**2 January Snowstorm**

A long duration winter storm
occurred across the entire region from late in the day on January 1st through
the morning hours on January 3rd. Along with the snowfall was very cold
temperatures and wind, causing dangerously low wind chills.

This event was fairly well
advertised by the models for several days in advance, although the details
regarding QPF were not made clear until about 18-24 hours before snowfall
began. All models showed a period of light isentropic lift snowfall occurring between
the afternoon of New Year’s Day into January 2nd, as a
surface boundary would be situated south of the region over the mid-Atlantic,
with a cold area of high pressure situated north of the area over Quebec. As a
wave of low pressure moved along the boundary across the Ohio Valley, it was
expected to re-develop off the mid-Atlantic coast and deepen as it moved
northeast and out to sea. The ECMWF model was rather inconsistent several days
prior to the event, showing a rather deep, slow-moving storm much closer to the
coast. Meanwhile, the GFS was fairly consistent in showing a track further
offshore, with most of our additional precipitation coming from deformation
from the passing upper trough. Eventually, the ECMWF trended towards the GFS
about 24-36 hours before the snow began. Even though the coastal storm was
going to remain offshore, our area was still expected to see a moderate to
heavy snowfall, due to high snow to water ratios and a prolonged event.

Light snow broke out across our
western areas by the evening of Wednesday January 1st, and most areas were
seeing snowfall between midnight and 3am on January 2nd. With a cold northerly
flow draining down the Champlain Valley, temperatures were extremely cold, with
temperatures dropping into the single digits across central and northern areas.
With southern parts of the area still in the 20s, this created quite a gradient
and an area of frontogenesis developed across central parts of the area,
including the Capital Region. This allowed for the more moderate snowfall to
occur from the late overnight into the morning hours on Thursday, January 2nd
across the Schoharie Valley, Capital Region & Saratoga Spring area.
Initially, the snowflakes were rather small, as the dendritic snow growth layer
was quite close to the ground and the initial isentropic lift was above this
layer. Eventually, the lift was through the low and mid-levels, and bisected
this snow growth layer, allowing for larger, dendritic snowflakes. With the
cold temps in place, snow ratios were high in these areas of better snow (15:1
or better at times).

Southern areas saw a break in the
activity during the day on January 2nd, as the best frontogenetic
band was north of the area. As the coastal storm began to take shape late in
the day on January 2nd, and as the upper trough began to approach from the
Midwest and Ohio Valley, steady snowfall redeveloped across the entire region.
This deformation snowfall was light to occasionally moderate, with the best
snowfall occurring across the Schoharie Valley, Capital Region and into
southern Vermont and the Berkshires through the late evening on January 2nd and
into the overnight hours of the morning of Friday, January 3rd.

The best frontogenetic
forcing across the Capital Region was supported by a tongue of northern stream
Potential Vorticity that was able to focus the
frontogenesis and subsequent indirect ageostrophic
thermal circulation found within the left-exit region of the southern stream
jet. Although much of the forecast area was already under a good deformation
zone in between the southern stream jet streak (left-exit region) and northern
stream jet streak (right-entrance region), a Potential Vorticity
analysis indicated a weak treble clef signature in the Potential Vortcity distribution, which often times enhances ageostrophic thermal circulations and subsequent frontogenesis/isentropic
lift. This contrasted model guidance, as the guidance did not depict a treble
clef signature and instead favored a southern-stream dominated system with
little, if any, phasing. In reality, a degree of phasing did occur, which
allowed for an enhanced period of Quasi-Geostrophic lift across the Capital
Region where the highest snowfall totals fell. Although not a tool to be used
by itself, analyzing the Potential Vorticity
distribution can offer clues to enhanced regions of isentropic and/or Quasi-Geostrophic
lift.

Temperatures continued to slowly
fall across the entire region, as the northerly flow increased due to the
strengthening gradient. Temperatures dropped below zero for the Glens
Falls/Capital Region area, with temperatures as low as -5 to -6 with light
snowfall during the overnight hours. Along with the cold temperatures were
brisk northerly winds, which allowed for wind chill values of -10 to -30
degrees.

