***This post is from 2011. Please visit the MAIN PAGE to see the latest forecasts for January 2012.
6:30 PM Observations: As of 6:30 PM, the primary low is currently near eastern Ohio and is near 1012 mb, and the coastal low is just off the coast of eastern North Carolina and is near 1014 mb. Widespread snow is currently affecting Pennsylvania and will continue to move east, with light snow developing in New Jersey. Some mixing with sleet and/or rain is taking place, however this should not be widespread.
Looking at the regional radar, there is no heavier precipitation showing up near the coastal low yet, however that is going on as expected, as heavier precipitation isn’t expected to develop from the coastal low until later tonight. There is some uncertainty with the exact storm track and the western end of the heavier precipitation, which is leading to uncertainty with snow totals for the western and central parts of the area, however the eastern parts of the area are still expected to receive between 1 and 2 feet of snow.
Compared to the model forecasts from last night, the low pressure in the Ohio Valley is stronger than expected, and some model solutions such as the 18z NAM have been showing the storm further east, with less than 10 inches of snow in NYC and NE NJ. Regardless, moderate to heavy snow is still expected in the immediate NYC area, with heavy snow further east.
Forecast For NYC Area: Light snow, mixing with rain or sleet at times near the coast, will continue to become more widespread over the next several hours, with an occasional period of moderate snow possible. As the coastal low develops and heavier precipitation develops, expect more widespread moderate snowfall to start affecting the area by the early overnight hours.
The worst of the storm will be in the early morning hours, with the worst impacts in Long Island and southern Connecticut, where snowfall rates between 2 and 3 inches of snow per hour are expected, windy conditions leading to near blizzard conditions at times, and thundersnow is also possible. Further west into the immediate NYC area, lighter snowfall is expected, with snow rates generally between 1 and 2 inches per hour, higher further east and lower further west. In the western parts of the area, moderate snow will fall, with snowfall rates less than 1 inch per hour. The snow will weaken in the morning hours, and will end by the afternoon.
8:15 PM Update: For more reasons that will be discussed shortly, snow totals have been slightly raised. When the storm ends, storm totals of at least 5 to 9 inches are expected inland, 8 to 12 inches for northeastern New Jersey, 9 to 14 inches in New York City, and 12 to 18 inches in Long Island and southern Connecticut with amounts locally as high as 2 feet of snow, potentially focusing on western/central Connecticut. As details become clearer this evening, some minor changes could be made to this call as the storm goes along, which will be posted with several storm updates this evening and potentially tomorrow morning.
This is still expected to be a dangerous storm for New York City and further east/northeast, and should not be taken lightly. Stay tuned for storm updates later tonight and possibly tomorrow morning on this storm.