Clipper storm brings snows to North Country

By:  Lionel Hutz
January 7, 2011 8:24 am | Category: Weather

Currently a weak shortwave is moving through PA pushing a blob of light to moderate snows through the eastern half of the state.  Further to the north light snows are breaking out across NY State. You can clearly see the weak surface trough and area of precip on the current surface analysis:

Now, looking at the model predictions from 12 hours ago for this forecast period we see the GFS having modeled this fairly well. See the similarities below:

So lets keep that in mind.

Now when this weak wave hits the warmer air off the coast it will deepen slightly. While not tracking up the coast or blowing up into a full fledged nor’easter as was predicted a few days ago it will nevertheless bring some decent snows to areas of the North Country.

And that’s where it gets a little tricky!

See what’s going to happen is that a band of moderate snow will develop to the NW of the surface low. Where this band sets up is tricky as the atmospheric dynamics birthing it are fickle. Looking at the latest model runs we see some significant spread:





So as you can see there is some significant spread in the QPF forecasts for key areas such as the Catskills and Southern VT.  As the GFS has modeled the current situation well it’s hard to ignore it.  However it’s so dang dry I wonder if it modeled the pressure properly and botched on the moisture. That’s pretty easy to do.

So putting my tinfoil hat on and turing on the microwave for 45 seconds to tune into the earths chi and divine what the weather will do, I come up with the following:

The hardest hit areas will be the southern ADK NW of Albany.  Peaks there could see a foot of snow.  Further to the south in the catskills, 6-10 inches of snow seems like a reasonable spread. To the east into the Mass and the Berkshires we’ll see 4-8 inches  of snow.  Southern VT remains and is the hardest to forecast.  I want to say 6-10 is reasonable for this area.  A pocket of higher could exist if the system slows down a touch tomorrow.

So there you go…a nice little snowfall to get your january going.

A few extras:

1. Areas to the north will see some light snow from this system 4-6 inches seems reasonable. NWS BTV has higher amounts – generall 6-8 inches along the central Green Spine and ADK.  Seems high to me. We’ll see.

2. Look out for some upslope snow come Sunday night/Monday as this low tracks a little backwards into the Canadian Maritimes

3. Next week- say wednesday- western energy that tracked through the GOM will pop out off the NC coast.  Where it goes from there will become an increasingly important and newsworthy over the next few days.  We’re playing model games right now so it’s really not worth commenting much.  Suffice it to say we’re in the “nor’easter watch”  zone and I’ll be digging into this over the weekend.



  1. Harvey44
    wrote on January 7th, 2011 at 9:37 am  
  2. Evan
    wrote on January 7th, 2011 at 10:35 am  

    Thanks LH. I for one am ready to start opening things up in the wood, is there hope or is winter going to be a Feb thing again for northern VT?

  3. chicken and turkey
    wrote on January 7th, 2011 at 1:00 pm  

    yeah man, thanks for the report. You should get paid or team up with Roger Hill to forecast like two mad dogs. NH isn’t getting any or much are they??

  4. Cliffy
    wrote on January 7th, 2011 at 6:46 pm  

    Thanks – thats what I wanted to hear…will report back from Tbolt and Tdrop.

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