February 19, 2014 Forecast Discussion

000
FXUS61 KALY 191456
AFDALY

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ALBANY NY
956 AM EST WED FEB 19 2014

.SYNOPSIS…
ANOTHER FAST MOVING LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM WILL BRING A
PERIOD OF SNOW AND RAIN TO THE REGION THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING.
MILDER AIR WILL THEN MOVE INTO THE REGION BY THE END OF THE
WEEK…ALONG WITH A CHANCE OF RAIN SHOWERS AS A STRONG COLD FRONT
APPROACHES FROM THE GREAT LAKES THURSDAY NIGHT AND FRIDAY MORNING.

&&

.NEAR TERM /UNTIL 6 PM THIS EVENING/…
AS OF 945 AM…RADAR SHOWS PCPN ECHOES JUST ENTERING THE FAR WESTERN
AND SOUTHWESTERN PARTS OF THE FORECAST AREA…BUT WITH VERY DRY AIR
NEAR THE SURFACE…THE PCPN IS NOT LOKELY REACHING THE GROUND YET.
EXPECT THAT THE LOWER LEVELS WILL MOISTEN UP AND A PERIOD OF PCPN
WILL BE WIDESPREAD FOR A TIME ACROSS THE REGION THIS AFTERNOON.
MAINLY SNOW EXPECTED FOR MOST AREAS WITH RAIN MIXING IN OVER SOME
LOWER TERRAIN AREAS. HAVE ADJUSTED HOURLY TEMPS TO REFLECT CURRENT
CONDITIONS WHICH ARE HIGHLY VARIABLE BASED ON THE MESONET
OBSERVATIONS.

.PREVIOUS DISCUSSION…
AS OF 635 AM EST…HAVE RAISED SNOWFALL AMTS ACROSS THE LAKE
GEORGE/SARATOGA REGION…INTO THE BERKSHIRES AND SOUTHERN VT.
EXPECT 1-3 INCHES ACROSS THE LAKE GEORGE/SARATOGA REGION…AND 2-4
INCHES ACROSS SOUTHERN VT…AND ACROSS BERKSHIRE COUNTY. THIS WAS
BASED ON THE LATEST RAP13 AND HRRR…WHICH INDICATED A POSSIBLE
BURST OF CONVECTIVE PRECIPITATION BETWEEN 22Z-02Z ASSOCIATED WITH
THE PASSAGE OF THE UPPER TROUGH.

MEANWHILE…HIGH AND MID LEVEL CLOUDS ARE INCREASING ACROSS
THE REGION. TEMPS…WHICH INITIALLY DROPPED INTO THE SINGLE DIGITS
AND LOWER TEENS DUE TO SIGNIFICANT BOUNDARY LAYER DECOUPLING
ALONG WITH THE VERY DEEP SNOWCOVER…HAVE NOW STARTED TO RISE. WE
EXPECT MOST TEMPS TO RISE INTO THE TEENS TO LOWER 20S BY
SUNRISE…ALTHOUGH MAY STILL REMAIN IN THE LOWER TEENS ACROSS
PORTIONS OF THE UPPER HUDSON VALLEY.

OTHERWISE…WE HAVE A VERY CHALLENGING FORECAST AHEAD FOR
TODAY…AS A POTENT SHORTWAVE CURRENTLY CROSSING THE MIDWEST
TRANSLATES RAPIDLY EASTWARD. THIS FEATURE…IN COMBINATION WITH A
WEAKER LEAD UPPER LEVEL IMPULSE…HAS TRIGGERED CONSIDERABLE
ELEVATED CONVECTION ACROSS THE NORTHERN APPALACHIANS AND UPPER
OHIO VALLEY EARLY THIS MORNING. THE LATEST RAP13 AND HRRR INDICATE
THAT THE REMNANTS OF THIS CONVECTION SHOULD TRACK EAST
NORTHEAST…ACROSS MAINLY CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN PORTIONS OF THE
REGION THIS AFTERNOON. THUS…PRECIP WILL BE MOST FAVORED FOR THE
EASTERN CATSKILLS…NORTHEAST INTO THE CAPITAL
REGION…BERKSHIRES…MID HUDSON VALLEY AND NW CT…AND SOUTHERN
VT…WITH POTENTIALLY LESS TO THE N AND W. HOWEVER…SHOULD THIS
CONVECTION WEAKEN…IT IS POSSIBLE THAT BETTER MOISTURE TRANSPORT
COULD ALLOW FOR PRECIP TO DEVELOP FURTHER NORTHWARD.

