A glancing shot of snow for parts of CNY....

Posted February 9th, 2010 by Bill Kardas. 87 comments

Things change quickly in weather sometimes, and we're a little more concerned about seeing some snow with the latest winter storm.  The latest 12z NAM and GFS models bring some bands of snow closer to the area.  With an ever evolving forecast, we'll continue to keep you updated with the lastest in the comments below...

In the meantime, here's the discussion from earlier Tuesday morning...

Areas across Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and Long Island are still expecting another foot of snow.  Baltimore, Maryland is on the verge of shattering the all time snowfall seaonal total of 62.5" (currently 60.4") set back in the 1995-1996 season.  Weather records for Maryland go back well over 100 years. 

I'm going to spend more time today explaining the meteorology around this storm.

During the last two snowstorms, cold high pressure in the northeast served as a blocking mechanism.  This brought us dry weather and sunshine while the Mid Atlantic was getting buried in snow.  This time around, the storm track and jet stream is well south.  There's nothing in the Atlantic to keep the storm from flying out to sea.  In order to get the classic "nor'easter" there has to be something (high pressure, ridge) in the Atlantic to prevent the storm from moving out to sea.  It's a fairly common feature to find a ridge in the Atlantic based on land/ocean temperature differences.

This storm is quite complex.  There are two areas of low pressure interacting with each other: the primary (upper level) low and the coastal low.  Follow along on the computer models.  The primary low is the original storm that developed in the midwest (the "L" on the left hand side).  As this storm approaches the Atlantic, it picks up lots of moisture and energy.  The energy comes from the land/ocean temperature differences.  Remember, storms are fueled by large changes in temperature over short distances.  The land is much colder in the winter than the water, and there's a sharp gradient along the coastal areas.  The minute any storm gets close to the coast, nine times out of 10 you'll see another storm develop to the right of the main storm. 

We have two storms on the map today.  What generally happens is that the coastal storm, the one on the right, sucks all the energy out of the atmosphere and grows very quickly.  This basically robs energy from the upper level low, which will quickly weaken.  So, in meteorology this is considered a "transfer of energy" from the upper low to the coastal low.  The speed at which this happens greatly determines what areas see the heavy snow.  Had the upper storm held together better, we'd likely be in store for some snow.  More often than not though, the coastal wins the battle.

Going forward, there will be some lake effect snow on the back edge of the system.  The overall weather patterns look similar to yesterday's weather, with a northwesterly breeze and plenty of moisture.  A couple of fluffy inches of snow each day from Thursday through Saturday looks to be a good bet.  Unfortunately it’s the kind of snow that may look good on paper, but will not be significantly meaningful to the snowpack across the area.  What do I mean by that? Yesterday we picked up 0.8” of lake effect snow, but you wouldn’t know that by looking outside this morning.

The next storm on the maps will pass well south (Florida).  No major storms are expected through the weekend.


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  1. Rob (Whitesboro):

    I like the postioning of the low on the NAM this morning. It’s got a 980 low right off the Jersey shore…even inland for a time. That’s not a bad spot at all…and the Euro has been hinting at this the whole time.

    Posted February 9th at 10:29 AM

  2. Bill Kardas (WKTV):


    Go figure that the NAM is now back to showing what it did yesterday. The 12z will tell us if this idea is the outlier or of there may be a last minute wiggle to the north.

    Posted February 9th at 10:37 AM

  3. fairfield:

    ok, what is all that actually saying…..

    Posted February 9th at 10:47 AM

  4. Rob (Whitesboro):

    Looks like we might have an Advisory event going for us now. Not bad….but not great. I just want beat my 24hr total for once!

    Posted February 9th at 10:48 AM

  5. Bill Kardas (WKTV):

    Fairfield & all…

    I normally don’t like to run on one model’s opinions, but this storm looks to want to take a last minute jog to the north. If this does happen, we will see accumulating snow for most of Central New York. The higher totals will be south and east of Utica, with perhaps as much as 3-5” of snow for areas in Otsego County.

