Friday flash freeze 🥶
Happy winter solstice, Hudson Valley! Today (Wednesday) has the shortest daylength of the year (about 9 hours, 10 minutes). It only gets brighter from here…
That’s it for the good news 🙃
When I sent my weekly newsletter on Sunday, I thought it might be a “one post” type of week. Wishful thinking.
This time, Mother Nature is digging deep into her bag of tricks 🤹
On Friday, the temperature is forecast to drop from around 50 to 20 in about six hours after a lot of rain.
It doesn’t take a meteorologist to spot the possible problem there! ⛸️ 🧊
Before that, a swath of wet snow will graze Sullivan County and the Catskills on Thursday afternoon.
Oh, did I mention the wind on Friday?! Yeah, that’ll be a slight problem too 🌬️
Let’s break it down…
First things first: Thursday afternoon.
Wet snow will approach Sullivan County between 11:00 am - 1:00 pm and western Ulster County between 1:00 - 3:00 pm. This may result in some early dismissals (low to medium chance).
Temperatures are forecast to be just above freezing there, but wet snow could accumulate up to an inch or so before a changeover to rain during the evening.
I am keeping an eye on western Orange County for a brief period of wet snow early Thursday afternoon, although it currently looks unlikely to be enough to cause issues.
Next: Thursday night through Friday morning.
Rain. Lots of rain. 1-2 inches are possible.
Wind. The first round of strong winds is expected late Thursday night into early Friday morning when gusts of 40-50 mph are possible. This may bring down tree branches, Christmas decorations, and cause sporadic power outages, especially in elevated and exposed locations, such as hills.
Finally: Friday afternoon and evening.
An Arctic cold front will blast through the region from 1:00 pm (west) to 4:00 pm (east), coinciding with another burst of rain, high winds, and maybe some snow, the latter mainly in the Catskills.
Crashing temperatures will then coincide with the afternoon and evening commute — not ideal. Although the strong winds *should* help to dry things out after the rain ends, any lingering water will quickly freeze, creating a risk for icy conditions on untreated surfaces ⚠️
This unusual circumstance may lead to some early dismissals (low to medium chance).
Temperatures will remain below freezing until at least Tuesday afternoon, so any ice that does develop will stick around for several days.
They say a picture is worth 1000 words 📉 ~ the chart below is an areal average of temperatures in the Hudson Valley over the next six days.
🎢 See the part that looks like a massive roller coaster drop? Yeah, that’s Friday afternoon. Each circle is three hours apart — temperatures in the upper 30s at 1:00 pm are forecast to drop to around 20 by 4:00 pm.
The drop between mid-morning and mid-afternoon is even more impressive: about 30 degrees! To put this in perspective, the largest six hour temperature drop on record in the Hudson Valley was 37 degrees, from 85 to 48, in April 2003.
As you can clearly see on the chart, frigid temperatures are expected on Christmas Eve (10s) and Christmas Day (20s) with even colder wind chills in the single digits 🥶
If you do lose power on Friday, it might not be quick fix since gusty winds will last through the weekend.
Stay warm and safe, friends! 🔥