Feb 21, 2011: Morning Storm Updates

4:30 PM: Second Wave To Stay South

As the first wave has left the region, there has been some slight clearing in the cloud cover with a little melting of the snowfall. Observed snow amounts were generally between 1 and 3 inches in southern Connecticut with 2 to 7 inches in SW Connecticut, northern New Jersey seeing 4 to 8 inches north of a boundary near I-80 and 2 to 5 inches south of there, 4 to 7 inches for SE NY, and 2 to 5 inches in NYC and Long Island. Cloud cover is generally cloudy again ahead of the second storm, however this storm will stay south of the area, providing no more than a few flakes for New York City and further north/east/WNW.

This second wave is currently entering Pennsylvania, moving generally west to east. As we saw last night when the first event started, some of the precipitation in Pennsylvania is virga, or snow that is not reaching the ground. For now, the storm will continue to move east, however it will be blocked from moving east to cover the rest of the area. As it moves further east, it will be suppressed and pushed south, forcing the storm to track east southeast. As a result, while places due west of New York City in central Pennsylvania may see snow, New York City will stay dry. This second wave will produce a more widespread heavy snow than this morning’s storm, with a maximum snowfall of 10 to 12 inches expected in southern Pennsylvania.

With the storm staying south of the area, temperatures will drop to temperatures well below the average for this time of the year, reaching the single digits in the northern parts of the area by tomorrow morning and only peaking in the mid 20s to lower 30s across the area, compared to the average highs already in the 40s in NYC. Stay tuned for a more detailed discussion later tonight, discussing the warming temperatures later this week and more details about the next few storms, including the potential for heavy rain on Friday and another storm for March 1-2.

7:40 AM: Overnight, when it appeared that the storm’s precipitation was weaker than originally expected and the first part of the storm failing to produce much snow, it still appeared that the areas seeing the heaviest snowfall would be in western New Jersey instead of Orange County, NY and could see up to a maximum of 5-6″ as higher snow totals, but with otherwise a widespread 2-4 inches across the area.

This morning, we are seeing a narrow heavy snow band setting up over northern New Jersey, southeastern New York, SW Connecticut and parts of New York City, which is heavier than expected last night. This band is currently shrinking in size, however it will continue to produce moderate to heavy snow as it begins to shift south later this morning. There is no widespread moderate to heavy snow covering the entire area as originally expected, though in the places currently under the heavy snow band in northern New Jersey, southeastern NY and SW CT, expect the final totals between 5 and 8 inches of snow, with otherwise a general 2 to 5 inches across the area.

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