    Posted February 9th at 10:57 AM

  6. Bill Kardas (WKTV):

    It’s pretty unusual to see this much of a shift in 12 hours. It’s also very frustrating as a forecaster because it makes our job much more difficult. After talking to Adam & Jill, we all agree that this is something that needs to be given much more attention, and that many areas will likely see a light accumulation during the day on Wednesday. Snowfall map in a few minutes…

    Posted February 9th at 11:11 AM

  7. Rob (Whitesboro):

    Both models are showing some weak banding around the thruway corridor too. There could be some isolated spots that do rather well if that happens.

    Posted February 9th at 11:18 AM

  8. randy Vitullo :

    The models have been back and forth for the past three or four days on this storm. Also, the GFS and the NAM have been trading places with their solutions. Unreal. Four or five inches of snow with a moisture content will definitely help the ski trails.

    Posted February 9th at 11:19 AM

  9. Bill Kardas (WKTV):

    Snowfall map for event . As you can see, we updated the map based on the northern track of the 12z. These numbers could go higher, but we’re awaiting the 18z model runs to confirm if this new jog is for real.

    Posted February 9th at 11:42 AM

  10. Tony - CNYWeather.com (Westmo):

    I’m, ready to work outside. Enough of this so called “winter” LOL

    Posted February 9th at 11:57 AM

  11. fairfield:

    Bill, not to be a pain but I think that map was from thismorning, but i did see a newer map on the main weather page….made me happier

    Posted February 9th at 12:09 PM

  12. Bill Kardas (WKTV):


    Try pushing the “refresh button”. It is loaded on our end.

    Posted February 9th at 12:21 PM

  13. josh:

    What times do the different model runs occur?

    Posted February 9th at 12:28 PM

  14. josh:

    What times do the different model runs occur?

    Posted February 9th at 12:28 PM

  15. Bill Kardas (WKTV):

    the 12z is valid for 7am, but takes about 3-4 hours to be generated (we get that around 10:30ish). The next model run is 18z (1pm). This is generated around 4:30pm.

    Posted February 9th at 12:33 PM

  16. Randy Vitullo :

    Speaking of which, BILL AND WKTV WEATHER TEAM; ski, snowwhoe event at 11 on Saturday.

    Posted February 9th at 12:52 PM

  17. Nate(little falls):

    Season total is 27inches

    Posted February 9th at 1:02 PM

  18. weather girl:

    good job Bill! thanks for always keeping us posted with the weather and where the snow is coming from —i’ll bet you are spot on!!

    Posted February 9th at 1:12 PM

  19. Jeff H (Sherburne Hills):

    Just in from NY Alert- Winter storm Warnings now up for the Southern viewing area for 5-8 inches of snowfall.

    Posted February 9th at 2:44 PM

  20. heather (Mohawk):

    wow been along time since I posted lol. But I just got txt messages on my phone for winter weather advisory for fulton, herkimer and Montgomery county. What are we looking at I am south of I90 on 5s east bound.

    Posted February 9th at 2:47 PM

  21. Tony - CNYWeather.com (Westmo):

    WOW! 3-7” for So. Oneida County now. I better dust off the snowblower

    Posted February 9th at 2:52 PM

  22. Clifford (Garrattsville, Otsego):

    Weather Channel puts Otsego at 8 to 12 inches when all said and done. Winter Storm Warning for OIsego issued.

    Posted February 9th at 4:10 PM

  23. Andy Forestport:

    Is there any hope this thing gets into N. Oneida county?

    Posted February 9th at 4:14 PM

  24. Adam Musyt:

    18z run of the WRF is in. Boy o boy. It doesn’t get any closer than this.

    I’ll have the updated map shortly.

    Posted February 9th at 4:35 PM

  25. Adam Musyt:

    Updated snowfall forecast map through Wednesday evening

    Posted February 9th at 4:47 PM

  26. Rob (Whitesboro):

    I still don’t understand what stops the low progressing further north. There’s nothing to stop it. It’s not no gradual turn to the NE. It’s like it’s hitting a brick wall and bouncing the other way. Weird.

    Posted February 9th at 5:12 PM

  27. vinny:

    Is there still a chance it moves further north and we get into the heavier precipitation?it has been trending that way

    Posted February 9th at 5:25 PM

  28. Dave(Lairdsville):

    The NWS has Winter Weather Advisory up for southern part of viewing area…Thruway south calling for 3”-7”.
    That’s gotta be a good sign! Right?
    Maybe some freakish thing will happen and we get 6”-12” or more! Hey! It’s nice to dream. lol

    Posted February 9th at 5:47 PM

  29. Justin (Whitesboro):

    Hey rob i also too am dumbfounded that this thing does not want to come more north…maybe the 0z run will show something better..

