Mid-Atlantic Daily Snow

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Lake effect Sunday, dry and warm next week


Lake effect and snow squalls gave light accumulations to the western Mid-Atlantic and areas north of central PA on Saturday. A few lake effect snow bands will continue to affect western NY and the Finger Lakes Sunday. Additional snow accumulations on Sunday will be 1-3 inches with the highest totals around the Finger Lakes. The week ahead will start dry and turn wet. Let’s break it all down…

Short Term Forecast

After some damp rain on Friday, a strong cold front pushed late-season lake effect snow around the Great Lakes on Saturday. Snow squalls moved through the western Mid-Atlantic and central PA, with snow accumulations around 1 inch. The northwestern Mid-Atlantic saw a couple more inches of snow thanks to lake effect. Check out Holiday Valley in western NY on Saturday where snow was coming down and about 2-4 inches were reported as of Saturday evening.

Lake effect snow bands are continuing to affect western NY and the Finger Lakes on Sunday morning. The western NY band will weaken late morning, but the band through the Finger Lakes will continue. The snow band will be around Song and Labrador or slightly to the north on Sunday. Here is a look at the HRRR model’s depiction of precipitation type and intensity from 8 am Sunday through 10 pm Sunday, March 19th.

This snow band will add 1-3 inches of snow to resorts on Sunday with the higher end of that range around the Finger Lakes. Here is a look at snow accumulations on Sunday. The yellow circle shows where the snow band could swing south and extend snow accumulations to Song and Labrador. 

Snow will weaken and dissipate Sunday evening, setting us up for a beautiful and clear start to next week. Skies will clear mostly on Monday and Tuesday with seasonable and slightly above average temperatures in the 40s and 50s. It’ll be excellent spring skiing conditions out there. 

The coastal storm mentioned in previous forecasts will take an ocean track and not affect the region. The next storm affecting the area will track to the north on Wednesday, March 22nd. This northerly track will move in warm air and develop scattered rain. Rain will move out by Thursday morning but another storm system quickly on its heel will move another round of rain back into the region on Thursday evening. 

Here is a look at the GFS model’s depiction of precipitation type and intensity from 8 am Wednesday, March 22nd through 4 pm Friday, March 24th.

Rain could be heavier with the area of precipitation on Thursday evening through Friday. There won’t be much of a cold air mass behind this storm system, so expect seasonable and above-freezing temperatures to continue for next weekend. 

Extended Forecast

We’re looking at a typical spring pattern as we end March with mostly seasonable (above-freezing) temperatures and warm storm systems. This will bring mostly rain to the region, with backside snow potential. We need a really cold air mass to get snow at this point in the season, especially for resorts in the southern half of the Mid-Atlantic. Northern areas should be able to get some snow (mainly backside) in the storm systems near the end of March and early April. 

Here is a look at the GFS model’s upper-level pattern from Saturday, March 25th to Tuesday, March 28th. 

The cool colors show cooler temperatures and favorable conditions for precipitation. The warm colors show warmer temperatures and a northerly storm track for the region.

Some resorts are already calling it quits this season, but others are holding on strong. Several resorts through the northern Mid-Atlanit should make it through early April. I will have updated closing announcements in Monday's Daily Snow. 

That is all for this forecast and thanks for reading. I will have the next forecast Monday morning.

Zach Butler, Meteorologist for the Mid-Atlantic Daily Snow.