FURTHER COMPLICATING THE FORECAST WILL BE THE EXPECTED THERMAL
PROFILES AS THE PRECIP OCCURS. FORECAST SOUNDINGS…ESP SOUTH OF
ALBANY…INDICATE AN ABOVE FREEZING LAYER DEVELOPING AROUND 925
MB. THIS…IN COMBINATION WITH SOME BOUNDARY LAYER WARMING…WOULD
PROMOTE RAIN. HOWEVER…WITH A BURST OF STRONG VERTICAL VELOCITY
AND WET BULB COOLING…THE LOW LEVELS SHOULD COOL SUFFICIENTLY TO
ALLOW FOR SNOW AFTER A PERIOD OF RAIN/SNOW MIX IN SOME VALLEY
AREAS. SO…ASSUMING WE GET INTO THE BETTER DYNAMICAL FORCING THIS
AFTERNOON…WE HAVE SIDED MORE WITH SNOW THAN RAIN FOR MOST AREAS.
THIS SHOULD GIVE MOST VALLEY AREAS FROM ALBANY SOUTHWARD AROUND
AN INCH OF SNOW…WITH 1-3 INCHES POSSIBLE ACROSS PORTIONS OF THE
LAKE GEORGE/SARATOGA REGION…AS WELL AS HIGHER ELEVATIONS
SURROUNDING THE HUDSON VALLEY…AND 2-4 INCHES ACROSS THE
BERKSHIRES AND SOUTHERN VT. AGAIN…THIS IS A VERY TRICKY
SITUATION…AND SHOULD ANY HEAVIER PRECIP LINGER OVER ANY ONE AREA
LONGER THAN EXPECTED…HIGHER SNOWFALL AMTS COULD OCCUR.

HAVE SIDED WITH…OR EVEN COOLER THAN THE COLDER MOS FOR TODAY/S
MAX TEMPS…WITH MID/UPPER 30S IN VALLEY AREAS FROM ALBANY
SOUTH…AND GENERALLY LOWER/MID 30S TO THE NORTH…WITH GENERALLY
20S TO LOWER 30S ACROSS HIGHER ELEVATIONS.

SOUTH TO SOUTHEAST WINDS WILL INCREASE THIS MORNING THROUGH EARLY
AFTERNOON…SIMILAR TO YESTERDAY…WITH SOME GUSTS POSSIBLY
REACHING UP TO 30-35 MPH ACROSS PORTIONS OF SW VT…THE
BERKSHIRES…AND TACONICS…AND POSSIBLY UP TO 25-30 MPH WITHIN
THE CAPITAL REGION.

&&

.SHORT TERM /6 PM THIS EVENING THROUGH 6 PM THURSDAY/…
TONIGHT…AS THE MAIN SHORTWAVE TROUGH PASSES THROUGH…ANOTHER
BURST OF PRECIPITATION IS EXPECTED. THE PRECIP SHOULD BE MORE
SHOWERY IN NATURE. IN FACT…MODEL SOUNDINGS ACTUALLY INDICATE RATHER
STEEP LAPSE RATES IN THE 700-500 HPA LAYER…WITH THE LATEST RAP13
INDICATING AS STEEP AS 8-8.5 C/KM. THESE STEEP LAPSE RATES…COMBINED
WITH ASCENT FROM THE APPROACHING/PASSING SHORTWAVE TROUGH…COULD
EVEN ALLOW FOR SOME ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS ACROSS THE
REGION…SOME OF WHICH COULD PRODUCE GRAUPEL/SMALL HAIL. IN THE
WAKE OF THE TROUGH PASSAGE…STRONG WEST/NORTHWEST WINDS WILL
LIKELY DEVELOP…WITH ENHANCED FLOW DOWN THE MOHAWK RIVER
VALLEY/CAPITAL REGION AND BERKSHIRES EXPECTED. THIS COULD ALLOW
FOR SOME GUSTS TO REACH 35-40 MPH AT TIMES LATER THIS EVENING
UNTIL SHORTLY AFTER MIDNIGHT. SKIES SHOULD INITIALLY REMAIN MOSTLY
CLOUDY…BUT AS STRONG SUBSIDENCE AND SOME DOWNSLOPING
OCCURS…SKIES SHOULD TREND TO MOSTLY CLEAR WELL AFTER MIDNIGHT.
TEMPS WILL BE TRICKY…AS THERE COULD BE A WINDOW OF RAPID
DECOUPLING RIGHT AROUND OR EVEN AFTER DAYBREAK. HOWEVER…WIND AND
SOME CLOUDS SHOULD KEEP THIS FROM OCCURRING FOR MOST OF THE NIGHT.
SO…ALTHOUGH HAVE SIDED WITH THE COOLER MOS…DID NOT GO MUCH
COOLER. STILL EXPECT WIDESPREAD TEENS AND 20S ACROSS THE REGION.

