Good morning everyone. I hope the weekend was superb.
Before we get started on our Thanksgiving week weather, I would like to say a few words about our snow event from last week. Let me start by saying that, yes, us forecasters were off on this one, especially on Long Island. Commutes that are normally on the order of minutes turned into several hour-long nightmares on Thursday evening. With that being said, do we deserve all of the blame? Certainly not, especially for Nassau, NYC, and areas north and west. Snow was always in the forecast, albeit smaller amounts than what we received. But as anyone from this area with 2-wheel drive knows, it only takes a few untreated inches to wreak havoc on the roads – especially in our hillier communities. But forecasters don’t control the highway crews responsible for treating roadways in these circumstances. Not only was snow in the forecast days in advance, it was also known that it was going to happen during the worst possible time. Local elected officials declined to pre-treat or have plows ready to act. If this were January of February, rest assured crews would be mobilized at the first mention of snow in a forecast.
SNOW TOTALS FOR LAST THURSDAY ..NASSAU COUNTY ..SUFFOLK COUNTY MANHASSET 6.5 NORTH BABYLON 5.3 NORTH MASSAPEQUA 5.6 COMMACK 5.0 SYOSSET 5.5 MEDFORD 5.0 PLAINVIEW 5.0 SAYVILLE 4.9 EAST WILLISTON 5.0 YAPHANK 4.8 BETHPAGE 5.0 UPTON 4.6 MANORHAVEN 4.9 ISLIP AIRPORT 4.3 ALBERTSON 4.5 SMITHTOWN 4.1 NEW HYDE PARK 4.5 PORT JEFFERSON 4.0 WANTAGH 4.5 WEST ISLIP 4.0 MASSAPEQUA 4.0 DIX HILLS 4.0 FARMINGVILLE 3.8 RIDGE 3.6 BAY SHORE 3.6 ORIENT 3.5 MILLER PLACE 3.3 MOUNT SINAI 3.2 SHOREHAM 2.3
As for Suffolk County, that decision, or lack thereof, is far less egregious. Our bad. While many meteorologists, including myself, saw the threat of a colder solution and higher amounts across the entire island, none of us decided to walk out on that ledge for a November storm. After all, Long Island had only seen a few 2″+ November snows in recorded history. It wasn’t until late morning on Thursday that the threat for more snow started to become a reality as a few models showed colder solution. (All hail the HRRR and NAM!) The scientific reason behind Long Island’s early season mess? A process called dynamic cooling. This occurs when heavy snowfall rates at the higher levels of the atmosphere actually cool the air all the way down to the surface. In short, the cold air won out. Everyone started as snow, and stayed that way for several hours before finally transitioning to sleet and then rain. We will all learn from this early-season headache.
This morning we are seeing increasing clouds as a weather disturbance sits just to our north. Upstate New York saw both rain and snow showers from it. Expect skies to remain mostly overcast into this afternoon, with seasonable (gasp!) high temperatures in the low 50s.
We avoid any precipitation this morning but will receive some rain Tuesday morning. Skies then partially clear by the afternoon. It remains around 50° but then starts to turn chillier. Wednesday will feature plenty of sunshine with temperatures down into the 40s. An arctic front will approach from the north later in the day. It could drop a few flakes across parts of the area, but it’s passage will usher in a frigid air mass and set the stage for one of the coldest turkey days of all-time.
Morning temperatures will bottom out in the teens, and will only rise into the 20s by the afternoon. And then there’s the wind. It will be howling at times, which means wind chills in the teens and single digits, especially by nightfall. The last time it was that cold on Thanksgiving was 1996, where the high reached 30°.
It remains bitter into Black Friday, but the weekend will signal milder air as we are back near the half-century mark. A rain storm will likely be nearby later in the weekend. My forecast right now is for mostly cloudy for most of the day Saturday, with rain moving in late and lasting into Sunday. The level of agreement among the models this morning is very low, so check back in throughout the week as I tweak that portion of the forecast.
Have a great day!