Sharp cold front Wednesday sets stage for slushy Southern Tier snow Thursday

finger lakes weather forecast wednesday february 21 2018 thursday snow map
The record warmth in the Finger Lakes will come to an abrupt end on Wednesday with several inches of slushy snow across southern areas on Thursday.

Sharp Cold Front Wednesday

Record-breaking warmth continues in the Finger Lakes Wednesday morning but will come to an abrupt and sudden end during the middle of the day.

Temperatures early Wednesday were in the 50s and low 60s for most of the Finger Lakes region with the area still residing in the warm sector of a large storm system passing through the eastern United States.

finger lakes weather 10 am temperatures Wednesday February 21, 2018
Update: 10am temperatures show the front working into the Finger Lakes with a 30º difference between places like Penn Yan in the upper 60s and Niagara Falls at 39 degrees. Click image to enlarge.

The cold front can easily be picked out on a temperature map lurking just west of New York State with temperatures across Southern Ontario in the 40s and 30s while Michigan is in the 30s and 20s.

This front will make its way east, entering the Finger Lakes region around 10 or 11 am and clearing the area by 1 or 2 pm.

A band of showers will accompany the front, along with a sudden shift and increase in the wind to the northwest.

Temperatures will rapidly drop from the 60s into the 40s in the span of a half-hour or less.

After the initial drop, temperatures will fall more slowly back through the 40s and into the 30s by the late afternoon.

Precipitation should be limited to a few showers through the afternoon and into the evening and overnight.

Accumulating Snow? Already!?

finger lakes snow map thursday february 22 2018
Snow accumulation will vary greatly across the Finger Lakes on Thursday. The highest amounts are expected over the Southern Tier. Click to enlarge.

An area of low pressure will then track along the front, which will stall out over Pennsylvania and New England.

Precipitation will increase across the Finger Lakes during the morning and should continue steadily through the afternoon.

By the evening commute, precipitation should be east of the Finger Lakes.

Both rain and snow are expected across the region and there will be a very fine line between the two precipitation types.

Rain is most likely roughly along and north of Route 20, while areas to the south are more likely to see snow.

For the southern Finger Lakes and in particular the Southern Tier, several inches of slushy accumulation are likely.

The cutoff between little to no accumulation and a moderate snow event will be very tight.

Quiet weather will move in for Thursday night before the next system moves in.

Active Weather into the Weekend

Precipitation will move back into the region Friday morning from the south.

This time, temperatures should be warm enough for just rain except in a few pockets early Friday morning.

As the precipitation moves in, some pockets across the Southern Tier and Central New York may be cold enough for some patchy freezing rain before transitioning over to rain.

High temperatures Friday will vary, with upper 30s and low 40s across the southern and eastern areas all the way up to around 50 degrees between Rochester and Buffalo.

Rain will move out Friday evening, leaving a few showers and flurries behind for Friday night and early Saturday.

Precipitation will move back in Saturday evening, again mostly as rain but with a few pockets of ice.

Heavy rain will fall Saturday night into early Sunday before the precipitation pulls out during the afternoon.

Total liquid precipitation amounts from Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening could be as high as 1.5 inches across the region. At this time though, flooding issues are not expected.

The weather looks like it will quiet down for at least the first half of next week.

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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.

4 Responses

  1. Sharon E Heller

    Do you think we will get a good snowstorm in March? I’m not ready for winter to be over just yet. Tomorrow will be nice if it stays white for a while but it looks rainy and messy after the snow.

    • Meteorologist Drew Montreuil
      Meteorologist Drew Montreuil

      I would not be surprised Sharon. The models look interesting around the first weekend in March. Of course that is an awfully long way out to say anything will come of it though!

      • Sharon E Heller

        Fingers crossed! Thanks for the mild prognostication

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