    Posted February 9th at 5:52 PM

  30. Jim (Whitesboro):

    time lapse from D.C. storm on Friday


    Posted February 9th at 7:06 PM

  31. Matt H Mount Upton:

    Very cool time lapse. Looks like down here in Southern Chenango County we may cash in on some decent snow. How are we looking? Any chance the storm will continue its slight northern trend and we get more than the current predictions?

    Posted February 9th at 7:11 PM

  32. Nate(little falls):

    is there going to be any wind in the morning with this storm

    Posted February 9th at 7:49 PM

  33. Adam Musyt:


    Very cool video! Thanks for sharing it with us.

    Matt H,

    It’s possible. Certainly the trend today (aside from 18z runs) has been more to the north. Either way it looks like the southern part of the viewing area should see a healthy amount of snow.


    There will be a breeze in the morning – but winds look stronger (15-25 mph) in the afternoon.

    Posted February 9th at 7:56 PM

  34. Art (Oriskany Falls):

    Adam, I am not trying to pick on you guys, but in your snowfall map you say 2-5 inches. What you guys don’t tell me is this. Is it going to be Cotton Snow or Sugar Snow, or maybe Sleet Snow??? If it’s more Fluff Snow that wouldn’t be much snow at all. Anyway I’m not much of a weatherman but I do notice the barometric pressure is dropping and the wind is coming from the East now. That tells me that we might be in for some snow action. Mostly the wind coming from the East tells me something. Not picking on you Adam.

    Posted February 9th at 8:29 PM

  35. Art (Oriskany Falls):

    Jim That’s the neatest Video I have ever watched.

    Posted February 9th at 8:35 PM

  36. Jim (Whitesboro):

    Thanks Adam, Huffington Post had it on their front page also, that is where I first saw it.

    Posted February 9th at 8:41 PM

  37. Adam Musyt:


    No problem. That’s a fair question. Given your choices I would call it more of a “sugar snow”. It’ll have some fluff to it – but it’s not going to be as “airy” as the lake effect we’ve seen lately.

    Posted February 9th at 8:49 PM

  38. Jim (Whitesboro):


    Is there a best guess on timing yet? arrival and exit?

    Posted February 9th at 9:09 PM

  39. Rob (Whitesboro):

    These models are flopping like a fish. I think the radar is our best bet now. The NAM is going the other way…again.

    Posted February 9th at 9:15 PM

  40. Adam Musyt:


    We’re going to see some light snow overnight – but it’s going to be spotty and slow to accumulate at first. Steadier snows should arrive tomorrow. Lighter stuff north, and heavier snows to the south.

    Posted February 9th at 9:16 PM

  41. Nate(little falls):

    Thanks Adam

    Posted February 9th at 9:18 PM

  42. Adam Musyt:


    Yeah. It’s been really…challenging… to say the least this time.

    Posted February 9th at 9:19 PM

  43. Rob (Whitesboro):

    It certainly pulls the plug on alot of the headlines. Radar trends seem to confirm this. The upper level storm isn’t moving fast enough. This is worse than tracking an LES band.

    Posted February 9th at 9:31 PM

  44. Adam Musyt:

    This is exactly why we didn’t want to get too "gung ho" about jumping up on snow totals based on only the 12z model runs.

    We’ll see what the new GFS shows.

    Posted February 9th at 9:37 PM

  45. Rob (Whitesboro):

    I know. You guys always play it perfect. You basically gotta be perfect in this neck of the woods.

    Posted February 9th at 9:40 PM

  46. Adam Musyt:

    Thanks for the kind words. I don’t know though. The flakes haven’t flown yet. All we can do is watch and wait.

    Posted February 9th at 9:46 PM

  47. Justin (Whitesboro):

    Rob is the upper level low still down in georgia??

