Cold front brings snow burst, more wind and cold

finger lakes weather forecast cold front wind snow
A cold front will bring a brief burst of snow, followed by wind and lake effect through tonight. [Photo by D. Joan Lockwood]
A cold front will be marked by a burst of snow and the return of gusty winds later this morning and into the early afternoon across the Finger Lakes.

Cold Front Moves Through

A few isolated areas of lake effect snow overnight continue this morning, but most of the Finger Lakes is quiet to start Friday.

However, surface observations and radar data over southern Ontario in Canada show a cold front that will drop southeast into the Finger Lakes later this morning and early in the afternoon.

Temperatures will rise into the mid and perhaps upper 20s this morning ahead of the front. Colder air will start to move back in behind the front, with temperatures falling back through the 20s this afternoon.

The front itself will be rather noticeable as it moves through. Firstly, a line of heavier snow showers will cross the region along the front. This line may not be as intense for all areas as some of the other squalls we have seen in similar situations, but the snow will still come down at a good rate for a brief time and could make travel hazardous.

Timing such events is always difficult, but look for the front to move through between 10 – 11 am for Rochester and Dansville, 11 am – Noon for Canandaigua, Geneva and Penn Yan, and Noon – 1 pm for Syracuse, Cortland and Ithaca.

The wind will also whip up behind the front once again, with gusts of 30-40 mph as the front moves through and persisting through the afternoon.

As a result, wind chills this afternoon and evening will drop into the teens and single digits.

Lake Effect Behind Front

With cold air moving into the region on northwest winds, it is not surprising that lake effect snow will begin to develop behind the cold front. Already, in Canada, lake effect streamers have developed off of the Georgian Bay behind the front.

That lake effect in Canada may have a role to play in enhancing some of the snow that develops over the Finger Lakes tonight. Such a connection could lead to some localized heavier snow in what should otherwise be a spray of lake effect flurries and squalls.

The lake effect will become the most organized after 8 pm tonight and should begin to dissipate after 8 am on Saturday. Most of the Finger Lakes should see a coating to an inch, with some localized areas seeing as much as 3 or 4 inches.

Skies will turn sunny throughout Saturday morning as dry air moves in and winds shift, killing off the lake effect.

Cold Temperatures Ahead

This reinforcing shot of cold air will keep temperatures well below normal into Sunday morning.

The clouds and lake effect snow tonight should help keep temperatures from falling too far. Morning lows Saturday will mostly be in the low and mid teens.

However, the temperature will not rise much during the day Saturday. Afternoon highs across the more southern and western areas may much a push for 20 degrees, but further north and east it may remain in the mid teens.

Syracuse may even challenge the record low maximum temperature for the day on Saturday, which currently stands at 16 degrees. This would be a swing of 52 degrees from Wednesday when a new record high of 68 degrees was set!

With winds continuing to gust to 30 mph throughout Saturday, the wind chill will feel closer to 0 degrees.

Saturday night will be mostly clear, which will lead to some chilly temperatures. Single digits should become fairly widespread, and a few of the coldest areas that have some fresh snow could flirt with 0 degrees.

Temperatures will rebound Sunday under sunny skies, with highs expected to reach at least 30 degrees. Temperatures may return to the upper 40s and 50s next week.

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.

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