Active weather pattern culminates in significant system Sunday

finger lakes weather forecast weekend weather lake effect snow sunday february 12 2017 storm
The weather will remain busy through the weekend for the Finger Lakes. Photo by Mike Competillo.

No fewer than three separate weather events will impact the Finger Lakes over the course of the next few days, ending with a strong storm system on Sunday.

Lake Effect Snow Persists

As expected, bands of heavy lake effect snow developed last night southeast of Lake Ontario.

The heaviest snow has set up from Wayne to Cayuga county, where snowfall rates over one inch per hour are occurring.

This lake effect will slowly drift south this morning as it starts to weaken some. It may not make it as far south as Ithaca before it dissipates.

As it travels south, a couple of additional inches are possible, especially across Wayne, southern Cayuga and northern Cortland counties.

By the midday hours, the lake effect should be reduced to just a few scattered flurries.

Widespread Snow Late Friday

The main reason the lake effect will dissipate is an incoming system that will spread light snow across the Finger Lakes as early as the late afternoon hours today.

Periods of snow should continue through the evening and into the overnight.

Generally speaking, accumulations from this snow will be on the order of an inch or so.

The snow will move out before the sun rises on Saturday.

Some warm air will attempt to sneak in behind this system for Saturday. However, widespread temperatures above 50 degrees are looking less likely, in part because of a change in the expected track of Sunday’s system.

Still, high temperatures Saturday may be able to climb into the 40s.

Strong Storm System Sunday

A very complex weather pattern is shaping up for the end of the weekend. Multiple systems will approach the northeastern United States from the northwest and southwest which will then merge into a single, larger storm.

The speed with which this merger will take place, as well as how quickly the storm reorganizes off the east coast, will have significant impacts on the weather forecast for the Finger Lakes.

Unfortunately, uncertainty is among its highest over our region as competing streams of warm and cold air duel for control.

At this time, a messy, significant system should be anticipated. All modes of precipitation, ice, rain and snow, should be expected. The best chance for ice will be Sunday morning, with rain Sunday afternoon and snow Sunday night. The slightest change in track or timing could alter these expectations significantly.

Amounts are nearly impossible to predict at this time.

Continue to check back for updates through the weekend as this storm system continues to evolve and the forecast becomes a bit more clear.

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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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