Good Evening Hudson Valley! We’ve got a few things we want to show you, and the website gives us some functionality that Facebook doesn’t… so let’s take a look at tonight’s weather.
Summary: A Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect for the entire area tonight, but the bark may be worse than the bite on this advisory. The advisory is for a coating to an inch or so of slushy snow in the valleys, with 2 to 6 inches of snow possible in the Catskills. Conditions are not very favorable for much in the way of accumulating snow, especially in the valleys south of Kingston. Temperatures as of 10pm are generally 37° to 39° from Kingston, to Poughkeepsie, to Newburgh. Hill towns (like my house in Pine Bush) are between 33° to 36°, but still too warm to support any accumulation on roadways. The traditionally colder spots could see some slick spots… but in general, this should not be a major travel trouble event. Here are the details showing why:
First off, here are the temperatures across the Hudson Valley as of 8pm Sunday Night:
This first image is important because it clearly shows that the surface temperatures are safely above freezing across the entire area. This means that whatever falls from the sky will have a difficult time accumulating or freezing. We do expect temperatures to drop a few degrees, but only into the 32° to 35° range. This should make for mostly wet roadways, at least until you climb in elevation (Catskills in Delaware, Sullivan, NW Ulster and Greene counties).
The next thing we’re going to look at, is the simulated radar for 2am from the HRRR short range computer model:
You can see that moisture is expected to move into the Hudson Valley between 11pm and 2am. Notice how quickly the model wants to turn the snow over to rain. In this image it’s already raining from I-84 on south… and even the valley areas up to Kingston are raining. Why the rapid change over?
This map shows the projected temperatures at cloud level (850mb level) at 2am. Anything in white is below freezing… cold enough for snow to fall. Anything below the white line, will fall from the cloud as liquid rain… because temps are above freezing, too warm to support snow.
So based on this… the only question is whether it reaches the ground as ice or just plain rain. Well… the first image showing the temps at the surface demonstrated that it’s very likely too warm for freezing rain (at least in the valleys). Freezing rain occurs when liquid rain falls in areas where surface temps are below freezing (and the ground is frozen). If the temps at ground level are above 32°… it’s liquid rain, not freezing rain. Good for travel… bad for those wanting 2 hour delays. Sleet is possible in some areas… but it really looks like a short lived event.
So to pull this together… some wet snow is possible between 11pm and 2am from south to north, but the roads are likely too warm to be anything but wet… especially the main roads. A slushy coating to an inch is possible on mainly unpaved surfaces… with 2 or 3 inches possible in the Catskills. The air at cloud level warms up quickly, and the snow changes to a few areas of sleet… but primarily a cold rain. A few areas of freezing rain are possible in the traditionally colder spots, where temps hover right at 32°… but they should be the exception rather than the rule.
Have a safe night Hudson Valley!