Winter Storm Fri Night - Saturday!

Posted: December 14, 2016, 9:58 pm by abarney

Last night, an arctic cold front blasted through the region with a bitterly cold Canadian high pressure working in today. This system will be accompanied by very strong wind gusts reaching 40 to 60 mph Thursday afternoon and into the night. The frigid northwest flow has also brought lake effect snow showers and streamers through much of the Northeast already, and will continue to do so into tonight. In fact, there may even be some heavier squalls quickly bringing some coverings. Friday night into Saturday is the next threat for wintry weather, which will be a more substantial one. Through this event, you are likely to see just about every type of precipitation. Let’s get into it. 

(Modeled wind chill temperatures at 4PM on Thursday, December 14 - courtesy PivotalWeather.com)

First of all, the set-up for this storm involves the coldest air of the season thus far sitting across the region Thursday into Friday. With highs on Thursday only in the 20s and lows dipping into the single digits in some places (and wind chills below zero Thu Night), it goes without saying that it will be very cold before the approaching storm. Late Friday night, conditions will be favorable for snow to fall at the onset for many, with even those south of the Mason-Dixon Line getting in on the action. The heaviest snow (3 - 6 inches and possibly more) will likely fall across central PA/upstate NY into extreme northwest NJ, northern CT and into the rest of northern New England. However, warm air aloft begins rushing in on Saturday, leading to a gradual transition to sleet, freezing rain, then plain rain. If you need a refresher on precipitation types, here's a good read. 

NAM model guidance for 7 AM Saturday. Courtesy of Levi Cowen | Tropical Tidbits.

Travel on Saturday morning and afternoon will likely be tricky dependent on your location, made especially worse due to the potential for freezing rain/ice. However, travel issues should ease some heading into the overnight hours on Saturday as precipitation transitions to plain rain and even stops for a period of time into the Mid-Atlantic. You can see that we will ride a temperature roller coaster through this event, as warm air pushes in late on Saturday and exits on Sunday.

Speaking of warm air exiting on Sunday, a cold front will swing through and usher in another round of precipitation. For the most part, plain rain is expected, but some extra wintry weather could be seen on the back edge where cold air surges in again. 

Our first round of Storm Alerts with detailed information on start/end times, changeover times, and amounts have gone out for this system today. If you’re interested in Storm Alerts for your company, email our sales manager Kevin Hopler. Of course, you can keep updated with our Facebook and Twitter pages as well.