Climbing out of the deep freeze...
Posted January 29th, 2013 by Bill Kardas. 15 comments
After spending last week in the deep freeze, we've finally began the process of thawing out. We paid in advance for the warmer weather yesterday with snow, sleet, and freezing rain. Thankfully, that has stopped this morning. Be aware, freezing drizzle and fog has created a thick layer of ice out there. Driving conditions may be a bit slippery on the side roads as the road crews work hard to make things run smooth. Freezing rain has stuck to that layer of snow and sleet from last night, so conditions are not as slippery as they could have been if it were just plain freezing rain. Still, be careful.
Get ready for big changes over the next few days. For the rest of today, temperatures will oh so slowly climb above freezing across the region. South of route 20 is already above freezing this morning. Pockets across the Eastern Mohawk Valley are already in the upper 20s as well. This will turn the ice to slush across the area. The next round of precipitation, another push of warm weather, will arrive late this afternoon and evening. With several hours of solar radiation (even through clouds) & a lessening of the east wind, we expect the *vast majority* of the area to be above freezing before the precipitation arrives. There could still be some die hard cold pockets in Hamilton County and sheltered spots east of Herkimer. We'll keep you posted.
Regardless of how exactly tonight plays out, we are confident in an abrupt thaw taking place tomorrow. Temperatures will spike into the 40s shortly after sunrise tomorrow as a south wind kicks in warmer air. Temperatures aloft are incredibly mild. If this air mass were to occur in April without snow cover, we would easily be talking about 70s. Thanks to topography and a snow pack, it looks like 50° is more likely. The winds are looking strong from the south, so as the front approaches, cold air near the surface will eventually scour out, meaning even the protected spots warm up at some point tomorrow. Snow pack loss will be dependant on wind speed and hours spent above freezing. It doesn't look like a total loss here in the valley, but it wouldn't surprise me if we start turning green in spots again this month. Pretty unusual for January.
Wind, heavy rain, even thunder with cold front
A cold front arrives tomorrow evening, creating a bit of 'weather chaos'. Wind, heavy rain, and even some thunder could accompany the front. Strong winds aloft will mix down after the front, creating wind gusts in excess of 40mph. The cold front will drop upper level temperatures by about 25 degrees Celcius over the course of several hours. The surface drop in temperature will not be as dramatic (as we won't fully tap into the warm air). In fact, surface temperatures stay above freezing through Thursday morning, meaning a flash freeze is unlikely.
Lake effect returns
Though it won't be as cold as last week, the air mass behind the front will be cold enough to generate lake effect snow. The primary wind direction will be due west, keeping the lions share of the accumulation along the Tug Hill on Thursday. Several inches could fall throughout the course of the day. Our focus will be on Thursday night, as the band is expected to drop south, bringing the potential of a few inches of snow to our local area. We'll keep you posted as more details develop.
Long range models were bent on returning bitterly cold air to the area, but recent data suggests it may not be that cold after all. The extended outlook points toward average temperatures.
Recent Comments on this Entry
- nugfin (Neil) (South Utica - Genesee St.) January 30th, 6:35 AM
- Nick (West Winfield,NY) January 30th, 6:27 AM
- Tom (Richfield Springs) January 30th, 6:14 AM
- Denys (East Winfield) January 30th, 5:20 AM
- Tom (Richfield Springs) January 30th, 5:01 AM
- WKTV Weather Alert January 30th, 2:35 AM
- nugfin (Neil) (South Utica - Genesee St.) January 29th, 10:24 PM
- WKTV Weather Alert January 29th, 4:10 PM
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