Saturday Outlook : Late Winter Chill

After a Friday night that featured some widespread snow showers and snow squalls… things should quiet down a bit for our Saturday.  Sure, consider us biased… but there’s just something about a harmless snow squall with half dollar sized snow flakes falling and melting harmlessly on the pavement on a seasonably chilly early March evening.  Looking up into the street light to see hundreds of flakes swirling to the ground, or night time driving in the snow… and throwing the high beams on, to make it look like you’re flying the Millennium Falcon in a Star Wars movie at light speed.  Something about the snow that just brings out the big kid in us.

Perhaps that’s why some people get so sour about a ‘busted’ snowfall forecast where the snow doesn’t accumulate the way we anticipate.  Because we’ve become giant children who are going to stomp our feet, because we want our special treat… and Mother Nature has just told us ‘no desert, it’s time for bed!”

Anyway… that was a completely unexpected digression, and not at all how I expected to start this post.  As far as our Saturday is concerned… we’ll have partly to mostly sunny skies across the valley, along with a persistent and gusty NW breeze.  Sustained winds around 10 to 15mph are expected, and gusts upwards of 25mph will really add to the late winter chill across the region.  Make sure you grab a good coat for whatever the day has in store for you.  Our friends in the Catskills could see a few flurries or a snow shower through the day… but nothing that part of the world isn’t used to for this time of year.

A cold night ahead as well, at least for early to mid March standards.  Mostly clear skies are likely along with continued light winds and overnight lows that should fall into the teens and low 20s.  Wind chills in the low teens and possibly single digits… reminding us that Winter won’t quit just yet.  The cold hangs with us for Sunday as well, with afternoon highs once again in the mid to upper 30s… which is a solid 5 to 10 degrees below average.  That sets the stage for one of the potentially colder nights we’ll see the rest of the season.  Winds are expected to die down early Monday morning, and these could be our Monday morning wake up temperatures…

Now, the Euro is picking up on the idea that snow pack will hold through the weekend in much of the Hudson Valley.. this may be true in some spots… not so true in others.  Take my house in Pine Bush for instance… we only had 7 or 8 inches to begin with, so that snow is about 60% gone now, and I don’t know if it will hold through the weekend… we’ll see.  But where they got 15 to 20 inches of wet snow… I’m sure they will be plenty of snow left over.  And where there is snow, overnight lows could drop into the single digits… thanks to a process known as radiational cooling.  That’s where the warmth of the day radiates back out into the atmosphere at night.  This process is maximized when winds are calm, skies are clear, and when there is a fresh snow pack.

The reason, is that calm winds allow the heat in the air to rise… the clear skies mean there aren’t any clouds to act like a blanket and lock in the warm air, preventing it from radiating out into space.  And the snow pack… is a bright white surface that reflects solar radiation during the day, keeping it cooler… where as the ground typically absorbs more solar radiation.  And so when night time comes, the white surface of the snow pack quickly radiates that heat back out to the atmosphere… where the ground is slower to radiate the heat back into the atmosphere.

So long story short… a COLD night could be ahead for Sunday night and Monday morning.

Finally… the Nor’easter Storm Recap… it’s not finished yet.  Quite simply, I was too tired to do it justice Friday night, and will wrap it up on Saturday.  I sincerely apologize for the delay… it’s just been an exhausting 10 day period.  But considering how many tangents I went off into on this post… I should have just finished the recap.

Oh well… keep an eye out for the recap on Saturday.  Have a great day!

20 thoughts on “Saturday Outlook : Late Winter Chill

  1. Great dialogue and I fully agree. Glad you didn’t do the recap of the storm! What a nice word picture you painted!

  2. Loved the digression ! It’s my favorite time to drive as well. Millennium Falcon indeed! A scientist with a great imagination. Rest up for the next storm.

  3. Like Lizzy & Helen I loved the digression…I am a newcomer to the area and your weather forecasts provide important information to me. Thank you for your hard work in presenting all the details.

  4. I’d love it if you guys were to talk about the difference in ‘normal’ temperatures across the region at some point and the effects that it has on different areas. For the most part you guys seem to go off of Pougkeepsie’s average temperatures, which has and average high of 45 degrees this time of year, but do consider that most of the region is colder than that. Here in the Taconics for example the official average high today is 39 degrees, but where I live it actually tends to be a couple degrees colder than where those temperatures have been recorded. So while it might be cold for Poughkeepsie and some of the surrounding cities and towns this week, for me the forecasted temperatures are actually spot on, if not a little bit above average. The same is true for the Catskills, take Arkville, New York for example, today’s average high there is 40 degrees, and I’m sure some parts of the Catskills and Taconics have even more of a difference compared to the Mid Hudson Valley.

    Perhaps this is something to talk about on your Hudson Valley Zone Map at some point?

    • Very interesting point Joshua. We do use Poughkeepsie as the primary point of reference, just so we can have a spot that we can build a discussion around. It’s true that the Taconics and Catskills will have colder average temperatures, but whe new talk about temperatures being in the upper 30s for Poughkeepsie… which is about 5° below average… the Taconics are likely to be in the mid 30s, and the Catskills in the low 30s. So it’s really all relative, and why we use one location to describe comparison to average.
      This does make for an excellent discussion though, especially when things quiet down, and we’re reaching for ideas about what to discuss. I’ll try to file this one away for a post at a later time. Thanks Joshua! 🙂 -Bill-

  5. Love the digression! I used to fly small commercial aircraft, and the FAA says that when we are in IMC (in the clouds) at night and snow is present, we should turn off all the aircraft lights to avoid visual disorientation from the flashes and snow rushing by. So of course we’d turn on everything we had and enjoy the most fantastic light show ever, like being trapped in the worlds greatest snowglobe.

  6. Okay, despite my dislike for snow since about 12/26/17 this season (yes, still digging the White Christmas), your tangent did a winter-weary heart good, especially with the Star Wars theme thrown in. Waiting on the word for the next event which, hopefully, will not be making me break out the snow shovel one more time.

  7. I, also, loved the digression….and you are right, it DOES feel like you shifted into warp drive when driving through the snow at night. Completely magical.

    Thank you for the best forecast in the Hudson Valley. I do not even bother with anyone else’s forecast. Onky wish that you included us folks in the Connecticut side.

  8. Love the creativity in this post and I know you are weather guys and all, but I just can’t let the desert for dessert go…but let’s look at the bright side…okay, sunny side for you weather pros — you got 99% of the spellings correct!

  9. You are awesome! No one else makes sense like this, and I like the word journeys, I can conjure the pictures!
    And we have this great community to boot! Can’t wait to hear you. I will be checking regular, no matter what
    the weather looks like.

  10. Well – that sounded a bit snarky!! I tell EVERYONE to look at your website and READ THE COMMENTARY!
    You all have been spot on all winter and last winter and the one after that? If people would read, say, your whole amazing explanation for the “snow hole” instead of going crazy that you were wrong. Fascinating stuff for an amazing storm.
    Don’t let the nay sayers get you down. Keep up the great work you are doing.

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