A fantastic Wednesday shaping up across the Hudson Valley. We’ll see sunshine and blue skies mixing with some fair weather clouds at times. Our flow will shift out of the southwest on Wednesday… allowing temperatures to climb into the mid and upper 50s across the region.
The focus of the day will be on Friday of course… as we continue to track a surface storm system that will move from the Chicago area and redevelop south of NYC and Long Island. At the same time, an upper level low pressure system will intensify and track from Detroit to areas off the Mid Atlantic coast. The exact track will be tough to iron out, as we have multiple weather features to gather data on.
It’s warm… VERY warm, across the Hudson Valley. Without any real invasion of arctic air to speak of… it’s going to take the energy from the upper level low pressure to generate cold enough air to cause snow. In the Catskills… that looks easy enough, with Winter Storm Watches already posted for the mountains of the viewing area. But the big question we’re going to focus on today: “Can we get the Upper Level Low Pressure to track just to our south, and cool the air enough in the valley, to turn the rain over to snow?”
We’ll have updates on this potential through the day.
Rainfall Recap : Last Weekend
We’ve had many people ask for a recap on the weekend’s rainfall totals. The reports out of the northern half of the Hudson Valley were not very encouraging (Greene, Columbia, Ulster & Dutchess). But we wanted to share the information with you. The map below covers the 7 day period from Tuesday 2/20 thru Tuesday 2/27… which encompasses all of the rain (and wet snow), from Thursday through Sunday. The totals listed, are just from Saturday and Sunday. All data is from the National Weather Service…
It’s starting to feel like the very beginning of spring. Those days where the sun is bright, and the temperatures climb into the low 50s. And you can start to feel spring in the air. Days like yesterday, and today…
We’ve got lots of sunshine and blue skies for our Tuesday. Our flow continues to be out of the west, reinforcing that mild air that is in place across the Hudson Valley. Temperatures started out near or just below freezing across the area… signs of a hard frost and freeze in many places. But the sun has melted the frost… and temps are on their way up. Highs this afternoon should reach the mid 50s in many parts of the Hudson Valley… well above the average in the low 40s. Hopefully you can get out and enjoy our early spring preview!
This fantastic weather will carry us through Wednesday, before some more clouds push into the area for Thursday. That leads us to a very complex setup for Thursday night and Friday.
This continues to be the basic setup for our Friday. However, this isn’t a ‘basic’ system… and we’re getting some new data that suggests that this storm may try to generate some snow. So we’re going to be looking at this storm in depth through the day. We’re going to try and have a comprehensive discussion on this system later today or tonight.
Winter… it seems, won’t go away without a fight. Have a great Tuesday!
As we begin the final week of February, winter seems to have forgotten us. We watched winter surge back in on the heels of the warmest February day on record… but just as quickly it exited the region over the weekend once again. After several inches of rainfall over the weekend, we’re looking at things finally quieting down for the first half of the work week.
Clouds will mix with increasing amounts of sunshine as the day progresses on Monday. Our flow is out of the west/northwest… but for snow lovers, the problem is that there is no cold air anywhere in the eastern 2/3 of North America.
So even with the NW flow to start the week, we’ll see temperatures about 5 to 10 degrees above average… with highs across the Hudson Valley pushing near 50°. This trend will continue as we push into Tuesday and Wednesday as well. So a warm finish to what has been a rather warm month of February.
Looking toward the end of the week, we’re tracking a major storm system developing. All the ingredients for a major snowstorm are in place… except the cold air. To torment snow lovers… we’ve had a terrible atmospheric pattern for weeks, and now the pattern breaks in our favor… but with absolutely no cold air to work with. The result… looks like this…
As snow lovers… this is deflating. But we can’t control the weather… we just diagnose and forecast it. It looks like a strong coastal storm will stall out off the east coast, and eventually move southeast… out to sea. That’s due to a monster block over Greenland, that will prevent the storm from exiting in it’s traditional pattern.
We’ll continue to track this storm as we push into the week. Maybe we can find some cold air… or borrow some from our friends in Europe. Ultimately, that’s where all the cold is… Europe. The US maintains our relatively warm pattern… and we’ll see how long into March we can hold onto it.
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!