Tuesday January 15

Light snow Friday, Storm this weekend

School Forecast through:
Friday January 18th
Last Updated: 8:00PM Tuesday January 15, 2019
Delay No School Early Dismissal
20%
(Low)

20%
(Low)
0%
(Nope)

8PM Tuesday

Still looking calm the next few days. Still expecting two storms late in the week. Storm #1: Friday morning. Honestly, this "storm" looks just like every other light snowfall that we've seen over the past two months. Up to about an inch of snow is possible mainly between 3AM and 10AM Friday. Assuming that snow actually does materialize, it will not have any trouble sticking to untreated roadways as temperatures will be at most in the mid to upper 20s Thursday morning through Friday morning. Slick road conditions are very possible Friday morning. Will hold off on adjusting the school probabilities at this time since this is a very light snow event that is still two days away - subtle shifts in the storm could still render this event little more than a dusting.

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Storm #2: Saturday night into Sunday.

A strong storm is still expected to materialize this weekend. This storm is still expected to impact us Saturday night into Sunday. The main uncertainty remains in HOW it impacts us. In yesterday's updates it was mentioned that snow amounts would be largely dependent on how much sleet or rain mixes in, that there had been a slight trend toward more rain, and that it was still too early to make an accurate prediction of likely snow amounts. This all remains the case tonight. The trends for this storm have remained consistent in developing snow Saturday night, likely after sunset but before midnight. Snow is likely Saturday night. However, the trend over the last 48 hours has been for a stronger storm system passing closer to our region - this would draw warmer air closer to us. There has been increasing support that this warmer air may actually put us above freezing sometime Sunday morning with a changeover from snow to rain on Sunday. Yesterday three of the four main long-term computer models hinted at this, while the fourth explicitly calculated it. Today, three explicitly calculate the changeover while the fourth just hints at it. Obviously, the more time we spend as rain or mixed precipitation, the less snow accumulation we will see.

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Yesterday's "extreme" snowfall range of 1 to 15 inches remains valid. And at this time, KingstonSnows will issue a broad "likely" snowfall range of suggesting a somewhat moderate snowfall. The broad range is intentional and proportional to current confidence levels. It will be whittled down as forecast confidence increases, and adjustments to the forecast are expected over the next several days. It is too early for a "specific" snow amount forecast.

Next Update:

Wednesday Evening

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10PM Monday

The upcoming week looks to be cool and tranquil through Thursday. At this time we continue to watch two separate storm systems for late this week. The first looks to be a quick light snow event on Friday. The second looks the be a potentially significant storm Saturday into Sunday.

Storm #1: Light snow possible on Friday.
The first system to move through the region will be Thursday night through Friday. This system is likely to develop over the center of the U.S., and then track through the Mid-Atlantic States (Virginia through New York. This storm has the potential to spread light snow over our area, mainly between 12AM and 12PM Friday. Forecast adjustments are expected as the system gets closer, but at this time, an inch or two of snow is possible. Air temperatures are likely to be below freezing leading up to this storm. Thursday's highs are still only forecast to reach about 30 degrees, and may dip to the lower 20s Thursday night. These temperatures would be cold enough to support road impacts if snow does materialize.

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Storm #2: Saturday night through Sunday.
At this time we also continue to monitor a likely storm for this weekend. This storm is likely to develop as a weather disturbance moves from the west coast to the central United States. As it does, it is likely to tap into very moist air from the Gulf of Mexico before passing through the northeast. This combination of factors will allow for potential heavy rain, snow, and sleet across various parts of the northeast. Our local impacts will be largely determined by how well cold air remains locked in place over our region. Trends continue to suggest that cold air will remain locked in places enough to produce a mainly snow event across the Mid-Hudson Valley, but there is certainly the possibility for at least a period of mixed precipitation or even plain rain, especially Sunday morning. Any snow amounts are likely to be largely determined by the extent of mixing, and it is too early to determine likely snowfall amounts. Of the four main long term computer guidance models, three continue to suggest a mainly snow event with some form of the aforementioned mixing. Within the last 24 hours, the fourth has shifted to more of a rain event with some light snow as the storm tapers off. Forecasts for this storm will continue to evolve throughout the week.

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Next Update:
Tuesday Evening

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10AM Sunday

The week ahead looks to be pretty calm and dry, however, there are early signals that conditions could get interesting next weekend.

