A series of low pressure systems will impact the region through the next 24 hours. Early this morning, an inland area of low pressure was tracking east through the lower Great Lakes, while as a second and stronger area of low pressure was tracking north and northeast from the Carolina coastline, just south of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. The two systems are forecast to merge, or phase, thus becoming one very powerful system, during the daytime hours today.
Abundant moisture will be imparted from the Atlantic Ocean during this time frame, and with subfreezing air in place at the surface, thanks to a retreating area of high pressure over the Canadian Maritime provinces, the stage is set for a significant snowfall across upstate New York, and New England. Portions of the Capital Region could see anywhere between 1 to 2 feet of snow from this system. Further west and south, over portions of eastern New England, 2 to 3 feet of snow may accumulate by the time the storm pulls away late on Saturday.
The combined low is forecast to track from the southern New England coast Friday night to just south of Cape Cod Saturday morning, and then the eastern Gulf of Maine by Saturday night. Saturday may start out a bit snowy across the region, though as the day progresses, conditions should slowly begin to improve, with perhaps some intervals of clouds and sun during the afternoon. A fresh northwesterly breeze is forecast to pick up in the wake of the departing system on Saturday creating some blowing of falling and fallen snow.
High pressure is forecast to build back into the area for the second half of the weekend, and after a cold start to Sunday, with temperatures dropping into the single numbers above zero, a moderating trend in temperatures is forecast into the new work week. This will be replete with a chance for more snow and/or rain showers on Monday as low pressure tracks from the lower Great Lakes into southeastern Canada, dragging a series of frontal systems through the region.
...Below is the official forecast for the Capital Region and vicinity...
**National Weather Service WINTER STORM WARNING in effect until 12 NOON EST Saturday**
Today: Light snow developing during the morning. Snow becoming steadier and heavier at times through the afternoon. High near 30. East to northeast winds 5-10 MPH. Chance of snow is 100 percent. Accumulations of 5 to 10 inches by nightfall.
Tonight: Snow. Heavy at times during the evening, and becoming lighter in intensity after midnight. Low near 20. Northerly winds 5-15 MPH. Chance of snow is 100 percent. Accumulations of an additional 4 to 8 inches of snow possible.
Saturday: Light snow and snow showers likely during the morning, tapering to flurries by afternoon. Intervals of clouds and sunshine during the afternoon as well. Breezy. High near 25. Northwest winds 10-20 MPH with some higher gusts possible at times. Chance of snow in the morning is 60 percent. Total storm accumulations of 10 to 20 inches of snow.
Saturday Night: Mostly clear and frigid. Low zero to 5 above zero. Light northwest winds.
Sunday: Mostly sunny and cold. High near 25 and low near 15.
Monday: Overcast with a 50 percent chance of rain and/or snow. High near 40 and low near 30.
Tuesday: Partly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of rain showers. High near 40 and low near 30.
Wednesday: Mostly sunny. High near 35 and low near 20.