Cold, snowy Thursday for Finger Lakes

Lake effect snows will move south into the Finger Lakes, accompanied by gusty winds and sub-zero wind chills.
Lake effect snows will move south into the Finger Lakes, accompanied by gusty winds and sub-zero wind chills.

Lake effect snows will move south into the Finger Lakes, accompanied by gusty winds and sub-zero wind chills.

West winds through Wednesday and Wednesday night kept the lake effect snow north of the Finger Lakes. Over two feet fell in parts of Oswego county.

A wind shift early Thursday morning will send the lake effect snow south into the Finger Lakes. The weather map at the top of this post captures the impact of the wind shift perfectly, showing continuing but weakening snow east of Lake Ontario, while southeast directed bands start to form back towards Rochester.

Locally heavy snow will be possible within the lake effect snow bands. The primary area of concern will be along and north of I-90 east of Rochester and into the I-81 corridor north of Cortland. A second, smaller band of snow from the Georgian Bay will impact the western and southern reaches of the Finger Lakes.

The snow map I made yesterday is still valid, with locally up to a foot expected in some of the heavier snow bands.

Click to enlarge the snow map.
Click to enlarge the snow map.

With gusty northwest winds, temperatures will have a hard time rising much today from morning levels in the low and mid teens. Even with steady temperatures, it will feel progressively colder as the winds pick up and send wind chills below zero.

The lake effect snow should end tonight as winds turn towards the southwest. This should also keep temperatures above zero overnight and will help push highs into the 20s on Friday. Do not get used to it though, as even colder air is expected this weekend.

Dangerous wind chills will be possible on Saturday as temperatures drop below zero during the day and winds gust to 30 mph. Subzero temperatures and dangerous wind chills will continue into Sunday morning before conditions slowly improve during the day on Sunday.

I continue to also watch a storm threat for Tuesday next week. There has been very little consistency or agreement among the weather models on the evolution of this system. Continue to monitor for updates over the weekend, and be aware that there is at least a chance for widespread moderate to heavy snow next week, even if the storm is still extremely uncertain.

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.