Monday Discussion : Looking Ahead

In the wake of a soaking Sunday around the Hudson Valley, things will dry out to start the work week.  But not before we saw widespread 1 to 2 inches of rain around the region.

Rainfall Totals
– Cairo 1.80″
– Poughkeepsie 1.58″
– Catskill 1.54″
– Red Hook 1.28″

In addition to the rain, our higher elevations had measurable snowfall, and quite a bit in the Catskills, where 3 to 6 inches fell in parts of Greene and Columbia counties, as the back edge of the storm funneled in colder air.  But now we’ll see a shift to warmer air to start the week.

Temperatures will begin to climb on Monday into the upper 40s for highs under mostly sunny skies.  Those sunny skies will see some increasing high clouds filter in ahead of our next system.  But still, we’ll see highs climb into the mid and upper 50s on Tuesday

Tuesday’s Highs

Then on Wednesday our next storm system will approach and spread some scattered rain showers into the region.

Futurecast Radar : Wednesday into Thursday

The low pressure system passes by to our north, and spreads some scattered showers late Wednesday and into Wednesday evening.  But the real story will likely be the howling winds.  We’ll see winds out of the south on Wednesday gusting over 25mph… then behind the system, winds out of the NW will gust over 35mph

Thursday Afternoon Wind Gusts

So a blustery and chilly Thanksgiving appears likely this year.  But on the positive side, we won’t be talking about snow or icy travel as a concern.  So holiday travel should be decent.  But lets not ignore the potential hazardous travel from strong winds.

Looking beyond this week, we’re seeing signs that the seasons are preparing to change from autumn to winter.  Our first major Sudden Stratospheric Warming event for this season appears likely to occur in the beginning of December.

Northern Hemisphere Stratosphere Temperatures: Dec 1 – Dec 10

This graphic shows temperatures compared to normal at the top of the atmosphere.  You’ll notice the standout feature is the warming that develops at the top of the image, and slowly pushes southward.  This is the visual interpretation of what is expected to occur in the stratosphere the first 10 days of December.  A “Sudden Stratospheric Warming” event or SSW, is usually the precursor to an outbreak of arctic air.  The rapid warming of the stratosphere forces the coldest air in the arctic region to push to lower latitudes, and leads to a weakening, and possibly splitting of the polar vortex (you likely remember the term ‘polar vortex’ from previous winters).  The major question with these events, is where the cold air will be focused.  The location of the development and the transition of the event is believed to be crucial to determine where the arctic air is felt.  We’ll have to see if the arctic air makes its way to the eastern US about 10 to 15 days after the event has concluded.  As of this post… which is still extremely early in the forecasting of this event… we think that this event could bring a colder than average 2nd half of December to the region… but we’ll have to wait and see.

Nonetheless, things are looking more and more interesting.  Chances for snow will be in the region before this event peaks… but this is just another sign of the changes that should be coming our way as we get closer to winter.  Have a great Monday!

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