Snowfall tapered off by sunrise on
Friday, January 3rd. By the end of the event, 10-15 inches of fluffy snowfall
occurred from the Schoharie and Mohawk Valley through the Capital Region, Lake
George Saratoga Region and into southern Vermont. Lower amounts of 4-8 inches
occurred in NW CT, the mid-Hudson Valley and far northwestern Adirondacks.
These amounts were fairly close to what were advertised in our warning products
and snow total forecast graphics. As a whole, snow to liquid
ratios were at climatology or better, although they did vary somewhat
over the region. Overall, a model consensus of the QFP values from the
GFS/ECMWF/NAM/SREF from about 18 hours before the snow began seemed to fit well
with what actually occurred.

**
2.
What was learned from this event **

The extremely cold temperatures
along with the snowfall made for quite a unique event. Although this normally
would be considered unprecedented, this was already the third snowfall of the season
with temperatures under 10 degrees. This was, however, the first event with
widespread snowfall, since January 14th 1999, with temperatures less than zero.
Too cold to snow is just a myth, as long as enough moisture in the column and
good lift are present.

The NYS Thruway from Albany to NYC
and from Schenectady to Amsterdam was shut down during the early morning hours
on January 3rd from midnight to 5am. I-90 remained opened in and directly around
Albany where the highest accumulations occurred. At this point, the event was
in its winding down phase, after 24+ hours of snowfall, across the mid-Hudson
Valley and Capital Region. Most areas had widespread steady snowfall done by
the late night hours, even into the NYC area. Snowfall rates were not as
extreme in this storm as during the December 14-15 winter storm. We mentioned
snow rates of no greater than 1" per hour during most of this event, as we
expected a prolonged, but generally light intensity snowfall. During the
December 14-15th event, snow rates of 1-3" per hour were common and all
roads remained open during that storm.

Forecast Model Data

**Above: Four-panel MSLP forecasts from the 1200 UTC 1
January GFS (upper
left), NAM (upper right), ECMWF (lower left) and GFSEnsemble (lower right).**

**Above: Four-panel forecasts of 250 hPa winds from
the 1200 UTC 1 January GFS (upper left), NAM80 (upper right), ECMWF (lower left) and NAM12 (lower
right).**

**Above: Four-panel quantitative precipitation
forecasts from the 1200 UTC 1 January GFS (upper left), NAM (upper right), ECMWF (lower left) and
GFSEnsemble probability for 1 inch of liquid equivalent precipitation in 24
hours (lower right).**

**Above: Four-panel 0900 UTC 1 January SREF forecast of mean MSLP (upper
left), probability for 0.50" of liquid equivalent precipitation (upper right),
probability for 8" of snow in 12 hours (lower left) and mean 12 hour snowfall
(lower right).**

**Above: Time sections for Albany, NY from the 1200
UTC 1 January GFS
(left) and NAM (right).**

**Above: Loop of four-panel forecasts of 850 hPa
temperatures from
the 1200 UTC 1 January GFS (upper left), NAM80 (upper right), ECMWF (lower left) and NAM12 (lower
right).**

**Above: Loop of four-panel forecasts of 850 hPa winds from
the 1200 UTC 1 January GFS (upper left), NAM80 (upper right), ECMWF (lower left) and NAM12 (lower
right).**

**Above: Loop of four-panel forecasts of isentropic
lift from
the 1200 UTC 1 January GFS (upper left), NAM80 (upper right), ECMWF (lower left) and NAM12 (lower
right).**

**Above: Loop of four-panel forecasts of 700 hPa 2-D
frontogenesis from
the 1200 UTC 1 January GFS (upper left), NAM80 (upper right), ECMWF (lower left) and NAM12 (lower
right).**

Above: Probability of 0.50 inch liquid equivalent precipitation in 24 hours from the 1500 UTC 1 January SREF (left) and 1200 UTC 1 January GFSEnsemble (right).

Above: Plume diagrams for Albany, NY from the 1500 UTC 1 January SREF (left) and 1200 UTC 1 January GFSEnsemble (right).

