Patchy Ice Friday in Finger Lakes

Spotty freezing rain will be possible on Friday across the Finger Lakes as warmer air moves in.
Spotty freezing rain will be possible on Friday across the Finger Lakes as warmer air moves in.

Spotty freezing rain will be possible on Friday across the Finger Lakes as warmer air moves in.

High pressure that brought us a sunny, but cold Thursday is shifting off to the east. Plenty of cold air remains locked in at the surface over the Finger Lakes after a cold night.

Warm air is moving northward between the high pressure and a strong low over the Midwest. The large difference in pressure is resulting in a broad area of strong southerly winds. Eventually, this warm air will make it into the Finger Lakes, and a windy night is in store for the region tonight.

Before that, however, the warm and cold air will battle for control of the Finger Lakes. Cold air, being more dense than warm air, will settle near the surface while warm air rides up and over the cold. Temperatures just above the surface will easily rise into the mid and upper 30s, while surface temperatures struggle to get much past 30 degrees.

As precipitation falls, it will melt in the warm layer aloft, then re-freeeze on contact with the cold surface. This is freezing rain. Freezing rain advisories are in place for the counties served by the National Weather Service in Buffalo: northern Cayuga, Wayne, Ontario, Livingston and points west. Areas to the east, served by the National Weather Service in Binghamton, have no advisory, but this is more a difference in weather service office than the actual weather.

Any icing today should, thankfully, be fairly light and spotty. Even as the radar fills in with colors, the precipitation will have a hard time reaching the ground before it evaporates. This should prevent widespread or significant icing. Still, some areas could get slick, so use due caution when traveling today.

Temperatures should climb above freezing tonight, changing the precipitation to rain. Rain will pull out very early Saturday and some sun should come out. This will help propel temperatures into the low 50s Saturday afternoon.

The warm weather will not last though, with highs on Sunday near 40 degrees with cloudy skies. Some light snow may clip the area from the south Sunday night and early Monday. Highs on Monday will be in the 20s, with 30s on Tuesday.

The storm possibilities next week are still uncertain and the system in question could easily miss the area or score a direct hit. It remains too early to do anything but speculate, and no details should be seriously considered at this point.

Follow Meteorologist Drew Montreuil:
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.). Drew and his wife have four young boys. When not working or playing with the boys, he is probably out for a run through the countryside.