    Posted February 9th at 9:49 PM

  48. Rob (Whitesboro):

    I’m not really sure. It certainly isn’t down in Georgia. I think you mean the coastal storm which is off the coast of NC. The 500mb storm seems to be entering the state of Ohio. We need these storms to phase…and it’s looking like it might be a bit too late. We’ll still get our normal :}

    Posted February 9th at 10:00 PM

  49. randy Vitullo :

    We have a dry air mass in place. The first 4 to 6 hours of snow will evaporate before hitting the ground. The atmosphere has to saturate with water vapor to 100 % before the snow falling from the sky will reach the ground. We will lose about .2 or so of qpf before any accumulation occurs. Just spouting, but, I may be on to something…..

    Posted February 9th at 10:01 PM

  50. Adam Musyt:


    The Upper storm is on the IL/IN border. Surface/secondary low is beginning to form on the NC coast.

    Posted February 9th at 10:04 PM

  51. Rob (Whitesboro):

    Ok thanks. That thing better start hauling!

    Posted February 9th at 10:07 PM

  52. CIndy:

    The low that is beginning to form on the NC coast, is that where it was thought that it would form?

    Posted February 9th at 10:10 PM

  53. Adam Musyt:

    This has been a a bit of a frustrating forecast. NAM/WRF grid interpolations are in. The model shows 0.06” (that’s it!) for Rome with 0.38” for Binghamton.

    Posted February 9th at 10:12 PM

  54. Adam Musyt:

    Or to translate, looking just at the new run of the NAM , that means only about 1" for Rome, with perhaps 6" in Binghamton.

    Still waiting on GFS.

    Posted February 9th at 10:15 PM

  55. Rob (Whitesboro):

    Randy how much snow up there? I had 4.5” yesterday for a snowpack.

    Posted February 9th at 10:25 PM

  56. Allen:

    Maybe just a bad run, or it’s having a hard time putting things together? Hopefully the GFS shows a lot different!

    Posted February 9th at 10:25 PM

  57. Rob (Whitesboro):

    I feel like I’m waiting for a model run that will determine if we only get 12 or 25 inches. Here I am sitting and waiting to see if we get nothing…or 3 “. Crazy year for sure.

    Posted February 9th at 10:34 PM

  58. Cindy:

    Rob, I feel the same way…LOL

    Posted February 9th at 10:35 PM

  59. Adam Musyt:

    GFS is just starting to trickle in. It’s not as stingy as the NAM with the precip.

    Posted February 9th at 10:36 PM

  60. Justin (Whitesboro):

    GFS a little further north with the precip at 18hrs…thoughts?

    Posted February 9th at 10:37 PM

  61. Michael- (Dolgeville):

    Is anyone else having trouble scrolling down on this page. Never had any trouble before, but it seems to stop right where the video was posted. I have to keep refreshing the page in order to read the last comment or to post.

    Posted February 9th at 10:41 PM

  62. Rob (Whitesboro):

    I’ve been having trouble acessing the NOAA page. Can’t get any observations from the mid atlantic. I’m off to bed…I’ll let you know if I shatter the record tomorrow.

    Posted February 9th at 10:45 PM

  63. Adam Musyt:


    Yep. Here too. I think it’s a memory issue. Rather than embed the video on the page I changed it to a link.

    Posted February 9th at 10:47 PM

  64. Adam Musyt:

    Seems better now.

    Posted February 9th at 10:48 PM

  65. Adam Musyt:

    GFS has 0.26" liquid equivalent for Utica and 0.50" for Binghamton.

    That means that we’re going to keep the current snowfall forecast for now – with a bias toward the low end of the ranges. Confidence is still low on this forecast given the divergence of the models – unfortunately.

    Posted February 9th at 10:53 PM

  66. Michael- (Dolgeville):

    Thanks Adam! That solved the problem.

    Posted February 9th at 11:19 PM

  67. Adam Musyt:

    Want to see something completely insane?

    Check out what the new GFS does to the storm on Monday…

    Posted February 9th at 11:24 PM

  68. Michael- (Dolgeville):

    Let me guess here. It nails DC, Philly, and NYC AGAIN!!!???

    Posted February 9th at 11:26 PM

  69. Allen:


    Please tell me…don’t leave me hanging here in suspense…but I’m gonna go with Michael on this one…as this has been the really lame trend…

    Posted February 9th at 11:28 PM

  70. Adam Musyt:



    Posted February 9th at 11:33 PM

  71. Michael- (Dolgeville):

    No way, lol!!! I didn’t even look at the GFS, but I guess the way this winter has been you don’t need to. This is just unheard of! At the rate they are going its going to look like the Tug hill did in 2007 down there by the end of the month. I can’t believe this.