Above: Plume diagrams for Hartford, CT from the 1500 UTC 1 January SREF (left) and 1200 UTC 1 January GFSEnsemble (right).

MOS Guidance Snow Groups - Forecast time for each model run (initialization times along the horizontal

axis on top) is on the left side with 12 hour snow groups further in time as you go down the column.

Note most of the MOS guidance suggested > 8" for multiple runs across our region prior to the storm.------------------------------------------------------------------------ [KALB] GFS MOS snow Table Centered On: 2014 Jan 02, 00Z Model Run Initialized at: Valid: 29/12Z 29/18Z 30/00Z 30/06Z 30/12Z 30/18Z 31/00Z 31/06Z 31/12Z 31/18Z 01/00Z 01/06Z 01/12Z 01/18Z 30/00Z 30/03Z 30/06Z 30/09Z 30/12Z 0 30/15Z 30/18Z 30/21Z 31/00Z 31/03Z 31/06Z 31/09Z 31/12Z 0 0 0 0 0 31/15Z 31/18Z 31/21Z 01/00Z 01/03Z 01/06Z 01/09Z 01/12Z 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 01/15Z 01/18Z 01/21Z 02/00Z 02/03Z 02/06Z 02/09Z 02/12Z 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 1 02/15Z 02/18Z 02/21Z 03/00Z 03/03Z 03/06Z 03/09Z 03/12Z 8 8 8 8 8 8 03/15Z 03/18Z 03/21ZAbove: GFS MOS snow groups for Albany, NY.[KALB] NAM MOS snw Table Centered On: 2014 Jan 02, 00Z Model Run Initialized at: Valid: 29/12Z 30/00Z 30/12Z 31/00Z 31/12Z 01/00Z 01/12Z 30/00Z 30/03Z 30/06Z 30/09Z 30/12Z 6 30/15Z 30/18Z 30/21Z 31/00Z 31/03Z 31/06Z 31/09Z 31/12Z 0 0 0 31/15Z 31/18Z 31/21Z 01/00Z 01/03Z 01/06Z 01/09Z 01/12Z 1 1 1 1 1 01/15Z 01/18Z 01/21Z 02/00Z 02/03Z 02/06Z 02/09Z 02/12Z 4 2 4 2 2 02/15Z 02/18Z 02/21Z 03/00Z 03/03Z 03/06Z 03/09Z 03/12Z 8 8 8 03/15Z 03/18Z 03/21ZAbove: NAM (MET) MOS snow groups for Albany, NY.

[KDDH] GFS MOS snw Table Centered On: 2014 Jan 02, 00Z Model Run Initialized at: Valid: 29/12Z 29/18Z 30/00Z 30/06Z 30/12Z 30/18Z 31/00Z 31/06Z 31/12Z 31/18Z 01/00Z 01/06Z 01/12Z 01/18Z 30/00Z 30/03Z 30/06Z 30/09Z 30/12Z 0 30/15Z 30/18Z 30/21Z 31/00Z 31/03Z 31/06Z 31/09Z 31/12Z 0 0 0 0 0 31/15Z 31/18Z 31/21Z 01/00Z 01/03Z 01/06Z 01/09Z 01/12Z 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 01/15Z 01/18Z 01/21Z 02/00Z 02/03Z 02/06Z 02/09Z 02/12Z 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 1 02/15Z 02/18Z 02/21Z 03/00Z 03/03Z 03/06Z 03/09Z 03/12Z 8 8 8 8 8 8 03/15Z 03/18Z 03/21ZAbove: GFS MOS snow groups for Bennington, VT.[KDDH] NAM MOS snw Table Centered On: 2014 Jan 02, 00Z Model Run Initialized at: Valid: 29/12Z 30/00Z 30/12Z 31/00Z 31/12Z 01/00Z 01/12Z 30/00Z 30/03Z 30/06Z 30/09Z 30/12Z 6 30/15Z 30/18Z 30/21Z 31/00Z 31/03Z 31/06Z 31/09Z 31/12Z 0 0 0 31/15Z 31/18Z 31/21Z 01/00Z 01/03Z 01/06Z 01/09Z 01/12Z 1 1 1 1 1 01/15Z 01/18Z 01/21Z 02/00Z 02/03Z 02/06Z 02/09Z 02/12Z 2 2 4 1 2 02/15Z 02/18Z 02/21Z 03/00Z 03/03Z 03/06Z 03/09Z 03/12Z 8 8 8 03/15Z 03/18Z 03/21ZAbove: NAM (MET) MOS snow groups for Bennington, VT.