THURSDAY…HIGH PRESSURE RIDGE WILL TRANSLATE EAST ACROSS THE
REGION. SKIES SHOULD BE MOSTLY SUNNY IN THE MORNING…WITH CLOUDS
INCREASING IN THE AFTERNOON. SOME LIGHT PRECIPITATION COULD REACH
FAR WESTERN AREAS TOWARD OR JUST AFTER SUNSET…MAINLY AS
RAIN…ALTHOUGH A RAIN/SLEET/SNOW MIX COULD OCCUR IN HIGHER
ELEVATIONS. EXPECT MAX TEMPS TO REACH THE UPPER 30S TO LOWER 40S
IN MOST VALLEY AREAS…AND LOWER/MID 30S FOR HIGHER ELEVATIONS.

&&

.LONG TERM /THURSDAY NIGHT THROUGH TUESDAY/…
AS POTENT STORM WRAPS UP ACROSS THE CENTRAL GREAT LAKES
REGION…EQUALLY IMPRESSIVE LOW LEVEL JET AND ISENTROPIC LIFT WILL
UNFOLD ACROSS UPSTATE NEW YORK THURSDAY NIGHT. THIS WILL ALLOW FOR
BANDS OF PRECIPITATION TO EVOLVE FROM SOUTH TO NORTH WITH THE PEAK
OF THE LOW LEVEL FORCING TAKING PLACE ACROSS THE ADIRONDACKS.
THERMAL PROFILES ACROSS THE REGION WILL BE TRANSITIONING WITHIN THE
WARM ADVECTION AS BOUNDARY LAYER TEMPS MAY STRUGGLE FOR A PERIOD OF
TIME. THIS SETS THE STAGE FOR SNOW MIXING WITH SLEET/FREEZING RAIN
IMPACTING MAINLY THE ADIRONDACKS AND SOUTHERN
GREENS…ALTHOUGH…COULD NOT RULE OUT SOME ISOLATED SHELTERED
LOCATIONS RECEIVING A WINTRY MIX IN THE MOHAWK AND CENTRAL-NORTHERN
HUDSON RIVER VALLEY. HOWEVER…THE STRENGTH OF THE WARM ADVECTION
WILL EVENTUALLY OVERCOME THE SHALLOW SUB FREEZING TEMPERATURES
FRIDAY MORNING FOR ALL OF THE PRECIPITATION TO BECOME RAIN.

ALONG WITH THE TEMPERATURES INCREASING…SO DOES THE DEWPOINT TO
ABOVE FREEZING. AS THIS WARMER AND MORE MOIST AIR ADVECTS OVER A
SNOW COVERED GROUND WOULD RESULT IN FOG AS WE WILL PLACE THIS IN THE
GRIDS. STRONG COLD FRONT WITH A FAIRLY TIGHT THERMAL GRADIENT FROM
+8C AT H850 OVER EASTERN NY TO -6C OVER WESTERN NY WILL QUICKLY MOVE
ACROSS THE REGION BY EARLY AFTERNOON PER THE LATEST NCEP MODEL SUITE
TIMING. AN INTERESTING NOTE HERE IS THE SHOWALTER VALUES FROM LATE
MORNING TO EARLY AFTERNOON DROP TO AROUND 0C WHICH SUGGESTS THE
WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY FOR THUNDER. HOWEVER…WE WILL HOLD OFF ON
THE MENTION IN THE FORECAST/GRIDS UNTIL UPSTREAM TRENDS CAN BE
BETTER OBTAINED.

