The first significant snowfall of the season looks to be set to occur Saturday afternoon through Sunday morning across the Capital Region and vicinity. Low pressure areas over the central Plains and the Gulf Coast Saturday morning will lift northeast, and converge upon the mid Atlantic coast overnight tonight. The result will be a coastal low pressure system that will track from the New Jersey coast, northeastward to the southern New England coast by Sunday morning. Meanwhile, strong and cold high pressure anchored over southern Canada, looks to lock in an airmass cold enough for precipitation falling over our region to be predominantly snow. Some of the snow may come down heavy at times this afternoon and overnight.
Total storm accumulations of 6 to 12 inches are possible across portions of Schoharie and Mohawk Valleys, with 5 to 10 inches forecast for the immediate Capital Region. Amounts may be held down a bit, in the 4 to 8 inch range, over portions of the mid and lower Hudson Valley region’s as precipitation may mix with sleet from time to time in these areas.
Travel will become difficult this afternoon and especially overnight tonight. Untreated surfaces will become slick and snow covered quickly lending to dangerous travel conditions. Those who must travel this evening should use caution and allow for plenty of extra time in order to reach their destinations safely. Near white out conditions may be experienced from time to time in heavier snow bands causing reduced visibility.
Conditions should slowly improve on Sunday, as the low pressure area pulls away into the Canadian Maritime provinces, leaving some residual light snow and/or snow showers during the day. Activity should be mostly concluded by late in the day Sunday. However, winds will pick up during the day on Sunday, causing blowing and drifting of snow. Fresh northwest breezes of 10 to 20 MPH at times, may cause wind chill temperatures to dip to between 5 and 10 above zero at times, adding to the chill.
The National Weather Service in Albany, NY has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the entire area through 1 PM EST Sunday. Winter Storm Warnings are issued when there is the potential for 7 or more inches of snow over a 12 hour period, or 9 or more inches of snow within a 24 hour period. Stay tuned for later updates and statements. For the official statement concerning the Winter Storm Warning, please refer to the link below to go directly to the website for the Albany, NY office of the National Weather Service.
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