Final Storm Forecast – Tuesday Frontal Snows

Well to say that forecasting this winter has been a bit fickle, some winters we see every storm trend colder and snowier, and watch the track of the storms slowly adjust themselves into more and more favorable positions as the hours get closer, then some winters we watch storms trend warmer and warmer, every storm have a transitional zone that always seem to set up right through our region, tracks that are not conducive to all snow events, and cold air that seems to be available when storms arenas and warm air that arrives in time to meet every storm that does show up. A headache for a forecaster, a let down for a skier, a bad season for a snow removal expert and a bummer for snow lovers alike.

While myself and Bill were discussing this storm of the last few days, one of the conversations we had while going over our forecast was the fact that when a winter get habitual about underperforming, under producing or managing to be warmer than expected, its best to adjust your forecasting as such. This is why our preliminary forecast was much lower than what was out there yesterday and why our final forecast is……. wait for it….. NOT changing from our preliminary forecast. We are going to continue to err on the side of caution and keep the forecast on the lower side.

We have low level warmth to contend with, some down-sloping effect, daylight snowfall, and a somewhat progressive system. With that said, we expected localized heavier amounts in the higher locations, Hudson Highlands, Gunks, Taconics and Southern and Eastern Catskills. We expect areas away from the valley floor and into the hill towns and higher elevations to also see the higher accumulations. Snow will likely turn to rain across our southern most zones, and into the valley locations, just how far north up the valley that warm air progresses (ie Newburgh,Poughkeepsie,Kingston) is to be determined. In events like this it is not uncommon for the times of heaviest precipitation to see it fall as snow, and as it lightens it up it may turn back to a wintry mix and vice versa as the precipitation rates fluctuate. This is because despite the warmth flooding up the valley at the lower levels, the temps in the upper atmosphere and mid level atmosphere will mostly remain below freezing. This can cause heavy snow to pull down that cold air and cool the entire column down enough for snow, this is called dynamic cooling.

All of that aside, the roads and other surfaces are very cold after two nights of lows in the teens, this means that at the onset of snowfall, travel will get slick quite quickly and only worsen where snow continues to fall. Areas that do transition to rain also have another threat to contend with. Cold air will once again crash in behind this system tomorrow night. Areas where rain is falling will transition back to a period of snow, and yes you guessed it, flash freeze again. No need to panic, we know the routine! We are experts now at this smorgasboard of precipitation, we either leave the snow to get rained on and then frozen into permafrost that must be removed with hydronic fluid powered equipment, or we attack it before! Work smarter not harder! Also keep in mind that the winds and temps behind this storm will once again be brutal! Be prepared

Timing on Tuesday:
– 8am to 12pm: Light snow develops from west to east, may be delayed across areas of east of the river
– 1pm to 8pm: Snow falls moderate to heavy at times
– 3pm to 7pm: Snow could mix with rain south of I-84
– 7pm to 11pm: Snow tapers from west to east

– Temps below freezing at start… snow sticks to all surfaces
– Temps rising near freezing as snow intensifies, heavy wet snow possible
– Similar to early season snowstorm, low snow ratios & more at higher elevations
– Snow covered and icy roads likely, especially north of I-84
– Warm air at surface may mix/change to rain the further south you go

Snow Accumulations:
– Catskills (Zone 1,2,5,6): 4 to 8 inches (locally 10″ in highest elevations)
– Mid & Upper Hudson Valley (Zone 3,4,7): 2 to 6 inches (locally 8″ in highest elevations)
– Lower Hudson Valley (Zone 8,9): Coating to 3 inches (locally 5″ in Hudson Highlands)


35 thoughts on “Final Storm Forecast – Tuesday Frontal Snows

  1. Hyde Park Schools just closed “due to the impending snow storm.” I was thinking we’d get an early dismissal, but I’ll take it.

  2. Maybe the areas that have a snowpack in the Valley (Saugerties) will remain snow longer cause of the cooler air the snow creates ?

  3. I’ve noticed that sometimes free stuff and volunteers get the most kvetching & complaining. I, for one, am grateful for all your hard work. And from my recollection, you have been right on the money more often than not. Thank you!

  4. Unpredictable weather is that exactly. Maybe back in the day forecasting was alot more accurate and on point. Time of the start of the storm, storm ending time and storm amounts were on point. Climate has changed and as stated above, unpredictable is what weather has become. Forecasting at this point is inaccurate and a “toss up”. So for meterologist to cover for themselves they post broader time lines and broader amounts so even when they are wrong which is most of the time, they still cover themselves. So this ex( 3-6inch locally 12) is ridiculous. People sit and post praising their accuracy? There hasn’t been accuracy from HVW or any other forecasting in years. All these radars etc you would think they would be more accurate. It’s not the fact that they are inaccurate, it’s the fact they keep pushing this excuses as to why they are never accurate.

  5. Glad to see you took some advise even though you never responded. The models have this winter nailed until something drastic happens in the pattern, not his time either. IF, there is a change in pattern we may unfortunately run out of Winter.

  6. Thank you HVW!! You have been right on the money for those of us below I-84 every time. We appreciate your focus on the individual zones in our Hudson Valley. No one else breaks it down for each microclimate. Blessings!

