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Prolonged snowfall and bitter cold prompt winter storm warning issuance

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A bitterly cold Arcitc air mass will remain in place over the region as a major winter storm impacts the area through early Friday morning. The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the entire Capital region through 10 AM EST on Friday morning. Snowfall began during the overnight hours on Wednesday, and has picked up a bit in intensity early this morning. Some heavier bands of snow, with snowfall rates approaching 1 inch per hour, have worked their way into the Capital District this morning.

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This round of snowfall was associated with a low pressure area, tied to a strung out frontal boundary from the Mississippi Valley region north and east to the mid Atlantic coastline. Moisture was overrunning this frontal boundary, resulting in the light to moderate intensity snowfall we have thus far experienced.

Through the morning hours, a storm system over the southeastern states will move northeastward and add additional Atlantic Ocean, and Gulf of Mexico moisture to the existing moisture already in place. A coastal storm is expected to develop over the mid Atlantic states this afternoon and early evening, and move east of northeast into the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean, well south of Cape Cod, by early Friday morning.

A prolonged snowfall event is expected across the entire Capital Region and vicinity. Snowfall is expected to continue through the evening hours tonight, slowly tapering to snow showers and flurries before ending during the morning hours on Friday.

The snowfall will not be the only concern facing motorists and those venturing outdoors during the next 24 hours. A bitterly cold airmass, courtesy of strong Arctic high pressure over southeastern Canada will keep temperatures barely above zero degrees Fahrenheit through the duration of the storm and post storm on Friday. As the storm strengthens this afternoon and evening, a northerly to northwesterly breeze will begin to blow and may become gusty at times. This will cause blowing and drifting of falling and fallen snow, and in addition, with such low temperatures, dangerously low wind chill values are forecast. Wind chills may be dip between 15 and 30 below zero at times through Friday.

Frostbite and hypothermia may occur if proper precautions are not taken prior to venturing outside in such dangerous cold. Below are a few safety tips for cold weather…

  • Dress in layers. Several layers of clothing will retain body heat a lot more efficiently than one bulky garment.
  • Hats, scarves, and gloves are essential. The body loses the majority of its heat through the head. In addition, the bodily appendages (nose, ears, hands, toes, etc.) are all prone to frostbite more quickly than are other portions of the body.

Those who are thought to be experiencing any cold weather malady, such as frostbite or hypothermia, should seek appropriate medical attention immediately, and should get inside, out of the cold as soon as is possible. Stay tuned for later updates and statements concerning this storm and cold snap and stay safe!

Official weather watches, warnings, and statements should be obtained from the National Weather Service by clicking the link in the useful links section below.

Useful links...

Capital Region Weather Examiner Home Page
Capital Region Weather Examiner Facebook page
Current Surface Weather Map
Hydrometeorological Prediction Center (HPC) Surface Weather Map 48 hour loop forecast
Albany, NY office of the National Weather Service

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