Wednesday March 21

Snow slowly advancing

School Forecast for:
Wednesday March 21st
Last Updated: 830AM Wednesday March 21, 2018
Delay No School Early Dismissal
0%
(Nope)
0%
(Nope)
30%
(Low)

The Forecast
8:30AM Wednesday

Snow has been gradually working its way toward us this morning, but very dry air is causing it to evaporate as it falls impeding its progress. This is evident by the current radar, which depicts the snow line just south of Poughkeepsie - however, live webcams suggest that the snow has only just made it past NYC. The atmosphere will gradually moisten as the morning progresses and light snow could develop this afternoon. As far as accumulation expectations… starting to focus on the lower end of forecast ranges with 0 to 2 inches likely this afternoon into the night. You can follow along with where the snow is by checking the NYS webcams at http://nysmesonet.org/mesonow#?stid=HFAL


10PM Tuesday

Tonight's trends are suggesting that the cut-off line for the snow will set up right along Ulster County's northern border with Greene County. This scenario would favor a coating of snow in northern parts of the county (Woodstock/Saugerties) and up to 3 or 4 inches to the south (Wallkill/Highland). Based on this the forecast remains largely unchanged with a general 0 to 4 inches likely, and Kingston likely checking in around two inches. Timing has been fluctuating - trending a little faster in the last few hours. Snow could develop as early as 8am - still expecting it to continue into the afternoon. No adjustments to the probabilities at this time - storm timing still favors an early dismissal over a closing. A recap of this winter will be posted either tomorrow or Thursday after this storm winds down.


7PM Tuesday

No major changes at this time. Have gone ahead and shifted probabilities away from closings as confidence is increased that earliest reasonable snow start time is after 9AM. With a more likely timing closer to mid-day. Still watching to see how far north that snow band can push. Will not make any changes to the forecast numbers at this time — generally up to four inches anticipates with an "extreme range" of up to 6 inches.


12PM Tuesday

The forecast and forecast rationals remain generally the same since yesterday. Main change is some tweaks to the timing with snow likely starting later.

  • Variability: A swath of snow will fall across southern NY. Both snow amounts and snowfall duration (i.e. exact timing) will be determined by how far inland the snow band pushes. The further inland the band of snow pushes, the earlier snow will start and the higher snow totals will be. Along the Hudson River, the snow band is likely to stop somewhere between Saugerties and Albany. These 50 miles is where the variation in the snow forecast ranges is coming from (scroll down to see yesterday's Kingston Snow Gauge).
  • Expectations: Dry start to the day with snow approaching the region around mid-day. Best snow chances are from late Wednesday afternoon into the evening, with any snow ending around midnight. Totals are likely to be between zero and four inches. Higher amounts are expected to the south and east with totals approaching 6 inches possible toward the Highland/Wallkill area.
  • Impacts: Temperatures will start off in the mid 20s. Going with the current expectation of snow holding off til after noon should allow temperatures to rise into the 30 - 33 degree range. With normal weekday traffic, main roads like Broadway should simply be wet to slushy during the afternoon/evening. Side roads are more likely to be slick. The evening commute is most likely to be impacted.

The changes in the timing warrant a shift in school probabilities away from closings, but I will wait until this evening to make aditional adjustments. Next update should be posted by 7PM.


4PM Monday

Kingstonsnows continues to monitor the potential midWeek Storm. There is still the potential for accumulating snow on Wednesday. Here are the "definites" and the "maybes" with this storm.

The "Definites":

  • Someone is going to get snow. The trigger for this storm is currently producing rain over Missouri. It will move eastward with initially producing a swath of snow across southern Pennsylvania and New Jersey on Tuesday.
  • The further south and east you travel from Kingston, the higher the probabilities of snow are. As the main part of this Missouri trigger-system reaches the coast Tuesday night, it will act to trigger a coastal storm. A band of snow is likely to develop on the edge of this nor'easter producing another swath of snowfall along the coast from Virginia to Long Island to Boston.