  7. Sean F — how could you possibly say that weather forecasting in the past was more accurate. For Pete’s sake, there was a hurricane that hit New England in the 30’s that nearly destroyed EVERYTHING along RI’s coast because no one knew it was coming, no weather forecast it!

  8. I appreciate the analysis and hard work that goes into the HVW forecast, and I especially appreciate how it is reported on this site. The maps are clear, the data fully explained in actual conversational english. This forecast has the best accuracy before the storm than any other whether it’s NOAA or the major networks.
    Thanks much.

  9. Thanks, HVW! Now if only the schools would pay attention to you. Early dismissal today; my son is home and there is barely 1mm of snow on the ground.

  10. I said it last storm and I’ll say it again. I live in Fishkill/ Beacon area right at 84 so the conditions in my area can be either North or South of 84 and HVW is usually right on the money. Thanks guys.

  11. You can’t blame climate change for inaccurate winter storm forecasting. Although it’s true that there does exist cycles in the severity of winter and summer weather, global warming has not yet had any dramatic change to weather in this region of the country, (though we did see a average warmer temp in the North Atlantic summer of 2018 that gave us consistently high dew points all summer and well into fall). Some winters are cold and snowy, some are the opposite. I grew up in the 70’s in a snow belt city and even there we had more severe winters several years running and we had the opposite. Weather is dynamic, fluid and very hard to forescast much further out than 24hrs. Keep practicing, maybe one day volunteers and paid professionals will figure it out.

  12. Sean F you are spot on my opinion. And to the person that mentioned the 30s I don’t think Sean was talking about quite that long ago. As I sit here and write this it’s obvious that most of the upper half of the valley will easily have more snow than these guys forecasted which reminds exactly of the storm we had in November. Forecasters put these wide ranges of amounts in maps like Sean said and still get it wrong. And for the people that say volunteers, what do you think those advertisements are on this page? With those and a big red donate button below them, that”s not volunteering.

    • Ed. Very well put. The 30,s comment was totally off base and not relevant to what I was stating. Forecasting has never been spot on but in my “opinion” as well as others, forecasting has turned into a total guessing game. Storms back in the 80s-90s was more accurate then now. And let me emphasize “SNOW” events, not all storms. The timing of snow events and amounts were “off” yes. But no where near to how bad it’s been “off” years leading up until now. HVW does go into alot if depth and has obvious knowledge what they are talking about and credit to them for that. However that being said, it’s not accurate at all anymore. And it baffles me the praises and signs of appreciation that HVW gets to their forecasts. They are just if not more inaccurate then your local news. Only difference is they throw all this science,models,cold air warm air BS etc to make it look good. Msterologists on TV get paid over $100,000 a year for their show they put on that puts people in a panic for no reason. HVW obviously has more time and dedicated themselves to predicting the weather. And that’s what it is anymore, PREDICTING. I see post after post about how “accurate HVW was”. “Thank you for all your on point forecasts”. What?! Am I the only person that sees the BS? How can you thank and appreciate knowledge that is not portrayed during and after these “snow” events? And following a storm that’s several inches “off” what was forecasted or several hours “off” of start/end time the scientific excuses come out. And I know there are the people out there that know what I’m talking about. Well……. we didnt see this coming, and the cold air came in from the wrong direction etc etc. You were wrong period. Your radars, your models, weather is weather. It’s going to happen. Perfect forecasting at this point and time for “snow” events should be “a trace-8 inch from early morning till late night. If we see more coming we will keep you updated. That’s it. Not these charts ,where who is getting what, because very rarely they are accurate. And these “finalized forecasts”. It’s not final because the forecasting is predicted. And when it doesnt turn out they way expected the race is on to cover up.

  13. Still snowing; AT LEAST 13 inches here in Shokan (Olive). I’m going to give Curt, Sean and R. Corey some heartfelt advice: if you can’t say something nice, say nothing! To HVW I say a heartfelt “Thank you!”

    • Elisa. Thank you kindly for your advice. And I, as well as anyone can speak there opinion on any matter. If you can’t say something nice say nothing? This isn’t Elementary School. It’s a forum to post comments and opinions, and not all opinions need to be positive because life isn’t always positive. . That’s how it works. And nothing specific is being said about HVW. It’s being said across the board with Forecasting and meteoroligist. Obviously you feel different and I respect that. But me as well as many other people including but not limited to State officials have voiced there opinion as to the poor forecasting by all entities. It’s the fact that this “scientific” mumbo jumbo is poured out to us before and after the fact to cover up the inaccuracies. And since you praise forecasting, HVW and others you have you set opinion and that wint change. And that’s the positive side to forums. So I will voice my opinion and state my feelings on issues whenever and wherever I please. Could be nice, positive, negative etc. That’s the joy of freedom of speech. Thanks again for your advice.

  14. Wappingers by Dutchess Airport has around 7-8 inches, I’d say. But when i went to Golds gym in Fishkill, it was raining with OK roads where the town of Wappingers was horrid and roads untouched. I haven’t heard a single plow on our main road. I hope I do soon.- I need to go to work tomorrow!

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