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March madness: winter goes out with a bang!
Life won’t exactly be a beach this week, at least as far as the weather is concerned.
A full-fledged nor’easter will cause a crippling snowfall for parts of eastern New York, western Connecticut, and Massachusetts.
In the Hudson Valley, a damaging, wet snowfall is looking more likely, particularly for elevated areas north of I-84.
As of early Sunday, a Winter Storm Watch was in effect for the following mid-Hudson Valley counties, starting later Monday: Orange, Ulster, Sullivan, Putnam, and Dutchess. The watch speaks to the counties that have the potential for a significant snow accumulation from Monday night through Tuesday.
The weight of 6-12 inches of extremely wet, dense snow will be enough to down trees and power lines and cause outages.
💡 Although there is still uncertainty with the forecast, I would encourage some storm prep on Sunday and Monday. Here are some ideas:
Pick up a few more non-perishable foods than you would normally
Pick up your prescriptions
Make sure you have fuel for the generator and car
Take care of that branch that looks like it’s ready to fall
If you have plans for Monday night and/or Tuesday, change them to Monday or push them out to later in the week if you can
Expecting a perfect forecast in this situation is unrealistic. With all of the variables at play, no one is going to be able to tell you exactly how much snow will fall at your house. Given what we know about the intensity of the nor’easter, prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
🖊️ Forecast details as of early Sunday — subject to change!
What? Heavy, wet snow
When? Monday night-Tuesday
How much? 6-12 inches for most of the region; 12+ inches possible in the hills and mountains. At this point, the highest accumulations are expected north of I-84. The forecast accumulation will be fine-tuned over the next day.
Impact? The storm will build slowly, with little if any impact during the day on Monday when there will be a mix of rain and snow showers and above freezing temperatures. Things will start to go downhill overnight, with snow rates intensifying and accumulation expected on all surfaces. The heaviest snow looks to occur during the second half of Monday night through Tuesday morning, with rates of thick, pasty snowfall exceeding 1 inch per hour. By Tuesday morning, travel will have become very difficult or impossible for parts of the region. The weight of the snow on trees and power lines will likely cause power outages, possibly widespread. Widespread school and business closure is possible. Although snow rates will ease on Tuesday afternoon, the storm’s impact could linger on for several days, depending on the amount of damage sustained and the power situation.
Much like other storms this winter, two important factors that will influence snowfall accumulation include elevation and snowfall intensity.
Elevation: elevated, hilly areas will run colder than valley spots, thus being more conducive to accumulating snow.
Snowfall intensity: because temperatures won’t be particularly cold, snow will struggle to stick to paved surfaces unless it’s snowing heavily. Heavy snow can cool the surrounding air. Snowfall intensity is expected to increase on Monday night, lasting through at least Tuesday morning.
Yesterday, I shared a map showing the potential for at least 6 inches of snow. The updated version of the map is below. The orange (🟠) and red (🔴) colors indicate the areas where 6+ inches have a high chance of occurring — it’s more widespread and farther south than it was yesterday, encompassing the mid-Hudson Valley.
🌬️ By Tuesday afternoon, the snow will be slowing down and gradually tapering to flurries, which could continue into Wednesday. The wind will pick up later Tuesday and especially Wednesday, which is unfortunate, because it will put further stress on heavily weighted tree branches and power lines.
The weather will improve further on Thursday and Friday, causing a large melt-off. A cold front on Friday night into Saturday looks to bring some showers before a dry day on Sunday.
The week of March 20th looks settled to start, followed by a possible storm system later (probably rain).
Needless to say…
Vote for your favorite prognosticator
This week I learned that I was nominated in the Hudson Valley magazine’s best of Hudson Valley meteorologist category. It’s most humbling to be recognized (thank you!)…
It’s also ironic, because I don’t even “officially” live here 😅
But let there be no doubt that I am very much there in spirit, especially when it snows! And I may just be there in the flesh in the not-too-distant future…
So if you want to cast a vote, follow this link.
PS, I understand you have to vote in at least 5 categories for your vote to be counted.
On Friday, I was walking out of the office after a busy week at work and looked up —as every good meteorologist does— when something caught my eye.
Do you see it?!
Then I got home and saw this! 🐘
Despite the crazy weather, I hope your week is as interesting as these clouds ✌️
Next update: Monday morning.