catskills are notorious for chewing up squall lines, and today won’t be much different.  The squalls over central NY will be heavier and more pronounced.  As they move into the Catskills, the squalls will still pack a punch.  Then once they clear the Catskills into the Hudson Valley, we’ll have to see what’s left.
We do expect that a few of the squalls will make it into the HV, and could cause some locations to have rapidly changing conditions.  Visibility could be fine one minute, and you drive into a wall of snow, dropping visibility down to a few hundred feet in seconds.  Additionally, rapid accumulation of a coating of snow, could cause road conditions to vary over short distances as well.  Keep this in mind if travelling near sunset this evening.  We will try to have additional updates as the squall line approaches

Sunday Ice Storm Discussion : Elevation is Everything

Understandably with the Ice Storm Warnings being issued for Sullivan, W. Ulster, W. Greene, and Delaware counties… some anxiety and concern has arisen among the viewership. This post will seek to help people determine whether or not they need to be on alert, or they can allow their mind to ease a bit.

The concern for an ice storm is primarily for the following zones in the Hudson Valley:
Highest Concern: Zone 1, 2 and 5
Slightly less concern: Zone 4 and 6

The first image, is an image long in the making. We have created an HVW zone map guide so that you everyone can better determine what zone they live in. Each zone has towns/cities listed alphabetically. Not EVERY town will be listed, but everyone should be able to find a town within 5 miles of their location. If your town isn’t in the zones of concern, then you are not expected to see significant icing.

The second image is the latest estimate of ice accumulation from this storm. Chances are, the amounts are a bit aggressive, but you can see the focus of concern is clearly on the Catskills. Zones 1, 2 and 5 have a lot of area above 1,250 feet in elevation… and it is in those areas where the severest icing is possible. The higher elevations of zone 4 and 6 are above 1,000 feet in elevation. Those areas could also see significant and potentially damaging icing. Temperatures are obviously critical… and the difference between 31 and 33 degrees will be the difference between downed trees and power lines… and plain rain.  The possible damage could be severe, especially in places that never get above 32 degrees.

Hopefully the computer guidance is slightly too cold, and more areas end up being above 32 degrees in the Catskills. But we are seeing enough data suggesting a potentially damaging ice event in the high elevations over 1000 feet… that we want to make sure our viewers in those areas are fully prepared. The event begins after 3pm today.

We will have more information as we can share it…

Saturday Discussion : Winter Break

Winter… has gone on break.  At least that’s how it feels at the moment.  The weather pattern is a mild one, with cold air rather difficult to come by.  Even so, we may have some issues to contend with Sunday night in the Catskills… let’s talk about it.

Saturday looks great… for late December.  Sunshine mixing with fair weather clouds, and afternoon temps in the 40s.  Partly cloudy skies Saturday night will allow temps to tumble below freezing once again.  Sunday we’ll watch clouds increase ahead of our next storm system, as temps climb into the low 40s once again.

A storm system will cut into the Great Lakes, spreading rain out ahead of it.  There is no arctic air in place, so we won’t even see a ‘snow to ice to rain’ scenario, it’s just a cold rain… with an exception…

Cold air in Canada will be pushed into New England by a departing high pressure.  Parts of Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts are in for quite a bit of sleet and snow.  In the Hudson Valley, it should be just warm enough for rain… from Kingston, to Poughkeepsie, to Newburgh and points south and west.  However, in the higher elevations of Ulster, Sullivan, Delaware and Greene counties, temperatures may hover right near the 32° mark.  The upper atmosphere is not cold enough for snow… but temperatures at the surface in locations above 1000 feet may be just cold enough for freezing rain to develop.  It’s an increasing concern we’ve had over the past 48 hours, as we watch this storm approach.  Once again… the valley areas look like rain, (that could possibly taper as some wet snow flakes Monday night)… but higher elevations (you know who you are)… need to monitor the forecast in the next day or so.

Hope everyone gets off to a good start on your Saturday!

Long Range Outlook : Late December into Early January

After an active and wintry first half of December, things have slowed down considerably across the Hudson Valley and northeast.  That’s due to a massive area of high pressure over the US, that has diverted storms around the region… and allowed a mild Pacific air mass to take over the United States.  So while we have a bit of a lull in the action, lets analyze December so far… followed by what we have coming our way in the next 2 to 3 weeks.

December so Far…

After the first 20 days of December, the bulk of the country has been near, to just a bit above average.  The primary exception being Minnesota and the Northeast, where it’s been a few degrees below average.  So locally, in the Hudson Valley… it’s been quite a cold December.  Along with that cold, has been some snow.  Most of the region reached or exceeded the average December snowfall by the 2nd day of the month…

Location was critical to how much snow you’ve seen in December so far, with 90%+ of the snowfall for the month coming in the first 2 days.  But with the average being about 8.6″ for the month in the city of Poughkeepsie… despite the fact that things have quieted down recently, most places will see the month finish near or above average in terms of snowfall.  Looking at the pattern for the next 10 days, it seems like chances are rather good that the map above won’t change much for the remainder of December.

Looking Forward: End of December & Early January

So as we approach Christmas, and the week leading up to the New Year, things are likely to warm up significantly around the Hudson Valley.  If we take a look at the upper air pattern, or ‘jet stream’, we can get an idea of how things are shaping up for the next week or so…

If you like wintry weather… this pattern is about the worst thing you could ask to see.  The strong ridge over the eastern US will allow above average temperatures to take hold.  A persistent SW flow, will mean any storms that threaten the region over the next 7 days will be rain, and not snow.  At the same time, the western US will be cold and stormy, with chances for snow in the higher elevations.  If we look at the projected temperatures compared to average for the same time frame… the phrase we would use in the ‘weather biz’ would be “blowtorch”…

If we take the temperatures over the next 7 days… and average those together… we’re looking at temperatures above, to well above average for late December.  All the cold air is bottled up in northern Canada, or the western US.  The upper air pattern won’t allow for the cold air to drop into the United States… at least not until we get closer to the New Year.  That will mean above average temperatures… and minimal, if any, chances for snow between now and January 1st.

But as we look into the start of 2020… things are likely to begin to turn more wintry.  The upper air pattern appears likely to turn colder, and more favorable for wintry weather…

While not as warm as the pattern shown earlier… this pattern is colder, but not ‘arctic’.  That blue ring of cold in the arctic, at the top of the image… shows a very strong polar vortex in the arctic.  That means the bulk of the coldest air will be bottled up in the arctic, not invading Canada and the northern US.  However… this image is for nearly 2 weeks out… so a lot can change in that time.  But as the pattern looks now, the start of January looks colder than the end of December… but that won’t be difficult, considering how warm the end of December looks.

The early part of January currently appears likely to be near or slightly below average with temperatures… and with an active storm track, giving us chances at winter storms.  Time will tell… to see how things ultimately unfold.  But winter will be on a slight hiatus for a week or so.  We’ll be here with you the whole way, giving you updates as we head into the new year.

Happy holidays, Hudson Valley!  Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy New Year!!