Winter Weather Advisory in Effect until 2am Saturday for:
Orange, Sullivan, Putnam, Rockland & Westchester counties.
- Snow begins between 10am and 1pm on Friday
- Snow falls light to moderate at times thru the afternoon hours
- Snow tapers off from west to east between 6pm and 10pm on Friday
- Temperatures projected below freezing all day (28° to 32°)
- Snow will accumulate on grass… and accumulation on pavement is likely
- Roads possibly start wet, then become ice and snow covered
- Fri AM commute looks ‘OK’… Fri PM commute could be a mess
- Potentially treacherous travel Fri Afternoon
- Zones 1 and 2 : 1 to 3 inches
- Zones 3 and 4
- Upper Half (Saugerties on north) : 1 to 3 inches
- Lower Half (south of Saugerties) : 2 to 5 inches
- Zones 5, 6 and 7 : 2 to 5 inches
- Zones 8 and 9 : 3 to 6 inches (localized amounts as high as 8 inches)
- High March sun angle could warm pavement, melting snow as it falls
- How far north does the heavier precipitation get?
The basic layout of this storm is well understood, and the data is in good agreement. The details, however, are a bit conflicting… and that could result in some minor surprises.
A weak storm system will track through the southern Ohio Valley, and develop off the coast of Virginia. As this occurs, it will spread snow well to the north… and into the Hudson Valley
The small details are the tricky parts to this forecast, for instance… the start time. Most of the data agrees with our idea that the snow begins between 10am and 1pm… however there are 1 or 2 pieces of data that suggest it’s later. So we’ll monitor the event as it unfolds, and let you know if the start time changes. Once it starts, the snow will fall through the afternoon hours…
Another tricky part to the forecast (and one of our wildcards), has to do with the northward push of the snow. In the GFS model image above, you can see that the moderate to occasionally heavy snow is projected to push well into the Hudson Valley. The HVW forecast most closely resembles the GFS model with this storm. The GFS model spreads a widespread swath of 2 to 5 inches of snow across the heart of the Hudson Valley, in line with our forecast…
One of the concerns with the forecast… is reflected by the NAM model (North American Model). There is some uncertainty with regard to how far north this moisture progresses. The GFS model has done well this winter in these situations, but this NAM model snowfall projection represents the potential for a busted forecast…
The blue areas are 2 inches or more… so you can see, the bulk of the snow is significantly further south on the NAM model. We feel this solution is unlikely… but wanted to show it in order to demonstrate the outside potential for how we end up with lower snow totals in the HV. Those of you who are sick of winter (which is about 99% of HVW viewers at this point)… now have something to root for.
The other wildcard with this setup, is a common forecasting headache with late season snow storms. The sun angle is higher in the sky during March than in January. The higher sun angle allows more solar radiation into the Hudson Valley. That’s why morning temperatures rebound so quickly in the spring, the solar energy is much greater this time of year. Well, that extra solar energy is also absorbed by dark, paved surfaces… warming the pavement’s surface temperature. The result is that very often during a spring snow storm, the snow will stick to the grass, but melt on the pavement. That could very well be the case on Friday, we’ll have to see. Air temperatures are projected to remain below freezing… but even thru the clouds, that infrared solar energy could warm the pavement enough to melt the snow. We will watch the situation unfold… but are playing it safe and advising to expect snow accumulation on all roadways. That will mean big travel headaches for Friday afternoon, so you may want to plan accordingly.
This storm will continue to unfold in the coming hours. We will share any new data that is relevant to (or changes) the forecast. Thanks for your support Hudson Valley… we’ll get through this together!