Feb 11, 2015

More on the February Shiver & Shovel

Today was relatively mild across the area many valley locations warmed into the mid to upper 20s. Thursday will start off mild(ish) but bitter cold air will once again return by Thursday night and stick around into Friday.

Fig.1 Surface Map 10 PM for 11 FEB 2015

The surface map above (Fig. 1) shows two cold fronts will pass across the region during Thursday. The second front back over the Central Great Lakes region is the one that separates the polar air from the arctic air. The two fronts will be responsible for producing some light snow or snow showers. Accumulations will be slight around an inch or less across the Hudson Valley and 2"-3" over the higher terrain (especially the west facing slopes) of Eastern NY State and Western New England. As the low moves across NY tomorrow it will redevelop off the East Coast into a moderately strong system but this new coastal low is expected to have no impact on our weather. However this low could throw some moderate snow back towards Cape Cod, the offshore Islands of Massachusetts, southeastern Rhode Island and perhaps the Twin Forks of Long Island Thursday night. For Boston it could bring a light snow accumulation. However this coastal low will also cause the winds to freshen up over the Northeast later tomorrow into Friday so not only will it be cold but wind chills will make feel even colder; wind chill advisories or warnings could be issued Thursday and Friday for parts of our area, especially for the higher terrain to the west through northwest of Albany. After Thursday's light snow Friday will be snow free but very cold.
As we head into the weekend, yep you guessed it, another snow threat. Yet another even stronger Clipper will approach from the northwest spreading some snow over us. Like many of the past several clippers this one too will redevelop off the coast. This new low development is likely to be of the explosive variety thanks to extremely cold arctic air being involved. The question regarding the weekend snow threat will hinge upon three critical factors relating to the coastal low -1) WHERE will it form 2) HOW quickly will it rapidly intensify and 3) Of course the precise track that it takes. Of course I'll continue to watch this one VERY closely. As of right now the Eastern half of New England could be looking at another crippling storm. With this storms passage away from the coast during Sunday some of the COLDEST air that we have seen in many years will pour down across the area and stick around into Sunday combine this tundra-like air with very strong winds and the potential for EXTREMELY low wind chills, perhaps in the -30° to -40° range are possible on Sunday and probably into Monday. As for the actual air temperatures highs on Sunday will be falling through the digits, dip below zero in most areas on Sunday night and be hard pressed to warm into the lower digits on Monday. (They'll probably stay below during the day on Monday over the higher terrain, especially for folks in the Adirondacks.


In Albany so far this month's average monthly temperature is 14.9° which is 11° BELOW normal. If the month were to end today this would be the 3rd coldest February on record. Temperature records in Albany go back to 1820.

So far the monthly average temperature is just outside of a TOP 10 coldest month ever BUT after this weekends arctic outbreak it could move in to a TOP 10 spot. Temperatures on Sunday and Monday will average at least 20° BELOW normal in most places and we could even be looking at departures from normal as low as 30°! Here is a chart of the Top 10 Coldest Months of all-time for Albany.