Wintry mix of snow, ice and rain for Saturday

A wintry mix of precipitation is likely on Saturday, which could make travel slick at times. Click image to enlarge.
A wintry mix of precipitation is likely on Saturday, which could make travel slick at times. Click image to enlarge.

Warmer air from the south will clash with cold air entrenched over the region on Saturday, resulting in a mixed bag of precipitation types.

Precipitation will break out around midday in the Finger Lakes, likely starting out as some snow with temperatures throughout the atmosphere below freezing. Snow accumulations should be minor, with most areas getting an inch or less. The snow may come down a bit hard though, so roads may get sloppy fairly quick.

As the afternoon goes on, temperatures will start to warm at the surface, albeit at a slower rate than temperatures aloft. The complex terrain in the region will also have an impact on the surface temperatures and, ultimately, the precipitation type.

The areas of least concern will be the northern Finger Lakes and Lake Ontario plain, shaded in green on the map. These areas should warm above freezing relatively quickly, with just a brief period of icy precipitation during the transition Saturday afternoon.

Areas in yellow will take a bit longer to transition over to rain, and thus will have a bit longer for ice and sleet to accumulate. Most of these areas should turn over to rain by the late afternoon/early evening hours with some minor ice accumulations possible.

Not everywhere in the orange shaded areas will behave much differently than the yellow areas. However, some of the deeper valleys may lock the cold air in place a bit longer, causing icy conditions to persist into the evening.

The bottom line is this: if traveling around the region Saturday afternoon and evening, use caution and be on the look out for changing travel conditions based on the varying terrain.

The entire region will turn over to rain Saturday night, with some moderate to heavy rain at times. Total precipitation amounts may exceed an inch in some areas before the rain tapers to showers Sunday morning.

Meteorologist Drew Montreuil
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Meteorologist Drew Montreuil has been forecasting the weather in the Finger Lakes region since 2006 and has degrees in meteorology from SUNY Oswego (B.S. with Honors) and Cornell (M.S.) When not forecasting, he can be found working at the local library, making soap, or playing with his two young boys.