[KGFL] GFS MOS snw Table Centered On: 2014 Jan 02, 00Z Model Run Initialized at: Valid: 29/12Z 29/18Z 30/00Z 30/06Z 30/12Z 30/18Z 31/00Z 31/06Z 31/12Z 31/18Z 01/00Z 01/06Z 01/12Z 01/18Z 30/00Z 30/03Z 30/06Z 30/09Z 30/12Z 0 30/15Z 30/18Z 30/21Z 31/00Z 31/03Z 31/06Z 31/09Z 31/12Z 0 0 0 0 0 31/15Z 31/18Z 31/21Z 01/00Z 01/03Z 01/06Z 01/09Z 01/12Z 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 01/15Z 01/18Z 01/21Z 02/00Z 02/03Z 02/06Z 02/09Z 02/12Z 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 02/15Z 02/18Z 02/21Z 03/00Z 03/03Z 03/06Z 03/09Z 03/12Z 8 8 8 8 8 8 03/15Z 03/18Z 03/21ZAbove: GFS MOS snow groups for Glens Falls, NY.[KGFL] NAM MOS snw Table Centered On: 2014 Jan 02, 00Z Model Run Initialized at: Valid: 29/12Z 30/00Z 30/12Z 31/00Z 31/12Z 01/00Z 01/12Z 30/00Z 30/03Z 30/06Z 30/09Z 30/12Z 4 30/15Z 30/18Z 30/21Z 31/00Z 31/03Z 31/06Z 31/09Z 31/12Z 0 0 0 31/15Z 31/18Z 31/21Z 01/00Z 01/03Z 01/06Z 01/09Z 01/12Z 1 1 1 0 1 01/15Z 01/18Z 01/21Z 02/00Z 02/03Z 02/06Z 02/09Z 02/12Z 2 2 4 1 1 02/15Z 02/18Z 02/21Z 03/00Z 03/03Z 03/06Z 03/09Z 03/12Z 8 8 8 03/15Z 03/18Z 03/21ZAbove: NAM (MET) MOS snow groups for Glens Falls, NY.

[KHFD] GFS MOS snw Table Centered On: 2014 Jan 02, 00Z Model Run Initialized at: Valid: 29/12Z 29/18Z 30/00Z 30/06Z 30/12Z 30/18Z 31/00Z 31/06Z 31/12Z 31/18Z 01/00Z 01/06Z 01/12Z 01/18Z 30/00Z 30/03Z 30/06Z 30/09Z 30/12Z 0 30/15Z 30/18Z 30/21Z 31/00Z 31/03Z 31/06Z 31/09Z 31/12Z 0 0 0 0 0 31/15Z 31/18Z 31/21Z 01/00Z 01/03Z 01/06Z 01/09Z 01/12Z 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 01/15Z 01/18Z 01/21Z 02/00Z 02/03Z 02/06Z 02/09Z 02/12Z 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 02/15Z 02/18Z 02/21Z 03/00Z 03/03Z 03/06Z 03/09Z 03/12Z 8 8 8 8 8 8 03/15Z 03/18Z 03/21ZAbove: GFS MOS snow groups for Hartford, CT.[KHFD] NAM MOS snw Table Centered On: 2014 Jan 02, 00Z Model Run Initialized at: Valid: 29/12Z 30/00Z 30/12Z 31/00Z 31/12Z 01/00Z 01/12Z 30/00Z 30/03Z 30/06Z 30/09Z 30/12Z 0 30/15Z 30/18Z 30/21Z 31/00Z 31/03Z 31/06Z 31/09Z 31/12Z 0 0 0 31/15Z 31/18Z 31/21Z 01/00Z 01/03Z 01/06Z 01/09Z 01/12Z 0 1 1 0 0 01/15Z 01/18Z 01/21Z 02/00Z 02/03Z 02/06Z 02/09Z 02/12Z 2 2 1 1 1 02/15Z 02/18Z 02/21Z 03/00Z 03/03Z 03/06Z 03/09Z 03/12Z 4 8 6 03/15Z 03/18Z 03/21ZAbove: NAM (MET) MOS snow groups for Hartford, CT.

