Icy, Snowy Apocalypse Watch

snowy apocalypse meter 2017-02-08

What's this? Another snow storm? Again? It's like winter might actually have some self respect and is deciding to get up and do something.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for this region starting at 2 am Thursday until 6 pm Thursday. The paraphrased forecast:

Wednesday night: Snow starts, mostly after midnight. Maybe a few inches. Lows in the mid 20s.
Thursday morning: Snow continues, another 2-4 inches. Could have some gusty wind. Highs in the mid 20s.
Thursday night: Snow tapers off in the evening. Lows around 10.
Friday: Some sun. A small chance of snow in the afternoon. Highs in the low 20s.

The winter weather advisory has the snow accumulations pegged at 3-7 inches for the Capital District. And as both the probabilistic snowfall maps and the forecast discussion indicate, a sharp snowfall total gradient is expected from south/southeast (more snow) to north/northwest (less snow). In fact, NWS has issued a winter storm warning for the Hudson Valley, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.

The machine for the snow is a coastal storm. And you know the deal with those things -- a small change in the track one way or the other can mean a big change in how much snow we get. And as you know, those notoriously tricky to forecast because small changes in track or other variables can make a big difference in what happens in here. That said, it sounds like this will probably be fluffy snow, so there might not be a big difference between 4 or 6 inches of snow when it comes to shoveling and whatnot.

The factor that could complicate things: timing. The forecast discussion mentions possible snowfall rates of 1-2 inches during the Thursday morning commute. Add in blowing snow because of the wind and that could make for slow going.

So we're going to rate this as a "that's something"-plus icy, snowy apocalypse. Four inches of fluffy snow wouldn't be much, but something on the upper end of the forecasted range -- 6 or 7 inches -- is a respectable effort. And it feels like winter needs some encouragement right now.

Shovels at the ready, hardy upstaters!

Media freakout forecast: Moderate to low. On one hand. there might actually be snow to shovel. On the other... CASINO. The national media might make a bigger deal out of it because of the potential impact on Boston, New York City, and Philadelphia.

Necessary note: You should take this all with an enormous bag of rock salt. AOA has absolutely no weather forecasting expertise. At all. That said, the world will probably not end because of some snow. Most likely.

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