Wednesday Outlook : Snow Squalls then Deep Freeze

Tuesday saw a wide variety of weather across the Hudson Valley.  Anything from rain in Tarrytown… to a slushy couple inches in Fishkill… to 7 inches of powder in Pine Bush… to 12″ of fluff at the HVW station in Hurley.  We’ll have a complete recap Thursday morning… but only after we deal with the coldest air of the season, and brutally cold wind chills.

We’ll start the day off sunny and cold, with an increasing WSW wind.  Normally this is a milder breeze, but the air mass off to our west is so intensely cold… the WSW wind will provide us no comfort today.  Highs won’t do better than low to mid 20s around the region.  But we’ll track the arctic cold front moving from west to east during the mid afternoon.  And that’s going to mean brutal conditions for the PM commute…

Futurecast Radar on Wednesday

The radar will be quiet all day… with the exception of a 5 hour time period between 1pm and 6pm, as the squall line moves from west to east.  Most of us will see the effects between 2pm and 4pm in the Hudson Valley.  Closer to 2pm near the NY/PA border… closer to 3pm near I-87 and Hudson River… and closer to 4pm near NY/CT border.  This squall line will cause a LOT of problems this afternoon, as the timing will create treacherous travel for the PM drive home from School and the PM commute.  In terms of snowfall, a quick inch or two is possible in any location…

But the 0.5″ to 1.5″ that guidance is suggesting falls in 30 to 45 mins, is only half of the story.  The full impact will come in a variety of forms.  Lets start by looking at the 3pm radar and temperatures at the same time… and you’ll see just how much business this front means…

Just look at how temperatures are in the mid 20s ahead of the arctic front… but as soon as that squall hits, the temperatures begin to plummet.  In Poughkeepsie, temps plunge!  Look at these temps:
3pm – 27°
4pm – 20°
5pm – 15°
6pm – 9°

But that’s not the worst of it.  Temperatures will plunge almost 20° in about 4 hours all across the region.  By midnight, everyone is near or below 0°.  So the temperatures will certainly plummet.  But in addition to crashing temperatures, we’ll see HOWLING winds!

You know you have a powerful cold front when it generates wind gusts like what you see above.  30mph to 50mph gusts around the region, will surely take any light weight objects and throw them dozens if not hundreds of feet away from their original location.  But cars won’t be immune from the affects either, so make sure you have a firm grip on the wheel, as cars and especially high profile vehicles will be pushed around on the roads.

But the affects don’t end there.  Much of the Hudson Valley just saw anywhere from 3 to 12 inches of snow.  Sustained winds at 10 to 20mph, and gusts over 40mph, will blow and drift the snow that is on the ground… as well as the snow that falls with the squall line.  That will mean snow covered and icy roads straight through the night.  Make sure you’re planning for icy and snow covered roads if travelling tonight.  Ground blizzards will be possible… with blowing and drifting snow creating potential whiteouts in many areas, thanks to wind gusts over 40mph.  Travel from 3pm and after tonight will be difficult at best, and treacherous at worst.  Take it slow out there tonight.

But possibly worst of all… will be the wind chills tonight.  It’s not too often that we see wind chills the likes of what we’ll see tonight.  As the temperatures plunge this evening, and the winds howl in excess of 40mph at times… here are your projected wind chills as of 6pm…

Conditions will only get worse after this… as the wall of falling wind chills will push east through the evening.  By midnight, everyone is seeing temperatures near or below 0°, and wind chills… well… the picture says more than the words can say…

These are the sort of conditions where frostbite can develop on exposed skin in less than 30 minutes.  Going outside without proper attire can be life threatening Wednesday night and Thursday morning.  Make sure you are dressed appropriately for the conditions.  It wouldn’t surprise us to see schools delay and perhaps close on Thursday, as wind chill values will remain near or below 0° all day.  Some extreme weather coming the next 48 hours… we’ll have updates for you here and on Facebook as things develop.

4 thoughts on “Wednesday Outlook : Snow Squalls then Deep Freeze

  1. For someone like me who has major anxiety over winter weather, your detailed information is so helpful because I like as much information as possible. Thank you so much for your honesty about what to “possibly” expect. No one can predict mother nature perfectly and you do a better job than others!

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