STORM RECAP – Saturday 3/12/22

An interesting late season winter storm, where arctic air crashed into the region as the precipitation arrived, to generate a late season snow across the Hudson Valley.  These type of systems are notoriously challenging to forecast with regard to snowfall totals.  The reason being because the precise timing of the cold air invasion, is critical to getting the rain to transition over to accumulating snow.  In addition… because the cold is not in place out ahead of the storm… the snow will struggle to accumulate at first, and one of the challenges with forcasting accumulations is how long will snow accumulations be minimized due to warm surface temperatures of the ground.

Nonetheless, we generated the following forecast, with the subsequent results…

Looking back, the breakdown for the ranges was correct.  The Catskills, Mid & Upper Hudson Valley, and Lower Hudson Valley… all saw relatively different snowfall ranges.  The Catskills were forecast to see 6 to 12 inches, and per the snow map, widespread 6 to 10 inches of snow fell in those areas.  The Lower Hudson Valley was forecast to see 1 to 4 inches of snow, and probably could have been left at the preliminary snow map of Coating to 3 inches.  Much of that area saw a coating to 2 inches of snow, as the changeover was later… and the temps were just too warm to support much accumulation.

The Mid & Upper Hudson Valley were the areas of greatest uncertainty.  The battle ground for the forecast as the timing of the cold and moisture would be very critical, and that was the case in reality.  The forecast was for 4 to 8 inches of snow, but due to the temperatures being so marginal as the changeover unfolded… snow accumulations did not manifest quite as much as the computer guidance was suggesting.  Widespread accumulations of 3 to 6 inches were observed over that area, as the snow moved through the area too quickly to accumulate more than that.  So the snow was a bit of an under achiever… but the forecast was reasonably satisfactory.

A season of complex winter storms is almost at an end.  We’ll see if any additional snowfall can materialize in the next couple weeks.

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