What are the chances the snow cover survives the last week before Christmas across the Finger Lakes?
Christmas Travel Preview
Since the week before Thanksgiving, the Finger Lakes and surrounding regions have been caught in a very active weather pattern. As we approach another major travel holiday, it looks like the weather will give us some quieter weather as a gift.
Early travelers in the Finger Lakes will enjoy sunny skies for the first part of this week before some minor weather moves in later in the week.
High pressure will keep even the clouds at bay for Monday and Tuesday. Temperatures, however, will remain quite cool. Highs on Monday will only reach the low 20s, with low 30s possible on Tuesday after morning lows in the single digits and low teens.
Wednesday should reach into the mid 30s. Though clouds will increase, precipitation is unlikely. A few rain or snow showers will be possible by Thursday, but these should have very little impact on travel.
The most significant weather in the area may be Thursday night into early Friday as some lake effect snow develops southeast of Lake Ontario. At this time though, this lake effect looks limited to just a couple of inches of snow, mainly during the nighttime hours.
Temperatures should make a run at 40 degrees Thursday, Friday and Saturday, keeping roads clear and daytime travel easy.
After Christmas travel is still very uncertain. A large storm system may impact the area starting Christmas night, but could be more wet than white. It is too early for details on that storm, though, so stay tuned.
White Christmas Odds
With quiet weather expected this week, the snow that is on the ground now will have to last until Christmas for most areas.
Early in the week, the snow cover will only lose a little depth due to sunny skies Monday and much of Tuesday. Even with temperatures below freezing, some of the snow may evaporate, and compression is likely, resulting in a slight, but hardly noticeable decrease in depth.
Predicting the snow cover becomes trickier later in the week. Areas from Rochester to Auburn, Syracuse and Cortland may see a couple of inches of new snow Thursday night from lake effect, but a significant increase in the snow pack for those areas is unlikely.
Temperatures later in the week and into the weekend could push above 40 degrees. This will cause some slow melting, and for areas that only have a couple of inches on the ground, may be enough to wreck the chances for a White Christmas. The good news for snow lovers is that there will be little in the way of wind, and next to no rain to speed up the melting process.
The chances for White Christmas increase for the areas that have seen heavier lake effect snow recently. The snowiest areas, shaded in pink and white, have very good to almost certain chances for keeping the snow until Christmas.