Like the Finger Lakes, much of the nation is dealing with well below normal temperatures.
National Cold Spell
Arctic air has invaded the United States from the north, with cold temperatures nearly spreading across the entire country.
Widespread subzero temperatures can be found across the Mountain West and into the Great Plains and Mid West. Temperatures are even cold enough for snow across the Deep South, where Winter Storm Warnings are in place from central Alabama to the Carolinas.
Much of the nation will see temperatures range from 15 to 30 degrees below normal this afternoon. About the only place that will see near to above normal temperatures will be Florida, which will be on the warm side of the aforementioned Deep South winter storm.
No doubt about it- after taking a couple of weeks off, winter has returned to the United States for the start of January.
Finger Lakes Weekend Chill
Here in the Finger Lakes, it will be cold, but not as brutal as it is further west. The Great Lakes play a huge role in modifying the arctic air as it seeps south and east. The warm waters heat up the air slightly, making it difficult for the truly bone chilling air to survive into our region.
Still, temperatures over the next few days will not be very enjoyable, with highs in the low and mid 20s Friday and Saturday with teens on Sunday.
Sunday is still looking very windy as well, with a strong north wind gusting over 40 mph at times. Combined with those temperatures in the teens, and it will feel closer to or below zero for most of the day.
Winds are unfavorable for lake effect snow in the Finger Lakes Friday and Saturday. Some lake effect activity will be possible on Sunday, but it remains to be seen how organized that activity will get. The main threat for Sunday will be across the northern and eastern Finger Lakes, but at this time, more than a few inches seems unlikely.
Temperatures Moderate Next Week
A large storm system is expected to develop next week over the Great Lakes region. This system should pull warm air north into the Finger Lakes sometime during the middle of the week.
While there is an outside chance of a brief surge of significant warmth, most of time, temperatures will only be slightly above normal. Still, it should be warm enough for most of the precipitation to fall as rain until the system pulls away and cooler air moves back into the Finger Lakes.
The best chances for rain will come Tuesday into Wednesday. There is also the chance for more strong winds during that time frame.