We’ll have a quiet but chilly start to our work week across the Hudson Valley. Lots of sunshine and temperatures generally in the 30s to near 40° for a high on Monday. After a chilly night Monday night with lows in the low 20s across the valley (upper teens in the Catskills)… Tuesday will see a cold start, before temperatures moderate into the low and mid 40s during the afternoon for highs.
That allows us to talk about Wednesday, which is really the only thing on everyone’s mind anyway. We have another upper level low pressure diving into the central US, it will continue to roll eastward, into the Ohio Valley late on Tuesday. At the same time, we’ll see a wave of low pressure develop along the front side of the upper level trough. Where that coastal low pressure goes, will have a major impact on our weather for Wednesday…
As of Monday morning, we’ve got considerable disagreement on the track that the coastal low pressure will take. There IS agreement on the development of this low pressure system, almost all data has it developing near the coast of VA and North Carolina. The uncertainty is what happens next.
The GFS and NAM models develop the coastal storm, and immediately have it hug the coast. The storm tracks right along the coastline, and moves northward, before jumping northeast and heading toward Cape Cod. This track is likely the result of the upper low pressure system off to our west influencing the track. The rotation around the upper level low, likely pulls the coastal low pressure in toward the shore. This also aids in the rapid development of the storm, and generates substantial lift. If track #1 is correct, it would be a substantial storm for the Hudson Valley.
The European and Canadian Models develop the low pressure, and immediately try to jump the storm out into the ocean, before gradually hooking it back toward the New England coastline. This track would spare the Hudson Valley almost any real impacts. We might see some light snow develop along the front edge of the trough, as the low pressure is forming… but then the substantial snow would be pulled out to sea, and off to our east… possibly impacting Long Island and NYC.
Which is right?
That’s the challenge we have ahead of us, is to figure out which track is the right one. Right now, we have track #1 more likely, at about 65% chance to occur. We really would like to see the European model come around to our idea, that would help boost our confidence a bit. But the reason track #1 seems to make sense, is that the upper level low should influence the track of the coastal storm.
The upper level low pressure is deepening as it pushes eastward… in fact the GFS has the low closing off as it reaches the coast… a sign of a strong upper level low pressure. As it deepens, the trough should begin to tilt negative, and with a negatively tilted trough, the storm should tuck in tightly along the coast… not push out to sea. We’ll have to keep a close eye on the track, and see if this plays out the way we think.
If everything comes together the way we think it might… this could be our weather map Wednesday afternoon…
Notice that the NAM model is picking up on the dramatic lift that may be possible in the Hudson Valley. The purple shading is indicative of snowfall rates well over 1″ per hour. If track #1 is correct, then we’re in for a very snowy Wednesday afternoon across the Hudson Valley. Snowfall amounts would likely near or exceed 6 inches in most locations, with someone possibly reaching double digits in terms of snowfall amounts.
There are obviously concerns about strong winds, with portions of the Hudson Valley still without power today. As it looks right now, the sustained winds should be less than what we saw on Friday for certain. We could still have a few gusts that pack a punch, up over 30mph… but the strength and frequency of the strong wind gusts should be noticeably less than what we saw on Friday.
Now, we want to be clear… people should take this storm seriously. The point we are trying to make, is that there is a difference between the size and scope of this storm, and the size and scope of the previous storm. It is worth mentioning however, that due to the fact that this will likely be a heavy wet snow, with the gusty winds that we do anticipate with a developing nor’easter… that additional power outages will be a concern.
But let’s nail down the track first… and then once we know whether this storm will come up the coast, then we can worry about the wind and the potential for power outages. Have a great Monday afternoon, we’ll have more updates tonight.