    Posted February 9th at 11:45 PM

  72. Allen (Sauquoit):


    If you could please add my webcam to the list of webcams that would be great. It’s on 24/7 and streams live video from Sauquoit! The link is as follows:


    Everyone else is welcome to check it out as well!

    Posted February 10th at 12:02 AM

  73. Michael- (Dolgeville):

    Now here’s something I have never seen. Check out the warnings in effect for the panhandle of Florida. Flood warnings and Red Flag warnings for the same counties! Conditions are prime for fires yet river flooding is ongoing. Pretty neat!

    Posted February 10th at 12:11 AM

  74. Adam Musyt:


    I’ll have our web people take a look at it tomorrow when I get to work. Thanks!

    Just beginning to see some very light snow in Rome with a dusting on the cartops.

    Posted February 10th at 12:34 AM

  75. Adam Musyt:

    Four inches of snow so far and counting in Washington…

    Posted February 10th at 12:35 AM

  76. Matt T:


    Based on Monday, what would that look like for the Charlotte NC area. Will they get hit as well?

    Posted February 10th at 12:45 AM

  77. Clifford (Garrattsville, Otsego):

    Good morning everyone. 25 degree’s down here in Otsego (Garrattsville) Snow has stopped. We have about 1/2 inch of snow so far. I suspect the heavier stuff to pick up by daybreak.

    Posted February 10th at 3:42 AM

  78. Bill Kardas (WKTV):

    Good morning all. One of the toughest forecasts of the season this morning. The NAM is doing a better job picking up on the heavier snows in PA…but is also the model that shifts the whole storm south. This will be a race to the finish. Our in house models only paint about 1-3” of snow from Utica to the south….basically on board with the NAM.

    The clue that I’m picking up on this morning is the hole in the radar over CNY. There is a lot of dry air over the area, keeping the snow at bay for now. We should be snowing, but the dry air is ripping the bands apart as they move north (for now). I’m going to downplay this snow this morning…still keeping the idea that there will be accumulations…but on the lighter side. We should be snowing now….and we’re losing at least an inch on the front end because of the dry air. Not a good way to start an event.

    Posted February 10th at 4:23 AM

  79. Jeff H (Sherburne Hills):

    Morning all! Interesting scenario out there, looking at the radar it looks bad for the snow lovers, but it is filling in south of the NY/PA border. Its snowing down here in Chenango county and roadways are snow covered and slick in spots. Probably had a dusting in Sherburne and up to about 3/4” here in Greene this morning.

    Posted February 10th at 4:59 AM

  80. Clifford (Garrattsville, Otsego):

    Snow has picked up again down here in Otsego County. Roads are slicked.

    Posted February 10th at 5:04 AM

  81. Heather (Mohawk):

    No snow at all Just let the dog out and nothing

    Posted February 10th at 5:39 AM

  82. Bill Kardas (WKTV):

    06z GFS and NAM look similar to the 00z runs. Looks like most of the area will see only about 1-3” of snow (less north, more south). It’s more apparent this morning that the 12z runs from yesterday were a “one time deal”.

    Posted February 10th at 5:41 AM

  83. Jeff H (Sherburne Hills):

    Schools are beginning to shut down like crazy down here. Moderate snow at this time, it has picked up in the last 30 minutes or so.

    Posted February 10th at 5:52 AM

  84. Tom (Richfield Springs):

    Hardly a dusting here so far this morning

    Posted February 10th at 5:53 AM

  85. randy Vitullo :

    As I said in post 49…............. Rob, about a 5 or 6 inch base on the trails; 3 or 4 inches in the woods, and about 2 on the open areas….

    Posted February 10th at 6:08 AM

  86. randy Vitullo :

    My guess is that any lake effect will be south and west of Utica for the next 3 to 5 days. What a snow drought winter…...........

    Posted February 10th at 6:27 AM

  87. randy Vitullo :

    My reference to post 49 was for Bill and Adam…..

    Posted February 10th at 6:28 AM

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