Arctic front Thursday evening brings first taste of winter

finger lakes weather forecast thursday november 9 2017 arctic cold front rain snow flash freeze
Clouds will thicken Thursday out ahead of an arctic front that will move through the Finger Lakes this evening. [Photo by Nanci McCraine]

Quiet Thursday Ahead of Front

The Finger Lakes are off to a sunny, cool start Thursday morning, but clouds will increase out ahead of a cold front.

Temperatures range through the 20s and low 30s this morning after another night of clear skies. A slight southerly flow kept temperatures a bit warmer than Wednesday morning, though.

That southerly wind has set up out ahead of the incoming front that will move in tonight.

High, thin clouds preceding the front will move into the Finger Lakes this morning, gradually becoming thicker this afternoon.

Temperatures should climb to near 50 degrees this afternoon, which is right about where the temperature should be for this time of the year.

Precipitation should still be west of the Finger Lakes by the time the sun sets late this afternoon.

Arctic Front Brings Slick Roads

Temperatures this evening will slip back into the upper 30s and low 40s ahead of the front.

Precipitation will start to move in from west to east after 8 pm. Initially, the precipitation should start as rain. However, as the front moves through, temperatures will quickly drop, changing the precipitation over to snow.

As temperatures fall below freezing, road conditions could become hazardous as the wetness from the rain undergoes a “flash freeze”. Areas of black ice will be possible overnight, so please use caution.

The front should clear the Finger Lakes shortly after midnight, but some lake-effect flurries and squalls will develop behind the front. These should dissipate by mid-morning Friday.

In all, most areas will not see anything more than a light dusting of snow. Accumulations could approach an inch in some of the heaviest lake-effect squalls though.

Brrrrrrr!

The weather in the Finger Lakes has been overly kind to us this autumn with continued above normal temperatures. That will make Friday all the harder to deal with, as we are not used to anything even remotely like this.

Temperatures will fall into the low 20s by Friday morning and will struggle to rise more than a couple degrees during the day.

These temperatures will easily set new record low daily maximums. The coldest November 10th on record in Ithaca was 32 degrees while Geneva’s record stands at 33 degrees.

Compounding the cold will be strong winds, especially during the morning hours. Gusts over 30 mph are likely, with a few 40 mph wind gusts possible as well. This will send wind chills well into the teens or even single digits.

Friday night will also challenge records as lows for Saturday morning drop back into teens and low 20s. Highs Saturday will be in the mid 30s before temperatures return to the 40s for Sunday.

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 goat milk soap, running until his legs burn, or playing with his three young boys.