[KMSV] GFS MOS snw Table Centered On: 2014 Jan 02, 00Z

Model Run Initialized at: Valid: 29/12Z 29/18Z 30/00Z 30/06Z 30/12Z 30/18Z 31/00Z 31/06Z 31/12Z 31/18Z 01/00Z 01/06Z 01/12Z 01/18Z

30/00Z 30/03Z 30/06Z 30/09Z 30/12Z 0 30/15Z 30/18Z 30/21Z 31/00Z 31/03Z 31/06Z 31/09Z 31/12Z 0 0 0 0 0 31/15Z 31/18Z 31/21Z 01/00Z 01/03Z 01/06Z 01/09Z 01/12Z 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 01/15Z 01/18Z 01/21Z 02/00Z 02/03Z 02/06Z 02/09Z 02/12Z 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 1 02/15Z 02/18Z 02/21Z 03/00Z 03/03Z 03/06Z 03/09Z 03/12Z 8 6 8 8 8 8 03/15Z 03/18Z 03/21Z

Above: GFS MOS snow groups for Monticello, NY.

[KMSV] NAM MOS snw Table Centered On: 2014 Jan 02, 00Z

Model Run Initialized at: Valid: 29/12Z 30/00Z 30/12Z 31/00Z 31/12Z 01/00Z 01/12Z 30/00Z 30/03Z 30/06Z 30/09Z 30/12Z 0 30/15Z 30/18Z 30/21Z 31/00Z 31/03Z 31/06Z 31/09Z 31/12Z 0 0 0 31/15Z 31/18Z 31/21Z 01/00Z 01/03Z 01/06Z 01/09Z 01/12Z 0 1 0 0 1 01/15Z 01/18Z 01/21Z 02/00Z 02/03Z 02/06Z 02/09Z 02/12Z 2 6 1 2 2 02/15Z 02/18Z 02/21Z 03/00Z 03/03Z 03/06Z 03/09Z 03/12Z 4 8 8 03/15Z 03/18Z 03/21Z

Above: NAM (MET) MOS snow groups for Monticello, NY.

[KPOU] GFS MOS snw Table Centered On: 2014 Jan 02, 00Z

Model Run Initialized at: Valid: 29/12Z 29/18Z 30/00Z 30/06Z 30/12Z 30/18Z 31/00Z 31/06Z 31/12Z 31/18Z 01/00Z 01/06Z 01/12Z 01/18Z

30/00Z 30/03Z 30/06Z 30/09Z 30/12Z 0 30/15Z 30/18Z 30/21Z 31/00Z 31/03Z 31/06Z 31/09Z 31/12Z 0 0 0 0 0 31/15Z 31/18Z 31/21Z 01/00Z 01/03Z 01/06Z 01/09Z 01/12Z 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 01/15Z 01/18Z 01/21Z 02/00Z 02/03Z 02/06Z 02/09Z 02/12Z 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 02/15Z 02/18Z 02/21Z 03/00Z 03/03Z 03/06Z 03/09Z 03/12Z 8 8 8 8 8 8 03/15Z 03/18Z 03/21Z

Above: GFS MOS snow groups for Poughkeepsie, NY.

