The month of March can be a beast when it comes to winter storms. The transition from the bitter chill of winter, to the mild breeze of spring, can bring a LOT of instability with it. We saw an historic storm just 5 days ago, on Friday… and we are now staring down another major winter storm. The phrase ‘adding insult to injury’ will be rather appropriate for some parts of the Hudson Valley.
– 10pm to 2am : Light snow develops from west to east
– 2am to 10am : Light to moderate snow continues
– 10am to 8pm : Moderate to Heavy snow… up to 1 to 2 inches per hour
– 8pm to 12am : Snow begins to taper off, ending near midnight
– Catskills (Zone 1 & 2) : 7 to 14 inches
– Hudson Valley (All remaining zones) : 8 to 16 inches
Right on the heels of a monster winter storm, that still has parts of the region without power as of this forecast… we’ve got another major winter storm to contend with. An upper level low pressure system will push southeast on Tuesday, from the upper mid-west, to the Ohio Valley. That upper level low will help a coastal low pressure system develop in the early morning hours of Wednesday. That storm will intensify and strengthen… pushing northward, along the east coast.
A frontal boundary out ahead of the upper level low pressure system will spread light snow into the Hudson Valley around midnight Tuesday night. The snow will be light and even a bit scattered in nature, as the boundary won’t have a lot of moisture with it. But the true purpose of that boundary will be to serve as the location for the coastal low to develop along shore. With the upper level low pressure off to the west, it will shift its energy to the coast, and allow for the coastal storm to blossom Wednesday morning.
But it will take some time for that process to occur. In the meantime, it’s likely that light snow showers will persist over the Hudson Valley during the overnight and early morning hours on Wednesday. If the snow is light, and somewhat scattered… don’t be fooled… this is not the nor’easter, just some frontal boundary light snow out ahead of it. As the low pressure continues to strengthen… convective bands of precipitation will set up on the north side of the low, and the low will begin to move northward.
By early afternoon on Wednesday, the front end of the convective snow banding should be making its way into the Hudson Valley. The areas of banding are indicated by the purple shading on this map… which is indicative of snowfall rates of 1 to 3 inches per hour! Whiteout conditions and thunder-snow are possible in these bands, as they will be like thunderstorms of snow. Conditions will be treacherous under these bands of snow, and travel will be extremely dangerous if not impossible at times. Along with the heavy snow, expect wind gusts over 25mph to be possible as the storm begins to wrap up and intensify. This storm will move slowly off to the northeast, and by the evening commute, it is likely to still be snowing hard in the Hudson Valley…
As the nor’easter begins to push northeastward, and head toward Cape Cod, the western edge of the snow banding is likely to pivot over the Hudson Valley. In short, that means instead of tapering off, it’s likely that the snow will continue through the evening commute and into the nighttime hours. Snowfall rates could continue to be over 1 inch per hour at times.
So as you can see, this is a LONG duration event. We are concerned that there could be power outage issues once again with this storm. Granted, there are still parts of the area that are without power now… but this new nor’easter could cause new power outages. While this storm won’t see a ‘fluffy’ snow… it likely won’t be quite as heavy and wet as the Friday storm. We’re hoping that trees and power lines won’t be coated in snow quite the same in this storm, and the winds will be a bit less intense with this storm. But with those points of optimism laid out, we are still concerned that power outages will be a problem late on Wednesday.
We’ll continue to have updates through the day on Tuesday, as well as a “Final Storm Forecast” Tuesday evening. Be sure to check back with us often, for more updates and the latest information on what this storm may bring us.