Jan 6, 2011: Final Storm Forecast

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


Note: NYC Area Weather upgraded the Snow Watch to a Snow Warning across most of the area. Please refer to the “Weather Alerts” page for the latest alert in your area.

The 5-Day Forecast was not updated yet, but will be updated within the next hour.


Today was a mainly cloudy day across the area as a storm started approaching the area from the west. High temperatures were near the forecast, slightly cooler in some places, being mainly in the lower 30s inland and in the mid 30s for the rest of the area. Cloudy skies are expected tonight with isolated snow showers, especially in the eastern and western parts of the area, however more snow will move across the area from west to east tomorrow morning, with several inches of snow expected for the area, making this the third 1+ inch snow event for the area so far this winter.

Final Storm Forecast For January 6-8, 2011

Storm Set Up: We are looking at an inverted trough for the area which will be the snow producer for the area, as the main storm stays well offshore. On Friday in the morning to late morning hours, light snow will enter the area from west to east, gradually intensifying and becoming moderate by noon, with a band of moderate to locally heavy snow developing in eastern Pennsylvania. By the mid afternoon hours, the snow should be steadier with a band of heavy snow likely to move through the area, however this band of snow should be slow to leave, and will be the set up for heavy snow totals north and northeast of NYC.

This band of snow will contain heavy snowfall with rates between 1 and 2 inches per hour expected, and while it could change around a little, at this time it is expected to have its biggest impact between central/western Long Island through south central/SW/west central Connecticut, into central New York State. Note that it is possible that this band could be slightly east or west of what I am expecting.

Forecast For NYC Area: While snow showers are possible in the eastern parts of the area tonight, light snow will enter the area from west to east in the mid to late morning hours. The snow should intensify between noon-2 PM, with at least 1-2 inches of snow expected in the western parts of the area by then, an inch of snow in the immediate NYC area, and less than 1/2 inch further east.

As the snow band slows down and moves over the area, the snow will become heavier by the mid to late afternoon hours, with snow rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour expected where the heavier snow falls. Due to the set up of the storm, the heaviest snow is likely to end up northeast of NYC, in a corridor from central Long Island to south central/SW/west central Connecticut, through SE NY and into central New York State. As mentioned previously in the set up section, it is possible that the band could shift slightly southwest or northeast of my current expectation. The snow will then become lighter by the evening hours and end from west to east overnight.

By the time that the storm is over, at least 3 to 5 inches are expected for northern New Jersey, 2 to 4 inches in NYC, 3 to 6 inches in Long Island, with a band of over 5 inches from north central Long Island, SW CT and northwest of there. Depending on what the band does, as much as 10 inches of snow are possible in isolated locations. I issued a Snow Warning, indicating 3 to 7 inches of snow, for most of the area except for SE CT and western New Jersey south of Sussex/central Morris counties, where I have a Light Snow Alert in effect. If the band shifts slightly east or west, either west central NJ or SE CT could also see over 3 inches of snow.

Stay tuned for storm updates that will be posted from 3 PM tomorrow through the evening hours.

Longer Range Update: Tuesday-Wednesday Snow Potential Remains

The models today continued to show the potential of a major storm affecting the Mid Atlantic during this time frame, with the DGEX the most extreme, showing a mixed rain/snow event for NYC, and the 18z GFS the southeastern solution, with only some light snow for the area. While it is certain that a storm will be active near the East Coast, the question is where it ends up, as it could stay to our south, it could take a track in the middle with yet another blizzard for the area, or it could track close enough to the coast to bring mixed precipitation to the area. More information will be posted on this storm over the next few days once information becomes clearer, however there is the potential for a snowstorm to affect the area during this time frame.

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