Arctic cold persists across the Finger Lakes through the weekend

finger lakes weather forecast arctic cold temperatures wind chill january 5 2017 january 6 2017 january 7 2017 january 8 2017
Temperatures will remain well below normal through the weekend with periods of snow and strong winds. [Photo by Ed Dawson]
Temperatures will remain well below normal through the weekend with periods of snow and strong winds.

Arctic Blast

The next several days will be quite chilly across the Finger Lakes, though no where near as cold as it can be this time of the year. Still, there are a few times in particular that it may become hazardously cold if proper precautions are not taken.

Temperatures are starting Thursday mostly in the teens after steady temperatures in the upper 30s for most of the first half of the week. The wind is not as strong as last night, but is still a bit gusty. This is sending wind chills this morning into the single digits.

Temperatures will rise into the low and mid 20s this afternoon. This is about 7 to 10 degrees below normal for early January. The wind will continue to be occasionally gusty, keeping wind chills generally under 15 degrees.

Friday will start off with teens in the heart of the Finger Lakes and single digits in the outlaying areas. Temperatures will not warm as much as today, with highs ranging from the mid teens to the low 20s. With wind gusts over 20 mph, wind chills will remain in the single digits and low teens.

Saturday morning will be colder yet, with some outlying areas falling below zero. The warmer locations near the Finger Lakes will probably settle to around 10 degrees. Afternoon temperatures will improve just a little, with upper teens to mid 20s, but the wind will be light.

Another shot of cold comes in on Sunday, with afternoon highs only in the teens and strong winds, possibly gusting over 40 mph. This will send wind chills below zero for much of the day.

The temperature will finally moderate towards the beginning of next week as a storm system tracks to our west.

Lake Effect Snow Chances

With the abundance of cold air, it should be no surprise that lake effect snow will be a near constant presence off of the Great Lakes over the coming days. However, wind direction will be fairly consistent through the weekend. This will keep much of the snow out of the Finger Lakes while simultaneously resulting in some epic snow amounts in the snow belts.

What snow does fall in the Finger Lakes will originate from Lake Erie over the next couple of days, so this part of the forecast will focus on the Lake Erie snow bands.

Early Thursday morning, a thin band of snow from Lake Erie extended across portions of the Southern Tier. This band should gradually track north during the course of Thursday. This band will remain quite weak until the middle of the afternoon, after which it will strengthen.

The best chance for a burst of snow will be north of an approximate line extending from Dansville to Penn Yan to Cortland. As the band heads north of these towns, it will bring a quick inch or so of snow as it moves through between 3 and 7pm.

A storm system will move along the coast of New England Thursday night, and could bring a little light snow to the eastern Finger Lakes. The Lake Effect, meanwhile, will be restricted primarily to the northwestern Finger Lakes as a strong band sets up between the Buffalo and Rochester areas.

Behind the coastal system, winds will shift, disrupting the snow off of Lake Erie. The majority of the snow will be contained right to the shore of Lake Erie, with just a few stray flurries making it inland on Friday and Saturday.

Finally, on Sunday, winds will turn more northerly. Lake Effect snow from Lake Ontario, which will have buried the Tug Hill in two to five feet by then, will finally move south. A spray of lake effect, with some heavier squalls possible, will move into the Finger Lakes for Sunday afternoon. In particular, areas north of I-90 between Rochester and Syracuse may see some heavier squalls.

The Power of Finger Lakes Weather Zip-Code Forecasts

The Finger Lakes is a very diverse region when it comes to the weather, and at no time of the year is that more evident than in the winter.

The weather over the coming days is an excellent example of this. Morning lows will vary greatly by location as geographic influences are maximized.

Lake effect snow is a unique weather phenomenon that can bring extreme differences in weather conditions over the span of a couple of miles.

However, the major media markets are only focused on where the big snows will fall or their own home market. This means all you will hear on the news is about the Tug Hill, Syracuse, Rochester or Buffalo.

Other websites have zip-code forecasts, true, but they are often fed computer model data and no human touch is ever applied.

With Finger Lakes Weather, you get an actual forecast for your town. Over the next few days, check your zip-code forecast often so you can know exactly what to expect where you live. And please, feel free to contact me with your thoughts on the forecasts, and let me know (nicely) if I don’t quite get your town right. Any feedback you give me will help me improve my forecasts and services!

You can get the forecast for your zip-code by filling in the box below. Bookmark your page on all your devices so you can always get the best weather for the Finger Lakes. You can read more about these zip-code forecasts here.

Get the detailed forecast for your exact location! Enter your Zip-Code here:




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.

3 Responses

  1. […] Read More […]

  2. John

    I wish this would come in directly instead of having to click on “read more”. As to snow, after measuring and reporting for well over 30 years here I find snow depth an illusion. Last night we had an inch but its true value was barely .02 in moisture, the more important data point. Thanks for all you do and wishes for a great 2017! john

    • Meteorologist Drew Montreuil

      Hi, John! Can you explain to me what you mean by coming in directly vs. clicking “read more”? What path are you taking to get to the post? Thanks!