Latest on Post-Christmas Snowstorm (12-24-12)
As many of get ready to pause celebrate Christmas I want to at least keep you posted on the potential post-Christmas snowstorm. We are still about 48 hours from the heart of the system impacting central New York so we don’t have as many details or answers to your questions as you would like but here is what we are seeing as of Christmas Eve.Timing-wise, things still look the same from what we were looking at yesterday. Low pressure heads up into the Ohio Valley Wednesday then starts to transfer its energy to a new low over the Mid Atlantic states by Christmas night before tracking up the coast. That would bring the steadiest and heaviest precipitation into central New York Wednesday night. Here is one trend I’ve noticed on the NAM the last couple of days and in particular what is happening at 850 mb (which translates to about 5,000 feet above the ground). When it is 0 C (32 F) aloft your snowflakes are melting and you’ve got the potential for sleet or freezing rain down at the ground. Here are some maps that will show you the trend over the last few days.
I don’t have a map from Saturday’s NAM forecast but at that time it suggested we could even get warm enough aloft for some rain! I think this is a sign that the models are trying to organize the coastal low sooner, shunting most of the warming aloft to our south.So it is looking more and more like just a snow event for us, although I wouldn’t rule out some sleet southeast of Syracuse. Winter Storm Watches are up for all of central New York from Wednesday afternoon through Thursday afternoon. We probably won’t have potential snowfall maps posted until later Christmas evening but one thing I’ve seen from all of the models is that the heaviest precipitation looks to set up from the Finger Lakes northeast into Oswego County and north to Watertown. If you had to pin me down, I would say this rough area has the greatest chance of seeing snowfall of a foot or more from this event. Syracuse is right on the edge of this area so we could still see a significant snowfall here (6” or more)More data will come in overnight and through the day Christmas so hopefully we’ll be able to give you more details tomorrow evening.Merry Christmas.
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