Monday March 5

High-Impact Snow Likely Wednesday

School Forecast for:
Wednesday March 7th
Last Updated: 7PM March 5, 2018
Delay No School Early Dismissal

The Forecast
7PM Monday

Update #3:
Conditions remain primed for a classic nor'easter! While there is still time for variations and shifts in the forecast, today's trends have been consolidating around a rather impactful event with the potential for significant snowfall. As a result confidence is increasing that this will be a high-impact snow event. While snowfall is likely to last throughout the entire day Wednesday, the greatest impacts will be during the afternoon and evening when snowfall rates may approach an inch per hour. Here are some details/questions that have come up today:

Start time: Likely between 2am and 7am Wednesday.
End time: Likely around or shortly after 12am Thursday.
Temperatures: Mid-20s to low-30s; supports all snow.
Winds: 5 to 15 mph with gusts to 20's possible; roughly half of what we experienced on Friday.

Travel around the region: This is expected to be a high-impact event for the entire Hudson Valley from Albany to Westchester, and from the Catskills eastward into New England. The vast majority of this area is likely to record 6+ inches of snow. When it comes to travel, however, snowfall rates are generally more useful than snow totals. Snowfall rates will be greatest Wednesday afternoon and evening, and have the potential to approach an inch per hour at times. This will make for difficult travel, especially during the evening commute.


We'll see how things look in the morning.


7AM Monday

Update #2:
Kingstonsnows has been monitoring the potential for a winter storm since Saturday, and it appears that this storm will materialize. There is the potential for significant impacts with this storm. Overnight trends have increased potential impacts. Basically what we're looking at is the potential for a well-placed classic nor'easter. Temperatures in advance of this storm are colder than other recent storms, so we're looking at an all snow event. The question remains exactly how much snow. This will depend on the eventual track, but it now appears that any track shifts will likely mean the difference between a moderate and a heavy snowfall event. The Kingstonsnows "extreme range" at this time is 3 to 16 inches with a "likely range" of 6 to 12 inches. The National Weather Service has issued a "Winter Storm Watch" for the entire Hudson Valley for Wednesday morning through Thursday morning. This Watch means that there is the potential for heavy snowfall on the order of 5 to 10 inches. Tomorrow the Watch will either be upgraded to a "Winter Storm Warning" if confidence in heavy impacts continues to increase, or converted to a "Winter Weather Advisory" if more minimal impacts become likely.


Kingston snows will be posting morning and evening updates until the storm begins.

8PM Sunday

Kingston saw a total of 0.8 inches of snow early Friday morning before conditions switched back to rain. The rain was due to a common weather phenomenon called down sloping, which is essentially wind flowing down the Catskills and warming the valleys. This process was unique to Ulster County and the entire region around us saw 4 to 12 inches. Here's a link to an indepth Kingstonsnows post on the phenomenon: Link.

Our attention now turns to Wednesday.

There is increasing confidence that another nor'easter will develop by the middle of this week. The energy that will trigger this storm is currently producing heavy snow and blizzard conditions across Montana and the Dakotas. As it moves eastward, it is likely to spawn a classic nor'easter off the east coast. This should generally produce a wide area of accumulating snowfall across the interior northeast with rain closer to the coast. A heavier swath of snow is likely to fall along the cold side of the rain-snow line.


Caption: The map offers a general sense of the big picture over the northeastern states. Rain (green) is likely along the coast with snow across the interior northeast (light blue). A swath of heavier snow with the potential for 6+ inches (dark blue) is likely on the cold side of the rain-snow line. Shifts in the track will shift the relative position of these Snow/HeavySnow/Rain zones.

Temperatures over our region leading up to the storm will be more seasonable (colder) than temperatures that we have experienced in recent weeks. This difference favors a primarily snow event locally. The main uncertainty with this storm will be with the storm track. A storm track closer to the coast will shift the Snow/HeavySnow/Rain all further inland. A storm track further out to sea will shift snow impacts closer to the coast. Confidence in the eventual track should increase over the next 36 hours, and we should have a very good idea of what to expect by Monday PM/Tuesday AM. At the moment, the Mid-Hudson Valley (Ulster/Dutchess Counties) is likely to experience accumulating snow with moderate accumulations possible. The likely timing of local impacts is Wednesday morning through Thursday morning.


Caption: it is too early to issue a specific number forecast for Kingston, but the potential currently exists for a moderate snowfall.

We'll see how things unfold over the next 36 hours. Updates will be posted tomorrow and Tuesday.

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.

All 2017 Photos of The Month have been updated.
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