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High pressure will dominate the next few days. This will keep skies mainly clear with a few clouds on Monday and Tuesday. Temperatures will be pretty typical for this time of year - reaching about 30 degrees. On Wednesday, a clipper storm - that is, a small quick moving weather system - will sweep through southern Canada. No precipitation is expected from this system, but it will brush us with some clouds on Wednesday. By Thursday the system passes, leaving clear skies and a fresh dose of cold air in its wake - overnight temperatures are likely to fall into the teens. On Friday, a second clipper system will again scoot by to our north. This second one will likely dig a little further south than Wednesday's, and it is possible that we could see some light snowfall from it on Friday. It is too early to pinpoint exact timing or amounts of any potential snow on Friday, but the general trend has been for about an inch or less during the daylight hours.

Things get interesting next weekend.

For the past several days, there has been a very strong signal from essentially all long-range computer models that there is the potential for some form of significant storm next weekend. Computer models began picking up on this storm last week, and have remained consistent in its eventual formation. Kingstonsnows alluded to this potential storm and it's general weather pattern this past Thursday [Link].

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A key piece of energy for this potential storm can actually be identified right now as a subtle wind shift of the coast of Japan [Link]! There is a general consensus that this energy should make its way toward the U.S. West Coast, eventually spawning a mature storm over the mid-Mississippi River Valley late in the week. Long range computer models would then have this storm push into the Northeastern states. Such a storm would likely bring snow to parts of the northeast and rain to other parts. Over the past two days there has been a general trend that favors snow/sleet with this storm, opposed to another heavy rain event. And within the past 24 hours, all four of the four main long-term computer models have been suggesting a primarily snow event for our local area. This-Can-Change. Because this potential storm is still a full week out, there is a lot that we simply cannot be sure of at this time. What we do know is: 1) because the notable consistency among almost all long-range computer models, it is more likely than not that some form of storm will develop at some point next weekend, 2) there is a decent chance that we will be impacted in some sort of way, and 3) while there are some indications for snow, it is too early to identify specific precipitation types, amounts, or timing.

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This is the type of storm that is likely to receive significant media hype. I have already come across one article proclaiming "MASSIVE SNOWSTORM WILL LEAD ARCTIC PLUNGE!". Articles like this are not forecasts, and they are not meteorology. Meteorology - the study of weather - is a science that relies on calculations. Today, computer models are used to quickly perform many of the extensive equations that are used to calculate weather patterns. Literally anyone can go online and find these computer models and post them as "fact", and sadly many people do. Unfortunately, this is like copying someone else's homework and turning it in for a grade without even checking it. Regardless of whether they are ultimately right or wrong, what these people fail to realize is that, we will never be able to be able to obtain all of the data that we need to make our weather equations and calculations perfect. Because of this, there is error inherent in every computer model, so meteorologists must apply experience and understanding to realize the limitations of computer models. Without digressing any further I simply caution you that any article proclaiming that a certain event "will" happen many days in advance should be taken with a grain of salt, and that any article that does not acknowledge uncertainty within a forecast should be taken with a grain of salt. Any article that reads like it is yelling at you, should be taken with several grains of salt.

The best course of action for this potential storm, at this time, is to simply monitor forecasts over the next several days. By Wednesday or Thursday, we should have a fairly good idea of what to expect.

Next Update:
Monday Evening

-Ethan


School Impact Probability
Updated: January 14, 2019
For January 14th through 18th

Day Snow/Ice Delay Cancellation Early Dismissal
Monday (14) Very Low
Very Low
Very Low Very Low
Tuesday (15)
Very Low
Very Low
Very Low
Very Low
Wednesday (16)
Very Low
Very Low Very Low Very Low
Thursday (17)
Very Low
Very Low
Very Low
Very Low
Friday (18)
Medium
Medium
Low
Very Low
School impact probabilities offer a general sense of upcoming conditions, but are not specific forecasts.


Season Forecast
5:00AM Wednesday January 2nd

Kingstonsnows is formally forecasting a total of 34 inches of snow this winter, with a likely range of 22 to 46 inches. This forecast is below the average seasonal total of 44.8 inches.

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Although the forecast anticipates a likely range of 22 to 46 inches, there is about a 25% chance of less than 22 inches of snow, and a 25% chance of more than 46 inches of snow. It is important to remember that it only takes one well placed nor'easter to dump significant snowfall. Additional details about how the forecast is made can be found HERE. We'll see how the forecast holds up by April!

-Ethan

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Since January 2009
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