With a little less than 48 hours until the projected event, here are our preliminary thoughts on the snow event on Friday:
- Snow begins between 10am and 2pm 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°)
- Warm Mid March Sun Angle could keep roads wet instead of white
- Snow should accumulate on grass… pavement a tough call
- Roads possibly start wet, then ice over and become snow covered
- Fri AM commute looks ‘OK’… Fri PM commute could be a mess
- Potentially treacherous travel Fri Afternoon
- Entire Hudson Valley (all zones) …. 2 to 6 inches
- Best Chance for Higher Amounts : Near and south of I-84 (Zones 7,8 & 9)
- Best Chance for Lower Amounts : North of Kingston (Zones 1 & 2, upper 3 & upper 4)
A relatively weak disturbance will push east across the Ohio Valley on Thursday into Friday. As the storm reaches the east coast, it will try to strengthen slightly, and move out to sea. This storm will not be a major impact event for the Hudson Valley.
The exact track of this storm, is still uncertain. Some of the American computer model data has the storm suppressed farther south. These scenarios would give the Hudson Valley lower snowfall amounts (1 to 3 inches). Here are the NAM model and GFS model snowfall simulations:
The European model has been slightly more aggressive than the American models… bringing the storm just a hair further north. This would result in slightly higher snowfall amounts for the Hudson Valley.
In the past, we couldn’t show you what the European model (ECMWF) was projecting, due to licensing issues. However, thanks to our new friends at EuroWx.com… we have the ability to show you certain European model maps. Below is the European model snowfall projection for Friday…
While it’s not a big difference from the American models… the European model has the center of low pressure track just a bit further north. This would push more moisture into the Hudson Valley, and as such… snowfall amounts would be a bit higher under this scenario.
Until this discrepancy in the data is resolved… we’re leaving our snowfall forecast range a little wider than usual, at 2 to 6 inches. If the storm trends further south… the snowfall amounts will be lower (and vice versa).
Another tricky question… is ‘will the snow accumulate on the roads?’. With Friday being the 1st day of spring, the sun angle is much higher in the sky than it is in January or early February. As a result, the pavement is able to absorb more of the sun’s radiation, and the roads remain warmer than in the middle of winter. So this time of year, it’s not uncommon for snowstorms to accumulate primarily on unpaved surfaces because of the higher sun angle. Will that be the case on Friday? It’s possible. Temperatures are projected to remain below freezing… but the roads could easily be a few degrees warmer. That said, the safe move… is to plan for icy and snow covered roadways, and we’ll see how the situation unfolds.
As always, we’ll be tracking it closely and we’ll hone in on the details in the final storm forecast.