Nor’easter has minimal impact in Finger Lakes

finger lakes weather forecast noreaster snow storm thursday december 29 friday december 30 2016
A storm system will spread some light snow through the Finger Lakes Thursday before exploding into a nor’easter for New England.

A storm system will spread some light snow through the Finger Lakes Thursday before exploding into a nor’easter for New England.

Light Snow Thursday

A storm system will swing through the Finger Lakes region Thursday morning with some widespread, generally light snow. A little rain may mix in with the snow from time to time as well.

This system will come at the Finger Lakes in two pieces. One center of low pressure will move across southern Canada, while a second piece of energy will track through the Ohio Valley. Between these two, precipitation will break out.

The precipitation should start in the Finger Lakes around sunrise Thursday morning from west to east. Much of the precipitation should be done by the early to mid afternoon. Generally, only an inch or two of snow should be expected from this batch of precipitation.

Nor’easter Develops

As the Finger Lakes deals with the snow from this system, energy will start to transfer from the low pressure over Canada to the second low, which will be off the coast of New Jersey by the late afternoon.

Depending on how this transfer takes place, much of the western Finger Lakes may see a relatively minimal amount of precipitation, while some extra snow falls across Central New York.

Thursday evening, this low will track north along the New England coast as it rapidly intensifies. Very heavy snow will fall just west of the track of the low, with a foot or more possible across much of New Hampshire and western Maine. Some of the White Mountains in New Hampshire could easily see two to three feet of snow.

The western edge of the nor’easter will be close to the New York-Vermont state line, well east of the Finger Lakes.

Lake Effect Behind Nor’easter

Even though the nor’easter itself will be well east of our area, lake effect snow will develop as cold air wraps into the storm.

Initially, winds will be from the west-northwest Thursday evening. This should keep heavy lake snows confined to far western New York and especially the Tug Hill region.

Winds will then turn to a more northwesterly flow on Friday, so some parts of the Finger Lakes could see several more inches of snow during the day. Areas from Rochester to Auburn, Syracuse and Cortland in particular should be on the look out for some squally weather and less than ideal road conditions Friday.

Friday evening, the lake effect should condense and move north slightly, centering near or north of Syracuse.

Off Lake Erie, lake effect snow will cut across parts of the Southern Tier, but should mostly stay out of the heart of the Finger Lakes.

The temperatures in the back side of the nor’easter will not be too cold, with highs Friday around 30 degrees. The wind, however, will be quite strong, with top gusts around 45 mph.

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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.

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