Capital Region

‘Bomb cyclone’ not expected to blow in Capital Region

Cold wave likely to deepen into weekend

The “bomb cyclone” will not explode in the Capital Region.

Area residents — who know blizzards, snow squalls, lake-effect flurries and brutal wind chill — heard a new weather term Tuesday. A bomb cyclone, forecasters said, is a storm that quickly loses pressure and is subject to explosive strengthening. The storm is expected to hit New England.

While the Capital Region appears to be out of range for the storm’s big snow and strong, hurricane-force winds, frigid weather is on its way. Daytime highs in the single digits are expected both Friday and Saturday. 

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According to the National Weather Service, the news-making low pressure system developed off the Florida coast Wednesday and was expected to track north into Thursday morning. 

The Capital Region will see some winter weather Thursday, but it will seem like just another January snowstorm.

“For several days, it has appeared that this system will be too far east of here to have a large impact on our weather,” read a statement on the weather service’s Albany forecast page. “While that still may be the case, we do anticipate some snow for our area, especially from the Hudson Valley on eastward.”

Jennifer Vogt-Miller, a meteorologist with the weather service, said snow will begin at daybreak Thursday and continue into early evening. Capital Region accumulation will be about 2 inches. Winds will also pick up Thursday night.

“If the low (pressure system) takes a slightly more westward track, we could see more snow, and we will be reassessing that,” Vogt-Miller said, adding that parts of western Massachusetts could get up to 4 inches.

By late Wednesday afternoon, there had been no flight cancellations at Albany International Airport.

“Everything we’ve got coming in tonight (Wednesday) is scheduled to be here,” airport spokesman Doug Myers said. “Which means it will get out in the morning, if they’re going to accept it at the hubs. It’s really kind of a wait-and-see situation right now.”

Myers doubted that Boston would be accepting flights, with “cyclone” weather conditions expected.

“I suspect the flights to Florida will be fine because they’ll be over the storm,” Myers said. “Anything going out west will be fine — Chicago, Detroit, Denver.”

Though the snowstorm is on a track to give us a near miss, the cold wave will continue into the weekend.

The weather service said temperatures will drop Thursday night and probably will not rise much during the day on Friday; high temperatures in the single digits or below zero are expected.

“Actual air temps should be below zero across the entire area for Friday night,” read the statement on the Albany weather page. “Wind chill watch has been issued for most of the area for Thursday night into Saturday, with the lowest wind chills expected Friday night into early Saturday.”

The lowest wind chill values will be 25 to 50 below zero across the region, the weather service said, with the coldest readings over the Adirondacks and southern Vermont.

“Even in the Capital Region, wind chill readings around minus 25 to minus 30 look to be a good possibility,” the forecast states.

While the bomb cyclone may change its travel plans, motorists should definitely change their plans if they must drive east into the snow.

Eric Stigberg, managing director of marketing, public and government affairs for the American Automobile Association’s Northway office, which covers much of the Capital Region, said drivers should either try to get ahead of the weather or wait until snows and winds have subsided.

“If you must travel in it, one of the biggest things you need to do is take a look at your weather, the weather along your route — not only where your actual final destination is … so you can be prepared for what you might be driving into,” Stigberg said.

Packing for emergency stops or delays is also important.

“Make sure your car is packed with some essential emergency needs … such as flashlights, a mobile phone, extra blankets, maybe some water bottles and some emergency snacks if you’re stranded for some time,” Stigberg said.

Postponing the trip, Stigberg added, might be the best option. Even with cars, trucks or sports utility vehicles that handle snow well, driving in extreme weather is never pleasant.

Reach Daily Gazette reporter Jeff Wilkin at 518-395-3124 or at [email protected].

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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