A look at the most recent data shows that we may be dealing with a storm off the coast for Sunday afternoon into Sunday night. The reason why there hasn’t been much talk about it yet, is due to the fact that there are quite a bit of uncertainties regarding the storms final track, availability of cold air, and its forward speed. All of these things hold an important piece in what will be the final outcome of this potential storm. As it stands this evening, a system with track up the coast on Sunday and depart to our NE during the overnight into Monday, due to the lack of blocking in the northern Atlantic, aka Positive NAO, the storm is very progressive and moves through quickly. It also appears that the temps during the storm may be to warm to support snow for anyone outside the highest peaks of the Catskills. Now your probably asking, what makes this a complicated forecast? Glad you asked, see around the same time the storm is impacting the region, a much colder airmass will be tracking south into the region, if the arrival of this cold air is ahead of schedule, or if the storm is delayed, there would be a much healthier supply of cold air in place to support more snow/ice then rain.
Thats not it, also if the storm is a bit stronger then what is being modeled, and the precipitation falls hard enough, the storm can create its own cold air and bring a rain to snow scenario to the region. With the cold air rushing in on Sunday night, there is a good chance that no matter the outcome of all of the “what if” scenarios, we should end as some snow as the storm departs the region. Below is an image from the GFS model, you can see the area of low pressure (red circle) overnight Sunday into Monday moving NE, have also drawn a red line where the 0 degree Celsius (32 degree freezing line) is at this point at 5000 feet, you can see it clearly disects the HV.
Now the EURO model showing surface temps around the same time, you can see that while the temps from the ground up to about 5000 feet will be above freezing, they will not be that far off, which only supports the fact that it will not take much to change the precip over. This is why it’s a bit to soon to say that NO snow will fall Sunday into Sunday PM and we should remain focused on the trends over the next 24 hours before we settle on the forecast.
To bring all of this to a conclusion, we are looking at two potential scenarios at this point, all rain with the possibility it ends as snow with accumulations likely in the Catskills, or an early rain to snow transition with some accumulation across the region. Keep in mind, it’s a fast mover and temps are questionable, so it does not appear to be a significant storm no matter the outcome. Over the next 24 hours, we will be watching the temperature trends and the data coming in from the models, so we can narrow the forecast down a bit for the update tomorrow. Stay tuned.