Winter Storm Update : 5pm Sunday Evening

We’re nearing the back end of “Act 1” of our complex winter storm, as the sun sets around the region.  Looking at the current radar, you an see another band of yellows and oranges (indicating heavy precipitation) moving into the lower Hudson Valley.  The HV is on the lower right area of the image, if you look close POU = Poughkeepsie…

Radar Loop : 3pm to 5pm Sunday

This radar doesn’t tell the difference between sleet and snow… but it clearly allows you to see the heaviest bands of precipitation.  This will likely fall as a mix of sleet and snow across the region, so travel will be very difficult for the next 2 to 3 hours.

But this conversation really looks beyond this evening, and focuses on Monday.  An extremely challenging forecast lies ahead, and the difference in 50 miles of positioning will be the difference between 3″ and 12″ of snow.  The Upper Level Low pressure energy will advance to the coast.  And this will result in strong upward motion on the NW side of the Upper level energy.  It is likely to create a band of heavy snow… with rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour.  Here’s one of the futurecast radar solutions from midnight tonight, through Tuesday morning…

SOLUTION #1 Futurecast Radar: 12am Monday – 7am Tuesday

The problem is… this band of snow will be very narrow, and so determining who gets 12″ and who gets 3″… is a substantial challenge.  But under this scenario… the low pressure tucks in off the coast, and bands of heavy snow blossom, and rotate NW into the Hudson Valley on Monday morning.  If this occurs, then the Hudson Valley will see a substantial snowfall, likely approaching 12″ in many places… in close alignment with our forecast.

However… there is other guidance, that suggests that this band is not focused over the Hudson Valley…

SOLUTION #2 Futurecast Radar : 12am Monday – 7am Tuesday

Under this scenario, it still snows in the Hudson Valley… but the additional accumulation is 2 to 6 inches, instead of 6 to 12 inches on Monday.  The focal point of the heaviest snows on the second solution, are from Binghamton down to Philadelphia.  That’s where this solution suggests 6 to 12 inches of snow will fall.  To illustrate the difference in the 2 solutions… here is what could happen if the first solution is correct…

Solution 1 Snowfall Map (HVW idea)

A widespread foot or more in the Catskills and northern Hudson Valley, 6 to 12 inches (possibly a bit more) in the Mid Hudson Valley), and even near 6″ in the lower Hudson Valley.  But if things don’t go as expected, here’s the snowfall potential…

Solution #2 Snowfall Map

This would have everyone at the low end of the forecast range.  Likely around 4 to 5 inches in the Mid Hudson Valley… approaching 10″ in the Catskills… with the focus of the heaviest snows north and west of our area.  These are the challenges of the evening… as we try to determine how Monday will play out.  More updates as the evening progresses…

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