OVERALL…TEMPERATURES DURING THIS TIME FRAME WILL BE MAINLY
NON-DIURNAL DUE TO THE WARM ADVECTION THURSDAY NIGHT AND CONTINUING
TO RISE THROUGH FRIDAY.

THE LONG TERM WILL FEATURE A RETURN BACK TO WINTER TEMPERATURES AND
A VERY ACTIVE/FAST CYCLONIC FLOW ACROSS THE NORTHEAST CORRIDOR.

THE STORM THAT DEVELOPS OVER THE GREAT LAKES REGION SLOWLY FILLS AND
TRANSITIONS INTO A HUDSON/JAMES BAY LOW. WE WILL BE ON THE SOUTHERN
PERIPHERY OF THIS LOW WHICH KEEPS US RATHER UNSETTLED AND NEAR TO
BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES. THE TIMING OF SHORT WAVES WILL BE A
CHALLENGE IN THESE FAST FLOW REGIMES. PER THE GLOBAL MODELS…THE
FIRST WAVE ARRIVES SATURDAY WITH MAINLY THE EASTERN GREAT LAKES AND
SOME LAKE EFFECT SNOW IMPACTING PORTIONS OF THE ADIRONDACKS. THE
NEXT WAVE ARRIVES SUNDAY WITH A BIT MORE OF A SOUTHERN ROUTE. THIS
WAVE ATTEMPTS TO BE AN OVERACHIEVER PER THE ECMWF WITH THE GFS/GGEM
MUCH FLATTER AND MORE PROGRESSIVE. GIVEN THE RECENT TRACK RECORD OF
THE ECMWF…WE WILL PLACE SLIGHT CHANCE POPS FOR NOW.

LOOKING AHEAD INTO THE NEW WORK WEEK…THE HUDSON/JAMES BAY UPPER
LOW LOSES ITS GRIP AS WE MONITOR A POTENT PIECE OF ENERGY DIVE
SOUTHWARD FROM THE NORTHWEST TERRITORIES INTO THE INTERMOUNTAIN
WEST AND QUICKLY OUT ONTO THE CENTRAL PLAINS AND MID WEST BY
TUESDAY. THIS WILL REINTRODUCE THE CHANCE FOR ADDITIONAL WINTRY
PRECIPITATION LATE MONDAY INTO TUESDAY FOR THE ENTIRE CWFA.

&&

.AVIATION /12Z WEDNESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY/…
RATHER CHALLENGING IN THE NEAR TERM AS CLEAR SKIES WITH LIGHT WINDS
AND SNOW FROM EARLIER HAS RESULTED IN MVFR/IFR CONDITIONS AT KGFL
WITH OTHER TAF SITES HINTING AT THE POSSIBILITY. WE WILL PLACE A
TEMPO GROUP AT THIS TIME…AS WE MONITOR TRENDS AND UPSTREAM HIGH
AND MID LEVEL CLOUD COVER ADVECTING INTO THE REGION. THIS SHOULD
MINIMIZE THE FOG FROM SPREADING BUT IT WILL BE CLOSE.

AFTER SUNRISE…VISIBILITIES SHOULD IMPROVE AS WE WATCH THE NEXT
CLIPPER SYSTEM APPROACHING. THIS IS EXPECTED TO BRING ANOTHER
CHANCE FOR PRECIPITATION LATE THIS MORNING INTO THE AFTERNOON
HOURS. BOUNDARY LAYER TEMPERATURES WILL BE CLOSE TO RESULT IN
EITHER SN/RASN/RA. FOR NOW…WE FEEL KGFL WILL BE MAINLY SNOW WITH
A MIXTURE FURTHER SOUTH INTO KALB-KPSF AND TRANSITIONING TO ALL RAIN
KPOU. PRECIP SHOULD END THIS EVENING FROM WEST TO EAST RATHER
QUICKLY.

VARIABLE WINDS AT LESS THAN 6 KT WILL SWITCH TO A W-NW DIRECTION
BUT SWITCH TO A SOUTHERLY DIRECTION AND INCREASE TO AROUND 10 KTS
FOR WEDNESDAY MORNING…AND CONTINUE INTO THE AFTERNOON.

