wxch_radar0316.jpgYou know, it is a beautiful thing when all the pieces come together to produce a winter storm. There's a low pressure system deepening off the Virginia coast, sending plenty of warm, moist air toward us. To our north there's a high pressure system sending cold air our way. The warm air proves no match for the dense dome of cold air so it has no choice but to ride up over the dome. As the warm air rises it cools, saturates and starts dumping snow, enough snow to warrant a Winter Storm Warning. The Weather Service is estimating four to eight inches of snow and sleet are expected in the city by tonight. Lesser amounts are likely on Long Island where rain will be more prevalent. It will stay cool enough upstate for Orange County to get around a foot of snow.

The temperature will be near the freezing mark all day today. Snow, sleet and maybe a little rain, will continue all day, but will be heaviest in the afternoon. Not only does this afternoon promise to be snowy, it will also be windy. Gothamist will be using the wind and snow as our excuse to leave the office early today. Precipitation should continue through the night. Perhaps with the added bonus of freezing rain!

Snow and sleet will greet the start of the St. Patrick's Day parade tomorrow, but should be gone by mid-afternoon. Even so, the day will still be blustery and raw. The sun returns on Sunday, however warm weather will have to wait until next week.

Doppler radar map from weather.com.