Well… the morning data is in, and it’s time to get caught up to speed…
This storm is going to be a monster for the Mid-Atlantic. Washington D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia… all will likely see 18″ to 24″ of snow… with amounts locally over 2 feet. A tremendous snowstorm for the ages in those areas. The forecast in that area… is a walk in the park: “Snow… and LOTS of it!”
For the Hudson Valley… of course it can’t be that simple. In fact… ask any meteorologist where the most difficult forecast is with this storm, and they’d tell you from NYC on north. Lucky us!!
Well, why is the forecast so tough?
That’s easy to show you… take a look at this NAM model snowfall model map from last night’s post…
If yesterday’s run of the NAM was correct… Poughkeepsie and NYC would be separated by 80 miles and 17 inches of snow. When you consider that it’s not unheard of for a storm track to shift by 30 to 50 miles at the last minute… it becomes impossibly difficult to sound the “all clear” on this storm. So we can’t, and won’t do that. Let’s take a look at the latest GFS and NAM models. Both are American models, but the NAM is a short range model, and only forecasts 84 hours into the futuer. The NAM first…
Based on the NAM… anyone from I-84 on south would see a significant snowstorm…. and those north of there, would see a minor event. Once again, notice the sharp cut off… from roughly 12 inches in Monroe, to roughly an inch in Kingston. A slight wobble of 30 miles… and the whole forecast goes down the drain. But the NAM is only 1 possible outcome… lets see what the latest GFS model has to say…
Whoops?! Where’d the snow go??!! The GFS model is MUCH LESS aggressive with snowfall reaching into our area. It suggests that the storm struggles to push north, and Saturday and Saturday night are just cloudy… with a few snow showers possible south of I-84. But still… notice the sharp cut off. If this model shifted north by 50 miles… parts of the HV could see a major snowfall.
So which idea is right?
Based on the accumulated data we have… the GFS model is more likely correct. That is because it has support from the European and Canadian models. Only a very few pieces of data support the idea shown by the latest NAM model.
We would love to be able to say confidently, “The storm will miss us.” However… we can’t. Alex and I have seen too many times, where the data failed to properly account for one minor atmospheric detail hundreds of miles away… and the models finally see it a day or two before the event. With the dramatic contrast between “no snow” and “a foot of snow” over such a short distance… it would be foolish to tell people to let their guard down completely.
So at this point… here’s a rough breakdown of what is likely at this time:
- North of Kingston : Possibly a dusting to an inch
- Kingston to I-84 : 1 to 3 inches
- I-84 on south : 3+ inches of snow
Keep in mind, these numbers take into account ALL of the data, and still could be too high. We are watching the trends closely… to see if there is any sign this storm could creep farther north. A very small adjustment in the storm track, would have MAJOR ramifications for the Hudson Valley. That is the most important thing to remember at this time.
We will try to update again this evening… especially if something arises that causes us to question any of the information shared above. But this storm is beginning to resemble “Snowmageddon” from 2010. For anyone who may have forgotten (we certainly have not!!)… here’s what the 1st storm of Snowmageddon did:
That storm still gives us nightmares… the way it looks at the moment… this one might as well. Let us know what you think, we love your feedback. Have a nice afternoon!