Preliminary Snow Forecast : Tuesday Arctic Front Snow

A very unusual setup has a very difficult forecast ahead of us for Tuesday.  As we watch an arctic front have a low pressure develop along it, which should lead to a burst of snow across the Hudson Valley for Tuesday, followed by the coldest air of the season so far.

Timing on Tuesday:
– 8am to 12pm: Light snow develops from west to east
– 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

Impacts:
– 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 (highest level of uncertainty)

Discussion:

This storm has a lot of unusual characteristics, which should be expected considering this type of arctic front… and the air mass behind it… is not one you see all that often.  The air mass in the Hudson Valley on Monday will be arctic in nature, with below average temperatures in the region.  This sets the stage for a snow event, almost every time.  However, as the arctic front digs into the eastern US, it will generate a SE flow out ahead of it.  That will cause a low pressure system to try and develop along the boundary, and a band of moderate precipitation should develop out ahead of it… primarily in the form of snow.

The snow should start out light and scattered during the morning hours, and become steadier and heavier during the early afternoon.  Then the question becomes, just how much low level warm air invades the region?  The low pressure that will try to develop along the front will pull warm air up ahead of it.  So it’s track and position will be critical to who… if anyone… in the Hudson Valley changes over to rain.

Latest guidance suggests that anyone from roughly I-84 on south has the best chance of mixing with and changing to rain.  The warm air is all at the surface with this system… meaning freezing rain and sleet should not be an issue.  The question is either snow… or rain.  We’ll have to watch the exact position of this system in the next 24 to 36 hours.  Our snowfall forecast is based off the data you see above.  So if this system trends further SE, then we will see the snow totals rise a bit across the region.  However, if this system trends further NW… meaning more warm air in the Hudson Valley… then we may have to lower the snow totals Monday Night.

Stick with us through the next 24 hours, and we’ll share any changes to the info we’ve got with you.  Thanks for the tremendous support!  You guys are awesome!

10 thoughts on “Preliminary Snow Forecast : Tuesday Arctic Front Snow

  1. Washingtonville School District is right on that Zone 7-8 line. It is always so difficult to guess where we might fall in each storm but I am guessing 2″-3″ with this one?

  2. The forecast on the radio “exclusively powered” by you guys just said (as 10:30am today) “a mix of snow and rain showers” for tomorrow… that doesn’t match this forecast I read here… what am I missing?

  3. Nothing really unusual about the setup, as it the typical “complex” setup we always seem to get here. Funny, but when we have cold air, no precip to be found. When we have precip, warm air seems to always mix in. It is tough to be a snow lover in the MHV!!, but you guys do a nice job on forecasting with making the best of what comes our way.

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