***This post is from 2011. Please visit the MAIN PAGE to see the latest forecasts for January 2012.
This morning, the area experienced a surprise 1 to 3 inch snowfall event. Some light snow was expected, however accumulations this high were unexpected. Temperatures went on to peak in the 30s across the area, which are the warmest temperatures the area has seen in days, yet are still below the average highs. Even more snow is on the way, however, as a storm currently affecting the Southeast will move northeast to bring a significant snowstorm for the area.
Wednesday – Thursday Storm: Heavy Snow Expected
The models have converged on a solution slightly east of yesterday’s forecast throughout the day today. There is still some slight uncertainty with exactly how much precipitation falls, with the 00z NAM model showing the lightest amounts, however at least 6 or more inches of snow are expected to fall near the immediate NYC area.
Storm Forecast: The low pressure that will affect the area is currently near the southern United States, with its pressure between 1008-1010 mb. This low pressure will move northeast, and will be located near eastern North Carolina by tomorrow morning. The low pressure will continue to move northeast from there but will quickly intensify, with at least a 986 mb low pressure expected south of Nova Scotia by late tomorrow morning.
The radar appearance of the storm is expected to remain relatively disorganized until it reaches the Mid Atlantic tomorrow afternoon, which is when it will begin to organize and intensity, with heavy precipitation moving northeast overnight from central/northern Virginia into New Jersey and southern New England.
Forecast For The NYC Area: A wintry mix of light snow, sleet and rain will begin falling tomorrow afternoon across the area, however the precipitation will remain light through the evening hours. As the storm continues to organize, heavy precipitation will approach the area from the southwest, and with dropping temperatures as cold air works its way into the storm, the area will change over to plain snow from west to east.
The worst of the storm will take place on Wednesday night into early Thursday morning. Heavy snow is expected to affect the central parts of the area with moderate snow further west, with snow rates between 1 and 2 inches per hour possible with the heavier snow bands. By the time that the storm is over on Thursday morning, I am expecting at least 4 to 8 inches of snow in NW NJ and Orange County, NY, and 6 to 10 inches for the rest of the area except eastern Long Island, which could also see 4 to 8 inches of snow.
Note that there is still some uncertainty with the exact precipitation amounts, and it is possible that the heavy snow area could be shifted slightly west, slightly east, or it is a possibility that there could be less snow than expected. Stay tuned for more updates on this storm tomorrow.
With the next full update, more information will be posted about a potential light snow event around Saturday, and another possible arctic air blast around the first day of February.