Wednesday February 28

Storm poised for Friday

School Forecast for:
Thursday March 1st
Last Updated: 6PM Wednesday February 28, 2018
Delay No School Early Dismissal

The Forecast

6PM Wednesday

A potent nor'easter will develop off the Jersey coast tomorrow night, and it will spread heavy precipitation over much of the northeast - including the MidHudson Valley. Precipitation will begin as RAIN over Ulster County after 7PM Thursday. This much is certain.

Uncertainty remains in exactly how much cooling will occur with this storm as we head through Thursday night and into Friday. Temperatures will be in the low 40s at the onset of the storm, but a combination of factors will likely act to lower temperatures through Friday afternoon. These factors include cold air being drawn into the back of the storm as well has potentially heavy precipitation rates which often cool the air as rain falls. Snow that falls across the region on Friday will be wet and very elevation-dependent with higher elevations experiencing notably greater snow amounts than here in the Valley. The higher terrain west of the Hudson River (from the Catskills to Central New York) will see the best cooling, and a change from rain to snow is likely to occur there early Friday morning.


Today's trends have been for temperatures in the Kingston area to likely cool enough for sleet to develop by the mid Morning on Friday with a mix of rain/sleet/snow throughout the day on Friday. A slushy couple of inches is likely at this point, however, with temperatures currently projected to run in the low 30s for most of Friday's event, relatively subtle shifts in the storm track could significantly impact the temperatures and the amount of snow that we experience. If the temperature remains about five degrees colder than currently forecast, we would be looking at 1 to 2 inches of pure rain. If the temperatures ends up about five degrees colder, the rain could change over to a moderate snowfall. To our west, Winter Storm Watches are currently in place for the Catskills and western New York where colder temperatures are likely to result in potentially significant snow accumulations of up to 12 inches. To our south and east, Flood Watches are in place for NYC, Dutchess County and parts of New England. In these areas a warmer rain scenario is likely with flooding possible. Kingston is sandwiched between these two extremes.


8PM Tuesday

It has been a week since we set the highest temperature ever recorded in the Mid-Hudson Valley during the month of February. That 76 degrees recorded at the Dutchess County Airport was 27 degrees above average. In the week since then, temperatures have continued to run about 13 degrees above average. The well above average temperatures will persist through Wednesday and into Thursday, but slightly more seasonable air is likely to filter into the the region behind a strong storm on Friday. Friday's storm will bring the potential for heavy rain. Currently there is the potential for at least an inch of rain beginning around 7PM Thursday, and persisting into Friday. Currently, temperatures are forecast to fall enough to allow for rain to mix with or eventually change over to wet snow early Friday. This could would likely result in light snow accumulations. However, the main source of uncertainty in the current forecast is exactly how much cold air filters in Friday morning, and this will have significant impacts on whether we see all rain, rain mixed with snow, or notable snow accumulations.

High confidence:
Rain beginning late Thursday evening.

Medium confidence:
Rain mixing with/changing to wet snow late Thursday night.
Light snow accumulations.

Greatest Uncertainty:
How much temperatures fall Thursday night.
How long any pure snow persists.

Rain and/or snow is likely throughout the day or Friday. Calmer weather moves in for the weekend.


Click image for larger and clearer version.

Multiple updates to Friday's developing forecast are planned for tomorrow and Thursday. Stay tuned.

February sets Records
March Arrives
Updated: February 27, 2018

February 2018 will be remembered for its warmth. With just one day left in the month, it appears certain that this will be at least the 3rd warmest February on record and may just barely edge into the number 2 spot. Thanks to last week's record breaking heatwave that encompassed the entire east coast, 2018 also now holds the record for warmest temperature ever recorded in the Mid Hudson Valley during the month of February. Last Thursday's temperature at the Dutchess County airport reached 76 degrees during the heatwave beating the previous all-time record high temperature of 73 which was set just last year. It is also worth nothing that on the same day, LaGuardia airport in NYC reached 79 degrees which was the warmest temperature ever recorded in New York State during the month of February.

Needless to say, this warmth has not been good for the snow. Kingston recorded a total of 10.1 inches of snow this month, which is about 5 inches below average. Over the past 13 seasons, only four Februarys have recorded less snow than this year. The current season snow total stands at 32.6 inches, which is about four inches below average. At the beginning of the month, it was noted that 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 most snow in a one week period this month was 5.4 inches, and so February 2018 has failed to reach the 10 inch weekly threshold. Because of this, it will be statistically difficult for this season to reach the normal season snowfall amount of 44 inches. Short of a well-placed nor'easter that drops a lot of snow at once, winter 2018 is likely to end slightly below average. On average March produces about seven inches of snow.


Image caption: This winter's snowfall (Pink Line) dipped slightly below average in February. Click image for larger and clearer version.


Image caption: Kingston is likely to reach the "Likely Range" that was initially forecast back in early December, but it will probably take a strong nor'easter to reach the forecast 48 inches. Click image for larger and clearer version.

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.

Updated: February 11, 2018
Click image for larger and clearer version.

All 2017 Photos of The Month have been updated.
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