[KPOU] NAM MOS snw Table Centered On: 2014 Jan 02, 00Z

Model Run Initialized at: Valid: 29/12Z 30/00Z 30/12Z 31/00Z 31/12Z 01/00Z 01/12Z 30/00Z 30/03Z 30/06Z 30/09Z 30/12Z 0 30/15Z 30/18Z 30/21Z 31/00Z 31/03Z 31/06Z 31/09Z 31/12Z 0 0 0 31/15Z 31/18Z 31/21Z 01/00Z 01/03Z 01/06Z 01/09Z 01/12Z 0 1 1 0 0 01/15Z 01/18Z 01/21Z 02/00Z 02/03Z 02/06Z 02/09Z 02/12Z 2 6 1 1 1 02/15Z 02/18Z 02/21Z 03/00Z 03/03Z 03/06Z 03/09Z 03/12Z 4 8 6 03/15Z 03/18Z 03/21Z

Above: NAM (MET) MOS snow groups for Poughkeepsie, NY.

[KPSF] GFS MOS snw Table Centered On: 2014 Jan 02, 00Z

Model Run Initialized at: Valid: 29/12Z 29/18Z 30/00Z 30/06Z 30/12Z 30/18Z 31/00Z 31/06Z 31/12Z 31/18Z 01/00Z 01/06Z 01/12Z 01/18Z

30/00Z 30/03Z 30/06Z 30/09Z 30/12Z 0 30/15Z 30/18Z 30/21Z 31/00Z 31/03Z 31/06Z 31/09Z 31/12Z 0 0 0 0 0 31/15Z 31/18Z 31/21Z 01/00Z 01/03Z 01/06Z 01/09Z 01/12Z 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 01/15Z 01/18Z 01/21Z 02/00Z 02/03Z 02/06Z 02/09Z 02/12Z 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 02/15Z 02/18Z 02/21Z 03/00Z 03/03Z 03/06Z 03/09Z 03/12Z 8 8 8 8 8 8 03/15Z 03/18Z 03/21Z

Above: GFS MOS snow groups for Pittsfield, MA.

[KPSF] NAM MOS snw Table Centered On: 2014 Jan 02, 00Z

Model Run Initialized at: Valid: 29/12Z 30/00Z 30/12Z 31/00Z 31/12Z 01/00Z 01/12Z 30/00Z 30/03Z 30/06Z 30/09Z 30/12Z 4 30/15Z 30/18Z 30/21Z 31/00Z 31/03Z 31/06Z 31/09Z 31/12Z 0 0 0 31/15Z 31/18Z 31/21Z 01/00Z 01/03Z 01/06Z 01/09Z 01/12Z 1 1 1 1 0 01/15Z 01/18Z 01/21Z 02/00Z 02/03Z 02/06Z 02/09Z 02/12Z 2 2 2 2 2 02/15Z 02/18Z 02/21Z 03/00Z 03/03Z 03/06Z 03/09Z 03/12Z 6 8 8 03/15Z 03/18Z 03/21Z

Above: NAM (MET) MOS snow groups for Pittsfield, MA.

Model/Ensemble data initialized during the peak of the storm

Above: Heights at 500 hPa and anomalies from the 1200 UTC 3 January SREF (left) and GFSEnsemble (right).

Above: MSLP and anomalies from the 0600 UTC 3 January SREF (left) and GFSEnsemble (right).

Above: Winds and anomalies during the warm advection phase of the storm at 850 hPa from the 1800 UTC 2 January SREF (left) and GFSEnsemble (right).

Above: Winds and anomalies during the upper deformation phase of the storm at 850 hPa from the 0600 UTC 3 January SREF (left) and GFSEnsemble (right).

Observational data through the storm

Above: Loops of soundings through the storm for Albany, NY (KALB, left), Buffalo, NY (KBUF, left center), Chatham, MA (KCHH, Center right), and Upton, NY (KOKX, Right).

Note the column at KALB and KBUF remained around the dendridic growth zone during much of the storm.

Above: Loop of 500 hPa heights through the storm.

Above: Loop of maximum and minimum temperatures for several days through the storm.

**Above: Loop of regional radar through
the storm from
College of DuPage.**

**Above: Loop of surface maps through the
storm.**

**Above: GIS based snowfall map for the
NWS Albany, NY forecast area.**

**Above: NESIS category 2.**