Low pressure over the Mississippi Valley will slowly work northeast today, and work in concert with a rapidly developing Atlantic coastal system to bring a prolonged light to moderate snowfall to the region. A very cold dome of high pressure was situated over southeastern Canada, allowing bitter cold Arctic air to settle into the Capital Region, as temperatures today are not expected to escape the single digits.
The coastal storm is forecast to be well south of Cape Cod, over the open Atlantic Ocean, by early morning on Friday. Moisture availability will be rich and plentiful, and the storm will use it optimally. Thus, snowfall is expected to continue over the Capital Region, and most of upstate Eastern New York, central, and southern New England. Blizzard conditions are expected across portions of the Eastern Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island where snowfall accumulation may exceed a foot. By the time the storm winds down on Friday morning, the Capital Region is expected to see between 6 to 12 inches of snow with locally higher amounts possible.
Behind the system, the story will be the continuation of the bitter cold. Temperatures will likely not escape the single numbers (above zero) Friday, and with a modest north to northwest breeze, dangerously cold wind chill values are expected. Friday night looks to be extremely cold as clearing skies, light winds, a fresh snow pack, and high pressure to our north combine to send temperatures into sub-zero territory.
The region slowly moderates in temperature through the coming weekend, though it will be far from mild. Another storm system looks to approach the region to close out the weekend. This will be an inland storm, as opposed to a coastal entity, and temperatures look to be marginal for either snowfall or a wintry mix to occur. At this point, the thinking is that precipitation will fall predominantly as snow in the Sunday evening to Monday morning time frame, followed by another intrusion of bitter cold arctic air as the system departs the region.
...Below is the official forecast for the Capital Region and vicinity...
**National Weather Service Winter Storm Warning in Effect Through 10 AM EST Friday Morning**
Today: Snow likely. Becoming breezy during the afternoon. Bitterly cold. High 5-10. North to northwest winds increasing to 5-15 MPH. Chance of snow is 100 percent. Wind chill values 5 to 15 below zero. Additional snow accumulations of 5 to 10 inches.
Tonight: Snow likely. Snow should slowly diminish to snow showers and flurries after midnight. Breezy and bitterly cold. Low near zero. North winds 10-20 MPH with some higher gusts to near 25 MPH possible at times. Additional snow accumulations of 1 to 3 inches. Total storm accumulations of 6 to 12 inches. Dangerously cold wind chill values of 15 to 30 below zero.
Friday: A chance of light snow and/or snow showers during the morning. Otherwise intervals of clouds and sunshine, windy, and continued bitterly cold. High near 5 above zero. Northwest winds 10-20 MPH with some higher gusts to near 25 MPH possible at times. Additional snow accumulations of an inch or less. Dangerously cold wind chill values of 15 to 25 below zero.
Friday Night: Mostly clear to partly cloudy and bitter cold. Low around 10 below zero. Variable winds 10 MPH or less. Dangerously cold wind chill values of 20 to 30 below zero possible at times.
Saturday: Mostly sunny and cold. High near 20. South winds 5-10 MPH.
Sunday: Increasing clouds with a 40 percent chance of late day snow. High near 30 and low near 15.
Monday: A 50 percent chance of snow. High near 30 and low near 5 above zero.
Tuesday: Mostly sunny, windy, and very cold. High near 15 and low near 5 above zero.
Wednesday: Mostly sunny and cold. High near 20 and low near 10.