Happy Sunday! Our first week of February comes to a close we have more weather to discuss. For the most part Sunday looks like a decent day across most of the region, the exception to that rule is the potential for a quick burst of snow as a piece of energy moves through the region. Given the temperatures across the lower elevations we aren’t expecting much more than quick burst or snow which will be localized, at this point the higher elevations of the Catskills have the best chance of seeing snow associated with this piece of energy.
Things begin to change Sunday overnight into Monday AM as a storm system approaching the region will begin to increase warm air advection across the region, this will spark of a shield of precipitation. It appears precipitation may fall in the form of snow across the higher terrain and across locations north of Kingston. Temps may be to mild to support snow across the lower elevations of the valley, but we will continue to monitor. Snowfall across the highest terrain may be moderate with 2-6” possible. We will monitor the potential of accumulating snow across the lower elevations through the day.
Any snow that does fall will have the potential for creating click travel overnight and possibly impact the Monday AM commute. Temps on Monday moderate quickly so if snow manages to make it down to lower elevations, it’s impacts will be short lived. We will have another update during the day to address some of the uncertainty with the lower elevation snow, so stay tuned.
A glance at the HRRR for just after midnight shows the area of snow in question, you can see the impacts of the lower elevations on precip type but it’s a very close call across northern parts of the region, best best is to be prepared for the potential for some slick travel but Sunday overnight and early Monday, especially across the high terrain and northern most counties
1 PM UPDATE:
Let’s take a look at the latest guidance for a deeper look into what we can expect across the region overnight into Monday morning. Things still look quite aligned with the above information lets first take a look at the HRRR model which does not take us through the entire event but continue’s to be the coldest of the guidance.
This simulated radar take us through about 5AM, as you can see this piece of guidance is depicting a not so great scenario for early morning commutes, dynamic cooling from moderate to heavy snowfall allows for a prolonged period of snow across all but our southern most zones, this option has been and continues to be on the table, an we will need to monitor tonights guidance for any trends towards or away from this scenario.
The other end of the guidance is coming from the NAM model below, this model is a bit warmer and very much less aggressive on the snow vs rain across the lower elevations. Snow moves in after midnight and quickly begins to transition to rain, even during the onset of snow surface temps are above freezing, any early road accumulations will rapidly improve as soon as the precipitation transitions, this scenario would be the better outcome for all morning activities outside of the higher elevations. Next image is temps during this time frame, you can see warm air relentlessly pouring into the region throughout the event, these are not the temperature profiles you want to see for accumulating snowfall.
Sooooo you may be asking, how is it going to snow at all? I can answer that! Temperatures in the upper atmosphere are supportive of snow for quite a bit longer than the surface, this combined with moderate precipitation intensity is enough to cool the column down, this combined with the cold nights we’ve had the last 48 hours and this occurring pre sunrise means we can likely overcome the air temps slightly above freezing and still have some ice and snow covered roads for a period of time before things rapidly improve.
Take a look at temps at about 5000 feet.. Below 0c is supportive of snow…
Feeling is a blend of these two scenarios, for one we haven’t seen many storms this season end up on the colder side of the guidance, if anything its been quite the opposite, that alone means we must be apprehensive of the coldest guidance. It’s important to leave that option on the table given the importance of Monday AM travel. No matter what, this doesn’t appear to be much of an accumulating snowfall event anywhere outside of the higher elevations of the Catskills, above 2000′ we could see 3-6″ of snow with amounts increasing with sea level. This all wraps up by about 10AM-1pm tomorrow, temps really spike as the day progresses so any evidence of winters early morning shenanigans will be quickly erased.
In closing, higher elevations be prepared for an accumulating snowfall event with moderate impacts to travel, lower elevations south of Kingston, a brief period of wintry weather is probable prior to daybreak but conditions improve rapidly as warmer air rushes in, northern half the region may see these wintry conditions hold on a bit longer along with the impacts. Any trends warmer or colder will have equal and opposite impacts to the forecast and its impacts. Stay Tuned….