Wednesday PM/Thursday Storm Update


Let’s take a closer look at our next storm system, as I’m sure you’ve read in the previous updates we are once again looking at a storm track that is less than ideal for anyone looking for a pure snow event, this system will be very similar to our Sunday night storm. A good place to start the conversation is with a simulated radar projection from the 18z run of the NAM model. What we are seeing is classic warm air advection precipitation, a storm system moving to our west with its counterclockwise flow is pushing a warm front into our region, the warm air being forced up and over the colder air at the surface is all the lift the atmosphere needs to give us precipitation.

The same process that giveth snow, shall also taketh away, in what has been a weather pattern that has us feeling like Bill Murray in the movie Groundhog’s Day! The airmass in place is only marginally cold and it does not have a source of high pressure close by to help supply fresh cold air. With the storm tracking to our west the warmer air is uncontested in its mission to root out cold air and shatter the hopes of snow lovers once again. You can see this process quite well in the precipitation types on this sim radar, warm air floods in from the south, then up the valley as it spreads into every nook and topographical cranny from the lowest elevations first and slowly as the warm air fills it continues to chase the cold air, the only safe place is for the cold air to climb, it finds safety in the highest elevations of the Catskills. Even across the higher terrain subfreezing temps will only exist near the surface, at 5000 feet warm air will have already wiped any subfreezing air away from the altitude that determines our precipitation type which is why plain rain that freezes on cold surfaces is the best that even the highest peaks of the Catskills will achieve by the afternoon.

Below the radar, we have posted the surface temps for the same period as the radar, you can see the progression of the warmth and its impacted on the precipitation types across the region. We have some concerns with the potential for a prolonged period of freezing rain across the Catskills, but it appears to be limited to areas above 2000′ and climbing.

Below is the areas we have the potential to see a glazing of freezing rain, ignore the accumulation amounts as they are always overdone, focus only on the areas in pink as these areas may have icy roads to contend with on Thursday.


Starts-Southwest to Northeast between 10PM Wednesday and 1AM Thursday

Ends- West to East between 11am Thursday and 1PM Thursday

Accumulations/Impacts/Precipitation Types-

Purple Circle- 2″-5″ of snow with freezing rain across the highest terrain.

North of the Red Line- Moderate to Heavy snow at onset, duration 2-6 hours, shortest south and longer north and higher elevations. Coating to 3″ of snow, transitions to sleet and plain rain. 

South of the Red Line- Moderate to Heavy snow and sleet at onset, duration 1-3 hours, shortest south and longer north and higher elevations. Trace to 1″ of snow and sleet, then plain rain. 

South of the Green Line- Potentially a very short period of snow or sleet, transitions to rain, duration 1 hour or less with some areas seeing only rain for entire event. 

******** Trends in todays guidance has been colder on the last three consecutive runs of the data, important to stay tuned for any changes***** 

6 thoughts on “Wednesday PM/Thursday Storm Update

    • Right on, Anne!! Maybe it will sober up in time for the 2020-2021 season, we just start anew then, as it is definitely not happening this season.

  1. Posted this the other day, but it is worth doing again:
    Thank you for injecting some humor into the dismal Winter, the most disappointing one I can remember. Thanks also for the explanation and charts on how it continues to be a bummer. Who would have thought the highlight of our Winter would have been on Dec 2!! It’s amazing how each and every system behaves in the same way over and over, and I’d be shocked if we get another true snow event this season. Keep up the good work on your end!!

  2. Is anyone else noticing lines across the sky/sun? They spread out and hazed out the sun today. Early this a.m it was clear, then lines, then spreadng over entire sky, now the sun is behind nothing but hazey lines. Not my first time noticing it. The Gunks are in persistent haze, never clear.

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