Winter Storm Stella bears down on Hudson Valley; 18″ of snow expected

Northeasterners are allowed to step out during the height of the storm and scream “STELLA!!!!!!!” – but please, just once per person.

One of the largest winter storms in recent years is expected to hit the Hudson Valley Tuesday, with 12-24 inches of snow accumulation and wind gusts of up to 35 mph.

A winter storm warning is in effect for the region from 12 a.m. Tuesday to 12 a.m. Wednesday, with snow expected to begin between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. Tuesday and intensify throughout the morning and early afternoon, with rates of 1-4″ of snow per hour at times.


The storm is presently bringing significant snow to the Midwest. Meanwhile, a low-pressure system over the Atlantic is moving north. Forecasters expect that warm, humid system will meet the cold, drier snow storm, intensifying it with a quick drop in pressure meteorologists call “bombogenesis”- a storm is said to “bomb out” when the barometric pressure drops 24 or more millibars in a 24-hour period.

Fig. 1- Bombogenesis.

Count on local weather site par excellence Hudson Valley Weather for the most accurate forecast, as well as the most movie-trailer-style dramatic descriptions of the storm. A recent post kicks off with, “You are not hallucinating… that does say 12 to 24 inches” before predicting the storm will “undergo bombogenesis, and intensify rapidly as it moves north” with the storm track forcing “tremendous amounts of moisture into our region, that will fall in the form of snow” and “tremendous upward motion will translate into intense snowfall rates.” It goes on: “Thundersnow is also possible, as this storm deepens and intensifies.” Winds will “howl” causing “tremendous blowing and drifting of the snow” with “snow drifts of several feet” possible. The storm “has the potential to bring the Hudson Valley to a stand still” and the chances of it missing the region are “basically zero.”

Whew! Intense snow… tremendous thundersnow… bombogenesis… no escape!

With the storm on its way, HV Weather has gone into “storm mode,” which assume looks something like this:

Local municipalities are gearing up for the storm, gassing up the plow trucks and spreading de-icing fluid on major roads. New Paltz is warning residents to be prepared for power outages and to have bottles of water on hand, and reminding residents of the snow ordinance, which calls for no parking or standing on streets and municipal lots after 2″ of snow has fallen until it’s cleared by the DPW. The city of Poughkeepsie has declared a snow emergency, and we can expect the city of Kingston to declare one as well. (The latter takes its parking bans very seriously and will tow your car- we can attest to that from firsthand experience.) UPDATE: Kingston has  declared a snow emergency.

Stay tuned for future updates.