Blizzard conditions accompany an intense squall this morning. A second squall will impact the same areas for the evening commute.
Dangerous Evening Commute
An intense snow squall with zero visibility, gusty winds and heavy snow has been moving south from Lake Ontario this morning. As of 8am, the squall was along the I-90 Corridor and heading south.
The squall will weaken over the next couple of hours as it pushes into the heart of the Finger Lakes. Expect a burst of snow and quickly changing weather and travel conditions.
This scene will repeat itself this afternoon, just in time for the evening commute.
Extreme snow rates will accompany the second squall, which should begin to move off of Lake Ontario around 4pm. Travel will become dangerous as the squall blasts through areas along and north of the Thruway.
The second squall may be even worse, as it will come at the same time that strong winds are peaking across the Finger Lakes. Wind gusts of 40-50 mph will be possible across the region, but within the squall, the wind could go as high as 60 mph.
Blizzard Warnings, which are rare in our region, are in effect for Wayne and northern Cayuga County. A variety of other winter weather warnings and advisories are in place for other parts of the area.
Between 7-10pm, this squall will push south through the Finger Lakes, gradually weakening as it does.
Windy & Cold Outside of Squalls
Outside of these two dangerous snow squalls, the sun will shine through clouds. Much of the late morning and early afternoon will be devoid of falling snow.
However, it will still be a hazardous day due to very cold temperatures and strong winds.
Temperatures, which are mostly in the low and mid teens, will only rise a couple of degrees during the course of the day. Afternoon highs will top out in the mid and upper teens for most areas.
The wind will steadily increase through the day. Wind gusts over 40 mph are likely across the region. Even though it will not be actively snow, blowing and drifting snow will continue to create areas of poor visibility and hazardous road conditions.
Quieter Friday Before Widespread Weekend Storm
Thankfully, the weather will calm down a bit for Friday.
The atmosphere will dry out, reducing the chances for snow. Lake effect should be limited to a few snow showers near the southeast shore of Lake Ontario with minor accumulations.
The wind will settle down as well. It will still be a bit breezy, with wind gusts around 25 mph. Temperatures will recover a bit, with highs reaching the low and mid 20s.
A large scale storm system will move in Friday night, with widespread snow persisting into Saturday morning. Snow accumulations will be on the order of 2 to 5 inches before the snow changes to rain showers Saturday afternoon.
There is some potential for a band of heavy rain, strong winds, and possibly even thunder Saturday night. Behind this, cold air and lake effect will come back into the picture for later Sunday.