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Weekend closes with a rain and snow mix, bitter cold arrives for start of 2014

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The Sunday morning weather map displays two prominent features that will have significant impacts on our weather over the course of the next 24 hours.

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1. A coastal low pressure area over the Carolina coastline gathering strength and abundant moisture from both the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico.
2. Inland low pressure over the upper Great Lakes. The warm front tied to this feature was north of the New York and Canada border this morning, allowing temperatures to rise above freezing over the Capital Region. The cold front tied to this feature will be responsible for sending a dose of Arctic air into the Capital Region during the later portions of the forecast period.

Rainfall will overspread the Capital Region from southwest to northeast through the late morning and early afternoon hours as the coastal low moves along the Atlantic seaboard. By this evening, the center of the low pressure area is forecast to be over the eastern New England coast, heading into the Gulf of Maine. At this point, the Capital Region will be to the westward, or colder side, of the low pressure circulation, and thus, rainfall should slowly transition to a mix of rain and snow, and then to all snow. The time frame for the change looks to occur during the late afternoon hours, toward sunset and into the early evening. Due to the fact that this is a fast moving system, precipitation is expected to taper off quickly overnight, despite the fact that it may come down at a moderate to heavy intensity prior to doing so. Winter weather advisories have been issued for portions of the Schoharie valley and eastern Catskills, as well as the Heldebergs, as elevated terrain will see the changeover occur sooner and have a better window of opportunity for more respectable snow accumulation.

The inland low pressure system mentioned above will sweep through the region Monday morning accompanied by perhaps another round of light to moderate snow, and some snow squalls. The bigger story with this frontal system will be the introduction to tundra-like weather conditions that are forecast to occur in its wake. A truly Arcitc airmass will begin to bleed southward from northern Canada, causing temperatures to take a downward trend behind the system. Gusty northwest winds will kick up during the daytime hours tomorrow, adding to the chill.

Following this cold front will be a reinforcing clipper-type system that swings through the region Tuesday, making sure the Arctic air doesn’t make a premature exit. Bitter cold is forecast just in time for New Years. In addition, there are indications that a storm system may bring some significant snowfall to the region by the end of the week, within the bitter cold airmass. Stay tuned for later details. 2014 is likely to start snowy and very cold.

...Below is the official forecast for the Capital Region and vicinity...

Today: Overcast with periods of rain developing during the afternoon. Rain may mix with wet snow late in the day. High in the upper 30’s. South winds 5-10 MPH. Chance of rain is 100 percent.

Tonight: A mix of rain and snow, changing to all snow before tapering off around midnight. Low in the mid 20’s. Northwest winds 5-15 MPH. Chance of precipitation is 70 percent. Snow accumulations of 1 to 3 inches possible.

Monday: A chance of snow showers and squalls during the morning. Otherwise, becoming windy and colder with intervals of clouds and sunshine. Early high near 30, with temperatures falling through the 20’s during the day. Blustery northwest winds of 15-30 MPH, with some higher gusts to near 35 MPH possible at times. Chance of snow is 40 percent. An inch or less of additional snow accumulation is possible. Wind chill temperatures of zero to 10 above zero.

Monday Night: Partly cloudy and cold. Low 5-10. Light northwest winds.

Tuesday: Partly sunny and blustery. A chance of light snow or snow showers. High in the mid 20’s. South winds 5-10 MPH early, shifting west at 10-20 MPH. Chance of snow is 40 percent. An inch or less of additional snow accumulation is possible. Wind chill temperatures of 5 above to 5 below zero.

Wednesday: Mostly sunny, blustery, and cold with a 30 percent of a snow shower. High near 20 and low near 10.

Thursday: A 40 percent of snow. Bitter cold. High near 15 and low near 5 above zero.

Friday: Mostly cloudy, windy, and bitter cold with a 30 percent chance of snow showers and squalls. High near 5 above zero and low near 5 below zero.

Saturday: Mostly sunny and frigid. High near 15 and low near 5 above zero.

Useful links...

Capital Region Weather Examiner Home Page
Capital Region Weather Examiner Facebook page
Current Surface Weather Map
Weather Prediction Center (WPC) Surface Weather Map 48 hour loop forecast

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