Here we go Again
We're in the midst of a very active pattern here in Central New York. Monday's snow storm dropped 2"-4" of heavy wet snow across the Holland Patent Central School District, prompting a 2-hour delay. A very similar setup looks to take place on Friday. Models are in very good agreement that a low pressure will track from the Ohio Valley to Long Island. This puts the Holland Patent area on the cold side of the storm, allowing for more accumulating snow. Temperatures will likely be a bit cooler than Monday's storm, as a strong high pressure system north of Maine will funnel cold surface air into the Holland Patent region as Friday's storm moves over the area. Models have temperatures safely below the freezing, but there is still the outside chance of sleet mixing in. This is because warmer air aloft (higher in the atmosphere, where clouds form) will try to move over the colder surface air. Although I don't think the warm air will make it quite this far north, if it does, we will likely see sleet, as precipitation will melt as it falls through the warm layer, before re-freezing as it gets closer to the ground. The models are still in disagreement with the timing of the storm. Some have the heaviest snow falling between 12 AM and 3 AM, Friday, with others projecting the heaviest snow to fall between 3 AM and 6 AM.
What the Data is Saying
It is important to remember that we are still several days away from the event, and there will likely be some fluctuations in the models. With that being said, here is the current picture. First, we have the total snowfall forecast for this event. As always, the number in the gray bar represents the snowfall amount for the Village of Holland Patent. The model on the right is almost certainly an outlier, nothing else seems to suggest we will get anywhere near 16". Furthermore, models were a bit too bullish with projected totals for yesterday's storm, as we received about 2" less than the model consensus. With all of that being said, my early prediction is for 4"-8" of snow for Holland Patent from 12 AM Friday through 12 PM Friday.
Temperatures at 6 AM, as noted above, are projected to be below freezing by all of the models.
The Delay Forecast
As always, the latest snow day forecast for the next three days can be found here. My initial prediction is for a 60% chance of a delay on Friday. It goes without saying that the percentages will change between Tuesday and Thursday evening. The largest factor that will influence the snow day forecast is the timing of the heaviest snow. If models trend earlier, and the heaviest snow of the storm falls before 5 AM, our chances of a delay will decrease. On the other hand, if the heaviest part of the storm is delayed, and persists into the commute time, our chances of a delay will increase. Obviously, road conditions are by far the primary concern when calling a delay or snow day. It should be noted, however, that Friday is picture retake day at the high school. Having a delay would throw off the retake schedule, and create an additional hassle for the powers that be. That factor, though minor in comparison to the impact of the storm itself, does tilt the scales an additional 5-10% toward a full day in my forecast. You won't catch the Snow Day Calculator accounting (no pun intended) for such matters.
Between Tuesday and Friday, below-average temperatures and lake effect snow will impact the Central New York area. The lake effect snow looks to stay well to the southwest of the Holland Patent area, impacting locations in and around Syracuse. Some of you may have seen on the homepage of this site that we are under a Winter Weather Advisory. The National Weather Service, which issues the advisories and warnings, can only issue for an entire (or large part) of a county. Indeed, the southwestern part of Oneida County (our county-unless you live in the eastern half of Trenton Falls) will see several inches of accumulating lake effect snow Tuesday night and Wednesday. Travel will likely be hazardous out that way. It is because of this that the advisory was issued, and it includes us because we are still in the same county, even though the Holland Patent area will not see much of an impact at all from the lake effect.
We will, however, not escape the impact of the cold. The core of the cold air will be in place Thursday morning. The maps below show us the range of temperatures that we can expect to wake up to on Thursday.
The average low for this time of year is approximately 30ºF, with highs in the mid 40s. Highs will not even crack the freezing mark on Wednesday or Thursday.