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Will the Hudson River Freeze?

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With December way below average temperature wise and January likely to follow suit (or at least be below normal here), I think the Hudson River is at risk for a potential freeze this year. Not sure how cold for how long it needs to be, but with many places getting into the single digits last night and more cold in the long range, freezing cant be that far off. A full river freeze has only happened three times, and none since the 1800's (Correct me if I'm wrong), so that seems unlikely.

Add any comments or thoughts here..

Current zoomed in Satellite shot of the area (take yesterday), notice the ice upstream, but ice free where the river is widest.

post-519-0-21797700-1295046816.jpg

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Most of the Hudson up here near Newburgh is completely ice covered

EDIT: you can actually see in this photo that by the Bear Mountain Bridge its pretty much ice covered..

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I think the most ice I ever saw on the Hudson was in January 2000 when I saw a ton of it as far south as southern Westchester, of course I didn't see it during 03-04, I'm sure it was more frozen then.

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I think the most ice I ever saw on the Hudson was in January 2000 when I saw a ton of it as far south as southern Westchester, of course I didn't see it during 03-04, I'm sure it was more frozen then.

The worst that I saw was the winter of 1994 in Newburgh Bay.

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Unless we have sustained cold that matches what we saw in 02/03 or 03/04 probably not going to have extensive ice too far south. It's been below normal, but no severe cold yet.

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There is definitely ice forming on the riverbed, but not complete ice cover, just scattered. Today there was ice all over the place.

I guarantee you there's no ice on the river bed - ice floats - in fact, if not for the fact that solid water is less dense than liquid water - unlike almost every other molecule on the planet - advanced life on this planet might never have evolved...

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I think the most ice I ever saw on the Hudson was in January 2000 when I saw a ton of it as far south as southern Westchester, of course I didn't see it during 03-04, I'm sure it was more frozen then.

There's often ice floes in the river here during cold snaps, but it's rare to have the entire river freeze solid. I'm starting to notice patchy ice this year, but a really good time for it was January 2005 when the ice cover was extensive and quite beautiful. Here is an old photograph:

Tonight's going to help along the freezing process with a projected low of 7F here in Dobbs Ferry. If we get an arctic front following the cutter as advertised on the GFS, the river would probably freeze solid in Westchester. Temperatures have been persistently below average since Thanksgiving, and the last few cold, clear nights have started the ice formation.

The worst that I saw was the winter of 1994 in Newburgh Bay.

The Hudson River froze completely in January 1994, I believe.

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That's what I recall also. I know that a couple of those years in the early to mid 2000's were impressive but they still didnt have as much ice or last as long as the ice did in 1994. That was fantastic winter up this way.

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With December way below average temperature wise and January likely to follow suit (or at least be below normal here), I think the Hudson River is at risk for a potential freeze this year. Not sure how cold for how long it needs to be, but with many places getting into the single digits last night and more cold in the long range, freezing cant be that far off. A full river freeze has only happened three times, and none since the 1800's (Correct me if I'm wrong), so that seems unlikely.

Add any comments or thoughts here..

Current zoomed in Satellite shot of the area (take yesterday), notice the ice upstream, but ice free where the river is widest.

post-519-0-21797700-1295046816.jpg

At least that satellite image shows me to never swim by Sandy Hook, NJ. Look how dirty that water is coming out of the Hudson!

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To add to my above post, I took a walk over the old Poughkeepsie Railroad Bridge this morning (it was about 0F, and I couldn't really make it much farther than halfway before I couldn't feel my legs) and the river was even more frozen than I'd expected. Some shots:

From near the Highland side...

post-3401-0-30639500-1295124346.jpg

Frozen river and mountain...

post-3401-0-73004500-1295124547.jpg

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I was under the impression the USCG had ships to keep a channel open a fair ways up the Hudson.

A Coast Guard cutter came through about 10 minutes after I took those shots. I should have mentioned that in my initial comment, apologies.

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A Coast Guard cutter came through about 10 minutes after I took those shots. I should have mentioned that in my initial comment, apologies.

Awesome pictures.... thanks for sharing them here.

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Here's a couple from Newburgh Bay in January 2005.

post-212-0-29914300-1295126149.jpg

post-212-0-55305000-1295126240.jpg

Cool! Is that first shot a stitch, or simply a wide-cropped single image? That area of Newburgh has really improved in the past few years... I was down there this summer and it's quite a pleasure to sit by the river now.

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A brief aside but.....does the Long Island Sound ever partially freeze?

I doubt its anything significant seeing as its a relatively large body of open salt water (freezing point elevation) but is shore ice common?

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A brief aside but.....does the Long Island Sound ever partially freeze?

I doubt its anything significant seeing as its a relatively large body of open salt water (freezing point elevation) but is shore ice common?

It definitely has. These clippings are from 1977:

post-290-0-50713700-1295149049.jpg

post-290-0-38751900-1295149071.jpg

post-290-0-57741000-1295149092.jpg

2004 wasn't nearly as bad, but some pics from that winter are here:

http://www.northshor...om/20040201.asp

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A brief aside but.....does the Long Island Sound ever partially freeze?

I doubt its anything significant seeing as its a relatively large body of open salt water (freezing point elevation) but is shore ice common?

Yes, the interior sections of the Sound can freeze in winter. I believe it was possible to walk from LI to CT over the Sound in January 1977 due to the extreme cold that winter.

December 1976 temperature anomalies:

January 1977 temperature anomalies:

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It definitely has. These clippings are from 1977:

post-290-0-50713700-1295149049.jpg

post-290-0-38751900-1295149071.jpg

post-290-0-57741000-1295149092.jpg

2004 wasn't nearly as bad, but some pics from that winter are here:

http://www.northshor...om/20040201.asp

90% of the sound covered in ice??? Wow, impressive...wonder if we'll ever see that again

Yes, the interior sections of the Sound can freeze in winter. I believe it was possible to walk from LI to CT over the Sound in January 1977 due to the extreme cold that winter.

December 1976 temperature anomalies:

January 1977 temperature anomalies:

Interesting, Im not well versed in analogs, what were telleconnections like that year?

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Interesting, Im not well versed in analogs, what were telleconnections like that year?

Winter 1976-77 was a weak El Niño during the transition to a +PDO phase.

December and January had an extreme -NAO/-AO block with impressive ridging over Western Canada into Alaska. This caused strong northerly flow into Canada on the front side of that high pressure, allowing extremely cold airmasses from the arctic to penetrate the CONUS. In essence, the strong -AO block sent the arctic air southward, and much of it was channeled into Canada due to the ridge over AK/BC. Looking at the 500mb map, you can also see that heights were around average in central Canada, meaning there was a good pipeline for the cold. Last winter had an extreme blocking pattern, but the above average heights over all of Canada meant that cold air could never reach the United States.

Here is the 500mb map for December and January of the 76-77 winter:

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