The "Maybes":

  • How far the snow band pushes. For the past several days we have been watching the northern extent of the potential snow band. It's potential northern extent has been gradually creeping northward. Our snow amounts, will depend on exactly where this snow band sets up. The further north the snow band progresses, the more potential snow we will see. A "miss" scenario would involve the storm passing to our south. The trends over the past 48 hours have gradually shifted the northern extent of the snow from the New Jersey/NYC area to the Saugerties/Albany corridor.
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A period of snow is now expected on Wednesday with accumulations likely. The extent of accumulations will depend on where the snow band with its potentially heavy snowfall sets up.

At least two updates will be posted tomorrow along with refined school probabilities for Wednesday.


10AM Friday

The next few days will remain calm with clearing skies, however, Kingstonsnows is monitoring the potential for another storm toward the middle of next week. This storm has been on our watch list since Tuesday night, and confidence has been gradually increasing in another potential round of snow for Wednesday.

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The main piece of energy that will trigger the next potential storm is currently over the Pacific. This system will gradually slide eastward over the next few days, ending up around Kentucky/Virginia by Tuesday morning. What happens next will depend on how the system interacts with another piece of storm energy that is currently over northern Canada. The more the two systems interact, the higher the chances are for a nor'easter to develop when they reach the east coast. Less interaction would favor a weaker system that has less impact. Since Tuesday, the trend has been for slightly increasing interaction with at least a weak nor'easter developing by Wednesday. In this scenario, a period of snow with the possibility of several inches would be favored on Wednesday. But with the event being five days away these is ample room for adjustments either toward a greater or lesser impact. For now, we'll just watch how the pieces evolve - Sunday is when we should hopefully have a decent idea of what to expect.

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Caption: Current satellite imagery depicts the main clouds associated with next week's potential storm over the West Coast (yellow circle). The energy associated with these clouds will slide eastward across the middle of the country (yellow arrow) before possibly spawning another nor'easter off the east coast (spiny question mark). The cactus is over Texas, the palm tree is over Florida, and the star is over Kingston. The spiral clouds in the middle are a different storm that will not affect us.



March's Lions
Updated: March 16, 2018

"In like a lion, out like a lamb," that's how the saying goes, right? Well this month has certainly lived up to the expectation across the northeast. After a rather calm February, the March weather pattern has switched to something fierce. In the past two weeks three very powerful nor'easters have battered the northeastern states. Each storm produced significant snowfall and most locations from Binghamton to Boston to Maine have recorded over two feet of snow this month (including much of Dutchess County). Here in Ulster County, these storms have really produced varying impacts with the first having been a mainly rain event, the second a significant snowfall, and the third a light snowfall event.

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Caption: The comma shape in these three satellite images of this month's nor'easters indicates that these storms were well developed and powerful. For size context, the three purple dots in the top left are Washington, NYC, and Boston. Kingston's impacts are written below each storm. Click image for larger version.

The 10.5 inches of snow that fell on March 7th was the 10th largest snowstorm that Kingston has experienced since at least November 2004. Thanks largely to this storm, March has now become the most snowy month of the winter with a total of 13.3 inches of snow. The total snowfall for the season now stands at 45.9 inches, which is slightly above the long term average of 44 inches. Depending on what happens with next week's potential storm, it is likely that this winter's snowfall will reach or exceed the Kingstonsnows forecast of 48 inches. This forecast was issued back on December 12th with an 80% chance of the season total snowfall being between 35 and 61 inches.

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Image caption: This winter's snowfall (Pink Line) is now slightly above average, and is 2.1 inches shy of the Kingstonsnows forecast of 48 inches. Click image for larger and clearer version.

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Image caption: This winter's snowfall is just shy of the season forecast of 48 inches. Click image for larger and clearer version.

Spring officially arrives Tuesday at 12:15PM


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.

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

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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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