OUTLOOK…
THURSDAY NIGHT: HIGH OPERATIONAL IMPACT. LIKELY RA…FG.
FRIDAY: HIGH OPERATIONAL IMPACT. DEFINITE RA…FG.
FRIDAY NIGHT: NO OPERATIONAL IMPACT. NO SIG WX.
SATURDAY: NO OPERATIONAL IMPACT. NO SIG WX.
SATURDAY NIGHT: NO OPERATIONAL IMPACT. NO SIG WX.
SUNDAY: LOW OPERATIONAL IMPACT. SLIGHT CHANCE OF SHRA…SHSN.

&&

.HYDROLOGY…
SNOW DEPTHS ACROSS EAST CENTRAL NEW YORK AND ADJACENT WESTERN NEW
ENGLAND ARE GENERALLY FROM A FOOT TO THREE FEET. ALTHOUGH WE HAVE
WARMER TEMPERATURES IN THE FORECAST FOR THE LATTER PART OF THE
WEEK…EXCEPT FOR THURSDAY NIGHT…OVERNIGHT LOWS WILL BE AROUND OR
SLIGHTLY BELOW FREEZING WHICH SHOULD RESULT IN A SLOW MELT AND
HOPEFULLY MINIMIZE ANY FLOOD THREAT. RAINFALL TOTALS THURSDAY NIGHT
INTO FRIDAY MORNING ARE FORECAST TO GENERALLY BE IN THE QUARTER TO
HALF INCH RANGE…SO MUCH OF THIS RAINFALL SHOULD BE ABSORBED BY THE
CURRENT SNOWPACK.

FOR DETAILS ON SPECIFIC AREA RIVERS AND LAKES…INCLUDING OBSERVED
AND FORECAST RIVER STAGES AND LAKE ELEVATIONS…PLEASE VISIT THE
ADVANCED HYDROLOGIC PREDICTION SERVICE /AHPS/ GRAPHS ON OUR WEBSITE.

&&

.CLIMATE…
THE MONTHLY SNOWFALL TOTAL FOR FEBRUARY AT THE ALBANY INTERNATIONAL
AIRPORT IS AT 25.7 INCHES THROUGH THE 16TH. THIS AMOUNT IS ONLY 0.3
INCHES FROM REACHING INTO THE TOP 10 FOR SNOWIEST FEBRUARYS SINCE
1885.

A LIGHT TO MODERATE SNOWFALL IS EXPECTED TUESDAY.

TOP 10 SNOWIEST FEBRUARYS ALBANY
1. 40.7 INCHES 1893
2. 34.5 INCHES 1962
3. 32.3 INCHES 1926
4. 31.7 INCHES 1950
5. 30.1 INCHES 2011
6. 28.6 INCHES 1993
7. 27.5 INCHES 1899
8. 26.1 INCHES 1914
9. 26.0 INCHES 1958
10. 26.0 INCHES 1988

LOOKING AT THE SEASONAL SNOWFALL IT STANDS AT 62.8 INCHES. NORMAL FOR
THE ENTIRE WINTER SEASON IS 59.1 INCHES.

SO HOW DOES THIS WINTER COMPARE TO RECENT WINTERS FOR ALBANY…

2012-13: 51.4 INCHES
2011-12: 23.3 INCHES
2010-11: 87.2 INCHES
2009-10: 45.4 INCHES
2008-09: 52.6 INCHES
2007-08: 61.1 INCHES
2006-07: 45.9 INCHES
2005-06: 30.2 INCHES
2004-05: 75.9 INCHES
2003-04: 65.1 INCHES
2002-03: 105.4 INCHES
2001-02: 47.4 INCHES
2000-01: 77.1 INCHES

ALBANY EXTREMES:
SNOWIEST 1970-71 WITH 112.5 INCHES
LEAST 1912-13 WITH ONLY 13.8 INCHES

&&

.ALY WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES…
CT…NONE.
NY…NONE.
MA…NONE.
VT…NONE.

&&

$$
SYNOPSIS…KL/GJM
NEAR TERM…GJM/KL
SHORT TERM…KL
LONG TERM…BGM
AVIATION…BGM/NAS
HYDROLOGY…KL/GJM
CLIMATE…

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