The weather across the Capital Region and vicinity during the next 24 to 36 hours could get quite tumultuous. A warm front was about to pass through the region this morning, getting slightly hung up to our west and south. Rainfall that had occurred overnight as result of this frontal system was now well north of the region. Some patchy ground fog was reported thanks to the interaction of some warmer air at the surface and the existing snow / ice cover across the region.
As the morning progresses, wind speeds will gradually continue to increase from the south and southwest as the warm front pushes north of the region. Temperatures have begun the day in the 40's across the region, and will likely rise into the 50's by this afternoon. The record high for Albany, NY on this date is 54 degrees, and it looks as if a close call may be had in terms of reaching, or breaking, the record.
Lurking in the wings however will be a potent cold front, tied to low pressure over the central plains, that is forecast to move through the upper Great Lakes and into southern Canada tonight. The two major concerns regarding weather over the Capital Region through Thursday afternoon include the following...
- Strong, damaging winds associated with the cold front, and behind the cold front. The low pressure area mentioned is forecast to deepen rapidly as it moves into southern Canada, thus exposing the region to a tightening pressure gradient. Wind speeds of 20-40 MPH with some higher gusts to near 60 MPH are possible later this afternoon through Thursday afternoon, and high wind watches have been issued by the National Weather Service to account for this threat.
- Heavy rainfall, with perhaps a rumble or two of thunder along with the frontal passage later this afternoon and evening. A wind driven heavy rain is possible at times, which may cause dramatic visibility fluctuations and which may occur right around the time of the evening commute.
Behind the frontal passage, on Thursday, winds are forecast continue to be quite strong, and much colder air will be filtering into the region in the low and mid levels of the atmosphere. Some lake effect clouds and snow showers may be scattered about, and may make it as far south as the Capital Region into Friday.
The weekend looks unsettled as several weak disturbances pass through the region, each capable of producing intervals of clouds, breezy conditions, and light snow. In general, no major storms are anticipated through the weekend and into early next week.
After starting the forecast period well above normal, temperatures will settle back to near to slightly below normal levels, while precipitation amounts average near to slightly below normal as well.
...Below is the official forecast for the Capital Region and vicinity...
**National Weather Service FLOOD WATCH & HIGH WIND WATCH in effect from 3PM Wednesday Afternoon through Thursday Afternoon**
Today: Morning clouds, fog, and residual showers yielding to mostly cloudy skies by early afternoon. Breezy, and mild with periods of rain redeveloping later in the afternoon. Rain may be heavy at times, and a rumble or two of thunder is possible. High in the lower 50's. South winds 10-20 MPH, increasing to 15-30 MPH later this afternoon with higher gusts to near 40 MPH possible, especially near areas of heavier rain. Chance of rain is 100 percent.
Tonight: Periods of rain, heavy at times. Damaging wind gusts possible. Low 40-45. South winds, shifting west late at night 20-35 MPH with some higher gusts to near 55 MPH possible. Chance of rain is 100 percent.
Thursday: Windy and turning sharply colder with a chance of showers in the morning, and a chance of snow showers or flurries during the afternoon. Early high 40-45 with temperatures dropping through the 30's during the day. West winds 25-45 MPH with higher gusts to near 60 MPH possible. Chance of precipitation is 40 percent. Snowfall accumulation is expected to be an inch or less.
Thursday Night: Variably cloudy and windy. Slight chance of a snow shower late at night. Low near 20. West winds 15-30 MPH. Chance of snow is 20 percent. Little if any additional accumulation expected.
Friday: Intervals of clouds and sunshine and continued breezy with a 30 percent chance of a snow shower. High in the upper 20's. Northwest winds 15-25 MPH.
Saturday: Partly sunny and breezy with a 30 percent chance of snow showers. High near 30 and low near 15.
Sunday: Partly sunny and breezy with a 30 percent chance of snow showers. High near 30 and low near 15.
Monday: Partly sunny and breezy. High near 25 and low near 15.