Jan 4, 2011: Update On Fri-Sat Snow Potential

***This post is from 2011. Please visit the MAIN PAGE to see the latest forecasts for January 2012.


With a weak low pressure to the north of the area today, the area experienced partly to mostly cloudy skies today, with high temperatures in the upper 30s to lower 40s across the area. Temperatures will slowly cool down over the next few days, however should cool down even more around the Friday-Saturday time frame, when a storm will affect the area with widespread light to moderate snow and the potential for a heavy snow band.

Tomorrow’s Outlook:

Tomorrow will be a partly cloudy day across the area with a WNW wind expected. High temperatures will be slightly cooler than those of today but still not very cold, in the mid to upper 30s inland and in the upper 30s for the rest of the area. A few lower 40s cannot be ruled out for the immediate NYC area.

Thursday will bring similar temperatures for the area, if not slightly cooler, however cloud cover will be increasing ahead of the next storm that will affect the area with snow.

Friday – Saturday: Uncertainty With Heavy Snow Zone

Since yesterday, the models have trended well east with the storm that yesterday was modeled to be close enough to directly affect the area on some models, and there is more support for an eastern solution, however if this latest solution verifies, the area will still get affected by this storm, as it appears that an inverted trough may set up, extending snowfall northwest of the storm in the form of a line of heavy snow that sets up over a specific area, potentially bringing snowfall amounts as high as 6-10 inches to places affected by this band, but the question at this time seems to be where the band sets up.

Looking at the overall scenario, a weak low pressure should move out of the Great Lakes, bringing widespread snow showers to the region, with more moderate snow developing by Friday, bringing widespread light to moderate snow for the area, being why I raised the snow chance to 70% in the 5-Day Forecast. Light accumulations are possible on Friday, but should stay below 2 inches.

On Friday night is when the inverted trough comes into the picture. As it appears that the main storm could stay well to our southeast while starting to rapidly intensify well away from the coast, an inverted trough appears to form, but the question is where does it form. It appears that this could set up somewhere between NYC to northeastern Massachusetts, and where it does form, a narrow band of moderate to heavy snow will likely be stuck over that area, with heavy snow amounts while areas not too far away see light snow.

The models usually have difficulty locating exactly where this sets up, though at this time, I am going with a light snow event with up to 1-2 inches for most of the area, with the potential for as much as 6-10 inches in the central or eastern parts of the area, depending on where the inverted trough sets up. This is a difficult storm to forecast, and it may come down to the day or two before the storm when we get a better idea on where the snow band sets up. The possibility that the coastal low may trend closer to the coast to directly affect the area will also be watched, as a few models such as the NOGAPS are suggesting this possibility. Light snow alerts could be issued tomorrow for the area, with snow watches possible depending on where the inverted trough sets up. Stay tuned for more details on this storm over the next few days.

Longer Range: Cold, Then Potential Storm For Jan 11-13

On Saturday, when some snow is possible in the morning especially in the eastern parts of the area, high temperatures will be colder, with the latest models suggesting highs in the mid 20s inland and in the upper 20s to lower 30s for the rest of the area. At this time, I went slightly warmer than these numbers, though it is possible that the forecast highs may be adjusted slightly lower or higher.

Afterwards, the cold will moderate for early to mid next week. It appears that there may be another storm that could affect the area around the January 11-13 time frame, but there is a lot of uncertainty at this time, with solutions ranging from a storm well to the west of the area, to a storm bringing heavy snow to the NYC area, to a storm staying offshore. Unlike the previous storms, however, an inland storm track is a possibility that could be more likely than in the previous storms we’ve seen. Stay tuned for more details on this storm and how it could affect the area.

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