•Winter storm watches are in effect for the entire region
•Snow begins from South to North before daybreak on Thursday, Snow of varying intensity may linger into Friday morning
•Snowfall rates of 1-3 inches per hour are possible Thursday afternoon into Thursday evening, travel will become progressively worse as the day progresses
•This is a classic Nor Easter, meaning we will also be dealing with winds gusting to 30MPH from Thursday afternoon into Friday morning
•The combination of heavy snow and gusty winds may create near zero visibility at times during the height of the storm
•There remains uncertainty about the final track of this storm between the forecast models, this will have large impacts on the outcome of the storm, therefore the forecast is subject to change
•There will likely be a narrow swath of snow the will exceed one foot, at the moment it appears the mid or lower HV may be the bullseye for this heavier accumulation
•Snowfall amounts decrease as you head further north and west from the HV, mixing will likely occur across the extreme southern HV
•Due to the many uncertainties that remain with this forecast, it is important to stay tuned to HVW for the latest
Basically there are two different opinions amongst the forecasting models this evening, group one likes a track further off the coast and group two wants to bring the storm right along the coastline. While the difference may only be a few hundred miles the implications on our forecast are quite extreme, these two scenarios spell the difference between 4-8 inches or 12-18 inches. The Air Force will be flying recon missions into the Gulf of Mexico to gather data on the developing storm that will then be fed directly into the forecasting models with the hope of bringing some consensus among the models. In the meantime we are now only 36 hours away from the storm and its time to put out some thoughts on potential accumulations, I have decided to side with the European and Canadian Model on the storm track, mostly because they have been the most consistent with their solutions and the trends of the other models have actually been gradually coming to a more westerly track as well.
Lets take a look at the two different model camps that exist, below is the NAM and GFS snowfall forecast, two things to point out. As you can see the NAM model is so far east with its track that it has the heaviest snow falling across the I95 corridor and a very sharp cutoff across the HV. I have drawn a dotted line across the HV to show that only a matter of a few miles is the difference between a foot of snow and three inches of snow.At the moment I feel this track is to far east, but the accumulations seem pretty close to the rest of the guidance. Next is the GFS model which was at one point the eastern most model and has been slowly correcting west over the last 36 hours. Important to note that the model continues to push the track west, also important to note the strange gap in snowfall accumulations from PA through NY, which again does not make much sense.
Now lets take a look at the western end of the models, below is the Canadian and European model, these two models have been very consistent showing a westerly track. It is because of this consistency that I am leaning towards this scenario for the storm. You can clearly see that the westerly track sends the heaviest swath of snow right through the Hudson Valley.
HVW Snowfall Forecast:
(Subject to Change)
So with all of that said, we will take a stab at our first official snowfall forecast, I feel there will be a swath of very heavy snowfall that will set up across the region, the location of this swath of snow will be very dependent on the final track of the system and is subject to change. There will be a sharp cutoff to the North and West and potential mixing issues as you head further South towards NYC, again this will all depend on the final track of the system.
Please keep in mind this is a very fluid situation and the smallest fluctuation in track or intensity can severely impact this forecast. You can see that we fell the bullseye for the heaviest banding will occur across the central parts of the region. For areas south of the black line, the heaviest snow will occur in the northern parts of that area, with mixing of sleet impacting the totals as you head further south. This is only the first snowfall map and there will likely be updates needed over the next 24 hours, but like we mentioned on the FB page it’s not forecasting if you wait to long.