Wednesday February 7

Slick Conditions Overnight

School Forecast for:
Thursday February 8th
Last Updated: 7:00PM Wednesday February 7, 2018
Delay No School Early Dismissal
60%
(Medium)
0%
(Nope)
0%
(Nope)

The Forecast

7PM Wednesday

Prolonged sleet and freezing rain kept today's storm totals at the low end of the extreme range; Kingston checked in right around 3 inches. About 0.1 inches of pure ice has accumulated on top of the snow and sleet. Light rain is currently continuing to fall and freeze on cooler surfaces, however, most roads in the immediate Kingston area are wet to slushy.

Precipitation will taper off within the next hour, however, slick conditions will likely worsen overnight as temperatures fall. Temperatures are currently in the 30 to 32 degree range around the area, but should fall into the lower 20s as the night progresses. This will likely lead to another widespread black ice event for the morning. Based on these conditions, there is a decent, but not definite chance of delays tomorrow.

I am just getting to work, so this will be the only update tonight. Regardless of school impacts tomorrow, be careful heading out in the morning. -Ethan

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10PM Update

Radar currently reveals that our storm is forming over the southern United States. Winter Weather Advisories and Winter Storm Warnings are in effect from Texas to Maine due to this storm. The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for Kingston which is in effect from 7AM tomorrow through 4AM Thursday. The Advisory means that means that "periods of snow, sleet or freezing rain will cause travel difficulties". The following graphics are of what to expect tomorrow.

Start time: around 9AM.
9AM - 2PM : Snow, possibly heavy.
2PM - 7PM: Snow/Sleet/Freezing Rain.
7PM: Storm tapers off.

Total accumulations: 4 to 7 inches. Main change since the last update was to decrease the overall totals slightly. This will be due to more sleet mixing in during the afternoon. Freezing rain could even be an issue in some area. Sleet and ice pellets do not accumulate as well as snow, but do not be fooled into thinking that this will make the storm any less intense. As we saw Sunday night, sleet and freezing rain are just as impactful as snow - and sometimes more impactful.

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Once snow begins falling, it should begin to accumulate rapidly with periods of heavy snowfall possible before the change over to sleet. Although Kingston has been known to issue delays when the start time is around or shortly after 9AM, a cancellation is highly favored for tomorrow due to quickly deteriorating conditions. Enjoy the weather; be safe tomorrow.

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11AM Update

This morning's snow showers will taper off shortly. The 0.7 inches that has fallen since about 7am is a little prelude to tomorrow's storm. Current radar and satellite imagery indicate that Wednesday's storm is beginning to develop over the central United States. Here's a timeline of what to expect over the next 36 hours:

Now: Light snow ending.
Today and tonight: Overcast; but dry.
9AM Wednesday: Storm begins.
9AM - 2PM: Steady snow.
2PM - 9PM: Snow and/or sleet.
8PM - 10PM: Storm ends.
Total accumulation: Around 6 inches.

Once the snow begins falling tomorrow morning, it should stick quickly. Main change since yesterday has been to allow for more sleet (falling frozen precipitation that may look like ice pellets or tiny snowballs). The amount of sleet that mixes in remains the the main source of uncertainty in the forecast. Southern areas (i.e. toward Poughkeepsie/Newburgh) are most likely to experience sleet while areas to the north (i.e. Hudson/Catskill) will experience less sleet; more sleet will result in lower storm totals, but will essentially have the same impact as snow. Regardless of exact totals, significant road impacts are likely from late-morning through Wednesday night.

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Click image for larger and clearer version.

A final update will be posted between 9:30 and 10 o'clock tonight.


5PM Update

We could see some light snow showers Tuesday morning between about 7AM and 10AM. A coating or so is possible, but don't expect any school impacts. The notable weather occurs on Wednesday, and a significant storm remains poised for Wednesday. Unlike our last few storms, Wednesday's is expected to be a mainly snow event with some sleet likely mixing in during the afternoon. The amount of mixing is the main source of uncertainty in the forecast. Sleet does not accumulate as well as snow, so the more sleet that falls, the lower storm totals will be. Southern areas (i.e. toward Poughkeepsie/Newburgh) are most likely to experience sleet while areas to the north (i.e. Hudson/Catskill) will experience less sleet. The Kingston area is likely to experience 5 to 9 inches. Regardless of exact totals, a high impact event with moderate to heavy snow accumulations is expected across the region. As for the storm timing, it currently looks like snow should overspread the region by 10AM Wednesday and will likely taper off between 7PM and 10PM. The National Weather Service has issued a "Winter Storm Watch" for the entire region, which means that there is the potential for significant winter precipitation. The Watch is likely to be upgraded to a Winter Storm Warning tomorrow afternoon.

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2AM Monday

A sunny Monday will give way to a cloudier Tuesday. We could see some snow showers Tuesday morning with a dusting to half an inch of accumulation; this is not expected to have a significant impact on the morning commute. The real story this week will be Wednesday. A significant storm is likely for Wednesday. There is the potential for moderate to heavy snow accumulations. Rain has been a factor in our last few storm and we will need to keep an eye on the temperatures with this up coming storm as this will influence the storm totals, but the current forecast favors a mainly snow event. Currently Kingstonsnows is forecasting a "likely range" of 5 to 10 inches of snow mainly between 10am an 10pm Wednesday, although adjustments and to both the timing and amounts are possible over the next 48 hours. At least one update will be posted on Monday and Tuesday.

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February is Here
Updated: February 1, 2018

~ January Recap ~

January was quite a wild ride. The month kicked of with record breaking cold temperatures. New Year's Day recorded a record low of -10 degrees followed by a week of frigid temperatures. The cold reached its most extreme point on January 7th when the low bottomed out at -14 degrees. But the cold was far from permanent; within less than a week we were setting record high temperatures. January 12th recorded a record breaking 62 degrees for the afternoon high, while the following day reached 59 degrees. The warmth was accompanied by heavy rains of over an inch that resulted in flooding and ice jams in various parts of Ulster County; the Wallkill River in New Paltz was particularly affected. By the 16th snow was the headliner with an 8 inch snow storm accounting for more than half of the month's snowfall. A second major rain storm dropped half an inch on the 23rd before the month coasted to a calm finish.

~ The Month Ahead ~

So far this season, Kingston's total snowfall has continued to hover right around the 13-year average. The season snow total as of February 1st is 22.5 inches which is exactly on par with last year's 22.1 inches that had fallen by this date. As we head into February we can expect an uptick in the snowiness. February is historically our most impactful month by far, ad it is when we see a higher frequency of more impactful storms. Of all the weeks between December and March that have ever recorded at least 10 inches of snow, about half of them have occurred in February alone. Seasons that record no weeks with at least 10 inches of snowfall in February have an 80% chance of ending below average, while seasons that have at least one week with 10 inches of snow in February have less than a 40% chance of ending below average. The outlook over through the first half of this month favors a return to wintery conditions. Below average temperatures are favored over above average temperatures, and the emerging pattern favors active weather with multiple opportunities for accumulating snow.

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Image caption: So far this winter's snowfall (pink line) has been near average.
Click image for larger and clearer version.

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Image caption: Kingston remains on track to see about 48 inches of snow.
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Extended-Outlook
The Extended Outlook offers a general sense of upcoming conditions, but is not a specific forecast. Conditions depicted may change as the they get closer in time.

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