April 7, 2016 Noon Update: Snow Possible

Brief Update: Snow Possible This Weekend

ne_apcpsfc_f60The return of winter continues into this weekend, as the third snowstorm to affect the Northeast US this month may produce snow in the tri-state area as well.

In a scenario similar to that of last weekend, a powerful vorticity maximum will dig into the region, with forcing for ascent provided via strong cyclonic vorticity advection and low-level convergence. Steep low-level lapse rates are expected, with surface temperatures in the upper 30s but 850-hPa temperatures near -4 degrees Celsius; temperatures are initially expected to support rain, but with the steep lapse rates favoring the development of moderate to heavy precipitation bands, with temperatures in these bands cooling down to the wetbulb, which given the anomalously cold air mass in place will be cold enough to support a potential changeover to heavy wet snow.

The position of the vorticity maximum, surface low pressure and accordingly the precipitation banding is still somewhat uncertain, and will influence the position of the narrow snow axis. Based on the latest model guidance, the position may range from central New Jersey to southeast New York. Any potential snow accumulations will be limited given that the heaviest precipitation should occur during the daytime, with the high sun angle and relatively mild initial surface temperatures the primary limiting factors, although locations especially inland of NYC with colder initial temperatures may record light to moderate snow accumulations under these bands.

More information will be posted on the outlook later tonight or on Friday.

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